How I See the Mission: Roberto Hernandez
See the Mission through the eyes of Roberto Yamir Hernandez, a poet, painter, lowrider and musician of Mayan and Nicaraguan descent who was born and raised in the only city he has called home, San Francisco.
Describe your perfect day in the Mission.
Cruisin' in my 1964 Chevy Impala rag top lowrider with 20 or more of my Homies in lowriders on a hot sunny day on 24th Street and down Mission Street while hitting the switches to get the juices flowing on our hydraulics, quickly raising and lowering them to make them hop, jump and dance while people instantly smile and pull out their cell phones to take our photos! Then parking and posting up on Mission Street, kickin' it with people who live in the barrio and meeting new people who love the art of lowriding!
What should every visitor to the Mission do at least once?
Discover all the murals, grab a taco, burrito, pupusas, tamales, birrea or sopes to eat and drink a horchata, cacao or pinolio.
What’s your favorite place to take a photo?
There are so many colorful alleys in the Mission, but my favorite to take photos of is Balmy Alley. The murals began in the mid-80s as an expression of artists' outrage over human rights and political abuses in Central America. Today the alley contains murals on a myriad of styles and subjects from human rights to local gentrification and Hurricane Katrina.
Where do you indulge your artistic side in the Mission?
BRAVA! For Woman in the Arts Theater, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Dance Mission and Galeria de La Raza are all amazing cultural spots.
What’s your favorite event that happens in the Mission?
Carnaval San Francisco, an annual street parade and festival in San Francisco on the last weekend in May, and Dia de Los Muertos, a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico on November 1st and 2nd to honor the dead. Both holidays are extremely colorful.
Where and what would you choose for your last meal in the Mission?
Las Tinajas to eat a giant nacatamal made by Nicaraguans.
Which restaurant is still on your list to dine in the Mission?
El Nuevo Frutilandia. I love Puerto Rican and Cuban food.
Who do you follow to keep up with San Francisco news?
El Tecolote, Mission Local and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Any last advice for travelers in the Mission?
Go to La Palma Mexicatessen to see the Mexican woman make handmade tortillas.