Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris is an art-goer’s dream spot — a place where celebrity burial plots (Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde) are adorned with intricate reliefs and scrawled tributes full of passion and pathos. What appeared the other day near Sixth and Mission streets was altogether different and exactly the same.
A man died. He was middle-aged. He lived in a hotel for transients. During his life, he never made a big name for himself. But the man’s family and friends gave him the Jim Morrison treatment. Right on the sidewalk, where — atop a small red carpet, so the objects didn’t touch the cement — they placed lit candles, bouquets of flowers, bottles of beer and hard liquor, pictures of the Virgin Mary, and a big, handmade sign reading, “R.I.P. Leovic.” The placard included such tributes as, “made San Francisco a better place,” and “His heart was bigger than his self.” Then there was this handwriting: “I love you son. Dad.”
Leovic’s father made the sign, said the lobby attendant inside the hotel, a woman who described the scene outside, and Leovic himself, as “Sweet. Verrrry sweet.” When SF Weekly inquired about Leovic, who was known in the building as Leo, she went outside to take a photo of the funeral procession. It was a kind of procession, with two middle-aged men standing and paying their respects.
Untitled: 4200 Balboa (near 43rd Ave.)
Earlier that day, just after dawn, SF Weekly came across a far different type of street art: a child’s sidewalk drawings in the Outer Richmond District. These featured drawings of a girl riding a camel, and the Golden Gate Bridge and bBy water, and the words, “Born n raised” and “The City.” The young artist’s life is just beginning. But like Leovicon Sixth Street, hints of this child’s biography are on display for passersby to see and stand over. The detritus of the adult world closed in on the kid’s sidewalk art: A cigarette butt found its way to the edge of the camel drawing. But that’s where it stayed, along with fallen tree leaves. And in the weeks ahead, the girl on the sidewalk should continue to smile, until the next rain comes and washes the art away.