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The Wild Side 

Wednesday, May 6 2009
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Tenderloin alleys are disgusting. It’s kind of their thing. Rule of thumb: If you find yourself in one after midnight, stop whatever it is you think you are doing, go home, and go to bed. During the day the rules are a bit lax; maybe you really are just tying your shoelace. But our TL worldview has been completely upended by the Tenderloin National Forest, which used to be Cohen Alley, which used to be disgusting, as per the TL. Now, as the TNF, Cohen Alley is wonderful, laden with grass, sod, stones, trees (a redwood!), a shed, shrubbery, a stone walkway, and tons of mural and other art, as it borders the Luggage Store Annex and sprang from the minds of artists. The philosophy behind the green space delves into all kinds of thorny issues concerning the Forest Service and access and public lands, which you’ll forget once you see that redwood. Today, after slow and steady progress over the past 10 years — beautification in the TL takes time — the area is finally ready for its proper unveiling. The Official Opening of the Tenderloin National Forest celebrates Rigo 23’s just-completed stone mosaic walkway, created with Jose Fernando Cardoso, as well as all the other contributing artists who have worked throughout the years, from the muralists to the landscapers to the gate-builder. Opening day includes entertainment from Tommy Guerrero, Push Dance Company, Youth Speaks, and many others.
Sat., May 9, 10 a.m., 2009

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Michael Leaverton

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