• Paul Mansfield

Mission District Art & Coffee

Updated: Jul 20

Looking Back

Last October 2020, I was taking a trip to the Mission District of San Francisco. There was a whole lot of dramatic things going on, The Forest Fires of the Northern California & Southern Oregon, the pandemic was raging, all kinds of civil unrest in major cities around the country, and we had a political stalemate with a populist movement with lots of conspiratorial thinking kind of taking over mainstream politics.

Since my Lance Havana Classico Scooter was all stopped-up from the smoke, I had to take it into Mr. Scooter in the Mission. Pedro is one of the main Scooter Service shops around the city, and he's done me a solid for many years.

It was great to see Pedro, who has been such a stalwart in the scooter world of San Francisco. He’s been in this town for years, fixing, renting and selling scooters to San Franciscans, and I’ve been going to his place for years to get my numerous scooters repaired. When we saw each other, it was like old friends joining - he said, I hadn’t aged a bit, he was shocked that I didn’t look any different than when I first started going in, some 22 years ago. I was pleased to see that his business was not only surviving during the pandemic, but that it was thriving - almost like an essential business.

While waiting for Pedro

There’s really so many places to eat in the Mission, but on that day, while my scooter was being repaired by Pedro’s crew, I had a pretty humongous appetite. The customers walking out of That’s It Market, seemed to have a Cuban Sandwich loaf, so I got me one.

Finding a place to sit was a bit of a challenge, because the Pandemic had turned everything into take-out, so I had to walk all around the Mission & then Valencia street to find a place to sit down and eat.

In front of Five & Diamond, I created a little outdoor dining place, out of a discarded ‘Barbie’ chair, and used my leather jacket for a table. The Cubano sandwich turned out to be a meal, and the Mission Band, where walking by and chatting freely.

One spritely gal walked across my galley, and said, ‘that chair is F-in adorable!’ - And I blushed, since she was quite nice. And this other gentleman, walking the neighborhood with his wife said, ‘ Now that’s a meal!’ I struck up a conversation with the proprietor of Five & Diamond, who didn’t seem to mind my little ‘sit-in’ move. He said mostly musicians and artists are his customers. That works.

Abanico Coffee Roasters' cafecito experience

Abanico Coffee Roasters Opening Day

Today kicked off Abanico’s first day of serving coffee and pastries in the Mission. Lots of curious neighbors filtered into to see what all the fuss was about.

The fuss: Abanico creates what they call ‘a cafecito experience’ that evokes such feelings of nostalgia, joy, home & family. Their milk infused - - Cafe’ Con Leche style are truly special. ☕

Cafe’ Con Morro

Dashae says that the Morro seeds really add flavor and aroma to the coffee. He hopes to hip Mission coffee drinkers to the wonders of the Morro melange.

Paul Mansfield Photo: expressing photographic style in the Mission District of San Francsico

Check out more Mission District Photography @popzeit on Instagram

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