Farmer, artist and historian LisaRuth Elliott is shaping San Francisco

Stock-taking is traditional as years close and decades end, though in a city precarious as San Francisco, checking in with ourselves and each other ought to be a daily exercise. The City’s reputation as a mecca for love and beauty has taken a beating in the media this year, but looking back over two years and 50 installments of this column, the stories tell another tale: Our people are where you’ll find the keys to San Francisco’s soul and its spirit of resilience and reinvention.

“Still plenty here to enjoy when you’re not pissed about how much is gone,” wrote Dale Duncan in an email, sent from Civic Center where he’d taken his daughter and her friends to ice skate. Back in 2018 when we talked to Duncan, a woodworker, and Marta Munoz, a pre-school teacher, the couple had left their longtime Mission home reluctantly amidst a suit filed by the city attorney’s office against their former landlord. Now happily renting in Sunnyside, a year later, their daughter Emilia has landed a small role dancing in the San Francisco Ballet’s 75th Anniversary production of “Nutcracker” at the War Memorial Opera House, a San Francisco tradition if ever there was one.

Fifty stories later, SF Lives revisited

Dale Duncan and Marta Munoz, forced out of their Mission home, found a good rental in Sunnyside.

Fifty stories later, SF Lives revisited

Curator and art history professor Kathy Zarur’s “Preoccupations: Palestinian Landscapes” had a successful run at Minnesota Street Project. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Fifty stories later, SF Lives revisited

“Empanada Lady” Paula Tejada is thrilled to be renting a kitchen in the Mission. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F.Examiner)

Fifty stories later, SF Lives revisited

Phyllis Nabhan was about to close her store Gaslight and Shadows Antiques in the Richmond District, but it’s thriving now.

Fifty stories later, SF Lives revisited

Erika Lam, feng shui designer and energy worker, fondly remembers her mother Cheryle Lam-Kawamoto. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F.Examiner)

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