Fair Donkey Ride.


Much before the San Bruno area closer to the San Francisco Airport became well known, San Bruno Avenue in the Portola District and off Silver Avenue has always served the constituents of San Francisco well. In years gone by it was well known then slowly faded into oblivion but now it is making a come back. So rejoice.

Some 80 years ago much before the freeways were built most of the area had farms and San Bruno Avenue was the popular route where the light rail ran all the way to Brisbane. The other popular route was Mission Street and the light rail run all the way to Market Street.

In the 1970s is was common to have Street Fairs on San Bruno Avenue complete with a parade and banners that run across the street much like we use to see in later years on Polk Street and other well know streets of San Francisco.

San Bruno Avenue once boasted many Italian restaurants and French Drycleaners and Bakeries. There were Kosher Meat Shops and a number of well know Irish pubs. It has all changed now Armanino's is no more and in its place a Subway will open. San Bruno Pizza and the Italian cuisine is a memory in its place a Chinese restaurant.

Some of us will remember Andre from French Cleaners and the Ayoob Brothers that owned and operated a number of stores. The changes now are drastic and Asian stores are found everywhere. Soon San Bruno Avenue will be another Chestnut Street and I hope not as dense as China Town.

Often times I meet young people mostly African American and they remember the Boys and Girls Club it will soon be run by the North East Medical Services. We remember Jerome, Kidd, and others that put so much love and sacrificed so much for our youth. Our youth have No place to go such as they had when the Boys and Girls club operated. No one really cares about the youth and this is wrong. The near by Park and Recreation Facilities are not well kept and often visited by gangs and rampant with crime. The youth need a safe place to play and recreate.

Around the corner Vic and Betty Barbeque and so many still remember that joint. Today in its place is the Celtic Class. Leonard's Market is a Dim Sum place where hundreds come every single day. San Bruno Market has been taken over by a Chinese owner and the goods sold cater to the ever growing Asian population. We still have Joe's Barbeque and the owner is African American.

We have so many hair cutting salons and so many other stores and most of them run by Asians. We have two produce stores and they are run by some Spanish folks. So are the two Spanish restaurants the most famous La Placita. The El Toro Bar continues to invite bands that play quality Mariachi Music and with its some times comes trouble.

San Bruno Avenue has changed a lot. Gone are the Maltese, the Irish, the Jews, the Polish, the Italians, the French and the first generation of Spanish. The Asians have come and occupied the homes in full force. It is rare to meet some one that has lived in the neighborhood for say 20 years. If we do meet there is always so much to catch up with and when we talk it is about old times.

Today September 18, 2005 for the 3 rd time in recent years we held the San Bruno Fair. It was nice to see dignitaries like Leyland Yee but more so many old friends some who live near by and many who came from a far to see how we all that remain are faring.

The main thoroughfare the fair occupies is from Silliman Street to Bacon Street. There were lots of fun things to do for the children and they were all having a fun time. Comcast was there trying to sell its products. The 49ers were there trying to convince us of the times when the 49ers did so well. Bob and Toms has changed his name to Innovative Windows and was there handing out gifts to all. The donkeys were brought out and it was fun to see the children love the animals. I even saw chicken ran in an enclosure, cocks and ducks, rabbits and goats. Some of the children had never seen such live animals in their lives. Once the very ground of which the fair take place was farm land for acres all around. Times have really changed.

There was music and some of it Chinese. I stopped and heard an old Chinese man on Felton Street belt some cool songs and he was in good mood. It is always nice to see people come out and enjoy each others company. Lots of good food from South America and American too.

We look forward to the fair next year. There is always some bickering from City Hall as to why a fair? The City and County of San Francisco takes our tax money from the many homes and businesses but is slow to give some it back to the community. We look forward to the 4th San Bruno Fair in recent times.

Youth having fun.

San Bruno Fair.

San Bruno Fair 2005.

49ers at San Bruno Fair.

Lots of good food.

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