Best Musical Microstate - 2010
You won't need to get your passport stamped — and you certainly won't need to deal with nettlesome T.S.A. agents demanding you surrender your shoes, belt, and laptop — but visiting the corner of 19th and Mission streets is still like traveling to another country. The stretch of 19th Street between Mission and South Van Ness is where Bollyhood Cafe and Little Baobab share the sidewalk; at night you can go between the locations (collectively nicknamed "Baobab Village") and hear a variety of world music without even leaving the block. Flamenco dance nights, samba social club meetings, Afrobeat band performances, reggaetón DJ parties, and other musical journeys are regular occurrences, and those with hungry bellies can simply stroll around the corner to Bissap Baobab for some Senegalese comestibles. Even the price is right: despite recent fare increases, a Muni ticket to Baobab Village remains substantially cheaper than international airfare. How can you afford not to go?