Well, we did it.
Manny’s has survived the pandemic with the help of our community, the federal, state, and San Francisco government, our incredible staff, hard constant marathon-like work, and a healthy dash of good luck.
July 4th will be our grand re-opening party.
I am sitting here on the lavender couch that we bought from Harrington’s Furniture store and I am actually planning real live in-person events!
It’s surreal. It’s exciting. Honestly it’s a bit scary.
(By the way — if you’d like to book Manny’s for an event we want to host you Go…
Yesterday I sat in the window of my small business to work and watch the world go by.
As I sat there in the sun, wondering how I was going to pay the bills, mulling potential hiring decisions, and how to pull the many levers around me to see what might stick business-wise person after person in the community walked by.
Some of the regulars smiled and waved when they saw me, other stopped to chat and catch up, some folks checked their hair in the reflection of the glass not knowing I could see them, kids danced, Karl the…
I’m feeling a mix of emotions today, right now.
The most clear feeling — and the one I’ve heard from many others — is relief.
This particular nightmare is over. I’ve woken up. I can finally breathe again.
But I would be lying if I told you that’s where the feelings stop. I’m writing this in the small business I built partly in response to the beginning of this nightmare.
There is a bit of all this that feels like it’s own death — that today I retired a particular version of myself.
A version that checked the news with…
Our democracy is fragile.
It’s easy to forget that this country, the American project, is really in its adolescence.
When you zoom out and look at how long we’ve been at this in the grander scheme of human history — we’re teenagers, barely. The thousand-year-long empires and monarchies chuckling down at us in the halls of history.
That makes us the lucky ones.
Right now we’re engaged in the beautiful, frightening and important exercise of cradling, nurturing, holding our democracy together for the next set of generations.
This work is necessary because the very core of our democracy is under…
I know we’re in the midst of it all right now.
We’re in Mile 4. One of the hardest parts of the race because you’re tired and it already hurts but it’s still early and we’ve got a ways to go.
Maybe it’s that I’ve stopped reading the doomsday news. Maybe it’s a guttural reaction against the pessimism and stormy memories woven into the genetic material of my people (Jews), but these days I’m mainly musing on glory of our comeback. Of that feeling right after we race past the finish line.
When all of our beloved stores…
It’s hard to sit out of participating more actively in local elections but it’s important that, given Manny’s goal of creating a civic gathering space that everyone can feel welcome in, I stay out of it.
With that said I wanted to congratulate the local winners of two hotly contested local elections — Dean Preston and Chesa Boudin. I can only imagine the weight on their shoulders as they wake up on this Karl the foggy Sunday winter morning.
I do have four broader thoughts as we close the chapter on this local election:
I’m tired of everyone dumping on our City.
I, along with many other San Franciscans, read Karen Heller’s piece (“How San Francisco Broke America’s Heart”, Washington Post,5/21/19) on the demise and corrosion of the San Francisco of old and felt dismayed. Some of her observations were true. San Francisco is not what it used to be — no city is. San Francisco is far far too expensive. Our black and brown communities have been decimated and displaced. Money is on everyone’s mind in a City famous for the Summer of Love and the Beat Poets.
I’m not going…
Today is Manny’s six-month anniversary: six months to the
day that we welcomed in a storm of people from 16th and Valencia
streets into Manny’s to watch the blue wave wash over all of us on the
mid-term election night.
It was an exhilarating evening, where the work of two years was
revealed to friends, family, and newcomers alike. People came in from
the sidewalk to catch a glimpse of what was on the TV screens. Right
in front of me I saw my vision become real — a place to go to engage
with our politics.
The next day…
It’s been a little over one month since 500 people came through the doors of Manny’s — the new civic social gathering space that opened in San Francisco — to watch the results of the 2018 midterm elections in community. It’s been quite a crazy month, to say the least. I thought I would take a sec and reflect a bit on the experience so far.
Topline is: Whoa.
First to opening night — I wish I could have been more present on opening night but there were so many people and so much happening that I really…
I have an announcement to make!
After a year and a half of researching, day (and night) dreaming, soul searching, business-plan-writing, touring over 100 spaces all over San Francisco, refining and refining and refining, advisory board building, fundraising, and lease negotiating I am so excited to announce Manny’s.
Manny’s is 3,000 sq ft civic social gathering space that will combine a cafe, restaurant, beer and wine spot, civil rights themed bookstore and newstand, and a large community gathering and programming space all together at one of the busiest and most exciting intersections in San Francisco: 16th and Valencia!