GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! Happy New Year to my Chinese friends!
For almost two years, I’ve had the pleasure of living in an integrated residential environment that put me in contact with Chinese Americans; despite a language barrier, we are able to communicate in brief, friendly greetings.

My neighbors at Armstrong Place, an independent living senior complex in the Bayview renaissance area, are peaceful and resourceful in going about their business. We share many celebrations - birthdays especially. A great place to live!

OH, HAPPY DAY in the BAYVIEW! At last the reopening of the Bayview Branch Library, Third and Revere, closed about 2 years for improvements, expansion, in favor of a new, larger branch, celebrated last Saturday.

The new high-tech 9,000 square foot library is impressive - include separate adult, teen, and children’s areas built around a central courtyard, more computers, room for an expanded collection, two study rooms , a program room with after-hour’s access for library programs and community events, public art by Ron Saunders, and lots of light. Bayview history and culture is depicted in glass art panels that are installed on the sides of the branch.

The gleeful event started at 11 a.m., I arrived after the ribbon cutting ceremonies to a mass of people touring the building. Nationally known, San Francisco based filmmaker and director JACQUI TALIAFERRO of LaHitz Media, and videographer KEN JOHNSON were setup to interview many of the community folks who entered the building. The block of Revere , from 3rd to Keith street , was closed off. Vendors, live entertainment, and FREE soul food dinners served from a church parking lot across the street - the long lines discouraged me. TOYE MOSES and his wife ALMA ROBINSON, seemed satisfied over the meal, as was San Francisco Board of Education member KIM-SHREE MAUFAS.

Happy smiles seen on the faces of distinguished playwright MARY BOOKER, Rev. CALVIN JONES, Pastor Providence Baptist Church, MINNIE LYONS ( her talented grandson performed that day); RON COLTHIRST, to name a few.

San Francisco Jazz Ambassador JOHN HANDY’s 80th Birthday Tribute Bash, Sunday at Yoshi’s, was OFF THE HOOK - will have to relate more next week! “.

CALENDAR NOTE - This Saturday the 33rd Annual BLACK CUISINE Street Festival at Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center in Bayview, 1706 Yosemite at Third St., starting 11 a.m. CHEF XAVIER got the pots jumping off the burners! Food for the soul prepared by Seniors who STILL got it; although most eat healthier foods these days - less Pork fat!

Check out Big Mama’s Kitchen - neck bones, pigs feet, chitterlings; and sweets like grandma used to bake! Live music - Ricardo Scales well be among the performers, shop at the marketplace, much more. Black Cuisine benefits the seniors - come out and support this fun and worthy happening!

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