San Francisco Oak Street’s is one of the “freeway” streets – those 1950’s era cars-above-all-else ideas. They ripped out streetcar tracks, narrowed the sidewalks and made three lanes of one-way traffic zooming across the City. It’s noisy and full of exhaust. For a year before moving onto Oak, I dreamed of living along a river. Little did I know, the “river” would be a rush of cars.
The block between Scott and Pierce Streets is one of those loud, high-speed blocks. But for those of us on the sidewalks, it’s a different world. After we negotiate the dangerous intersection at Scott and Oak with its confusion of bikes and cars, we have one of the friendliest corner stores in town. The forlorn laundromat next door has a kindhearted ghost. The block is full of some of the oldest and least picturesque of Victorians hiding under asbestos siding. At the corner of Pierce be sure to say to our neighborhood’s friendly watch cat. All the cars aside, there is always a huge crowd of butterflies who make the street their home. In the middle of it all I have some neighbors who are dedicated recyclers, or I should say freecyclers. They leave all sorts of things out for re-use.
Last month’s offerings including this unused roll of carnival/raffle tickets left out on the street. I couldn’t resist. But I really don’t need to keep these coupons. Today’s outgoing mail included some postcards incorporating the tickets. I also did a series of small, 3”x3” collages made from the tickets. They were mailed out with some more unused tickets so the artists receiving them can play it forward and also use them in their own mail art.