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article imageDespite chilly fog a Street party for neighborhood was fun Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Jul 26, 2014 in Lifestyle
San Francisco - Sunday Streets are events that encourage recreation, community activities and fun in San Francisco. Essentially, they can be thought of as large block party.
Sunday Streets closes stretches of city streets to automobile traffic, and opens them to people for several hours on various Sundays throughout the year.
This way participants can enjoy a large, temporary, public space where they can bike, walk, run, dance, do yoga, or do any other physical activity. For more than five years, the Sunday Street events promoted by Livable City, (a non-profit), the City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, has been the main sponsors of these community-focused events. They have been gaining in popularity.
In addition to merchants and local businesses participating, non-profit and health organizations offer free activities and share information about their services during the event.
Last year s Sunday Street s event for The Richmond District closed off Clement Street.
Last year's Sunday Street's event for The Richmond District closed off Clement Street.
Courtesy of Sunday Streets
The fog of July that is typical for summer in the City, especially in the Richmond District did not diminish the spirits of the Sunday Streets event for the Richmond District on July 13. This is the second Sunday Street event the Richmond District has had and it seems the neighborhood is already looking forward to more.
There was some concern, initially that the World Cup Soccer finals would have a hold over people. But fortunately, lots of people showed up.
Purusha Yoga on Arguello was one of the many local businesses and organizations that took part in th...
Purusha Yoga on Arguello was one of the many local businesses and organizations that took part in the Sunday Streets event for the Richmond District on July 13.
Courtesy of Sunday Streets
The windy overcast also did not hinder the many volunteer crews from setting up for the extensive block-party festivity early at 9 AM. Crews and Sunday Street staff said that by 11 AM when the event officially began crowds had filled Arguello Blvd.
Residents and merchants were able to enjoy five hours free of car traffic and stroll along Arguello leisurely, from about Lake to Fulton Streets. Some shops like a clothing shop called Seedstore on Clement promoted Sunday Streets by advertising it on signs outside the store and on its website.
There were six designated activity hubs along the eight to 10 blocks. Closed off to all motor vehicles, neighbors, residents, merchants as well as visitors could enjoy being pedestrians or bicyclists. The activity hubs allowed for various groups of the community to gather and celebrate the Richmond District. One such group among the musicians, dancers and revelers was Purusha Yoga Studio. Founder, Joy Ravelli was pleased that her yoga studio, which is located on Balboa Street, was able to participate in the Sunday Streets event.
Since Purusha Yoga offers free classes one a week in Golden Gate Park, she thought participating in Sunday Streets was a perfect fit.
Teams of many volunteers help to make each of the Sunday Street neighborhood events throughout the C...
Teams of many volunteers help to make each of the Sunday Street neighborhood events throughout the City successful. Despite the fog and chill that morning, volunteers showed up at 9 AM sharp to help set up.
Courtesy of Sunday Streets
The Shan-Yee Poon Ballet School right on Arguello Blvd offers dance classes for all ages. And, the students were able to simply dance out the door and perform their dance class routines out on the street, right in front of the school.
“Many thanks to all who came out to participate, and, especially the volunteers," said coordinator Scott Reinstein, speaking on behalf of Sunday Streets. "It was wonderful to see so many people out and about." Last year's event occupied portions of both Clement and Arguello. This year, Sunday Streets' route was entirely on Arguello Blvd., connecting Golden Gate Park to the Presidio,” he said. “I can comfortably number attendees in the high thousands.”
He noted that a free shuttle was provided so revelers of the "Off-the Grid" festivities could also attend the Sunday Streets. And, perhaps one the reasons why the World cup soccer games did not deter people from showing up was as Reinstein explained, "Airbnb provided a big screen for people to watch the soccer match along the route." Airbnd was among more than 20 sponsors who helped support the event.
When Sunday Streets first arrived to the Sunset District  The Great Highway along Ocean Beach was cl...
When Sunday Streets first arrived to the Sunset District, The Great Highway along Ocean Beach was closed to vehicle traffic. This allowed a rare opportunity for residents and merchants to enjoy the road free of cars.
Courtesy of Sunday Streets
No doubt Reinstein and the crews are eager and excited about planning for the next Sunday Streets event. Over the past few years as the concept of the Sunday Streets has caught on, more neighborhoods are interested. This is pleasing to Susan King who was among the very first coordinators who worked tirelessly to bring the idea to the people. Back in 2009, when plans for the event were being organized for The Great Highway along Ocean Beach, the Sunset Beacon was among the first publications to report on the Sunday Streets idea. There were a few skeptics in the beginning. But now as the event has become more concise in its efficiency and organizing, people like it.
And, of course, Reinstein and staff welcome any ideas for improvements, additions or new activities for next summer’s Sunday Street for the Richmond District. See the Sunday Streets website for more info. Or, visit the Facebook page.
More about Sunday, Sunday Streets, San Francisco, Richmond District
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