Organic Pallet Design

My first real encounter with pallets was at the age of 7. My father worked two jobs most of his life, and I would sometimes tag along on a Friday night to his second job in Union City. He repaired pallets as a secondary form of income in order to provide the family with the essentials.  After staying up all night, I always enjoyed sinking my teeth on a glazed doughnut from Winchell's as we made our way back home in East Oakland at the corner of E14th and 6400 block. When he was released from his main employment soon after, a family meeting was called upon. Being the youngest out of 5 siblings, I needed to sit on a cushion in the dinning room table in order to have a presence.  

Lets fast forward to 2016. I decided to start Organic Pallet Design LLC, although I was already doing events for four years. It has always been more of an outlet to explore and create, I never considered it to be a sustainable business model. As my passion grew and more requests for different events came to fruition, I decided to take the bold step and pursue what I genuinely loved doing.  My mission is to create a unique and immersive experience by harnessing up cycled pallets in their current form. We have incorporated other packaging materials such as wine barrels and wine boxes that allow us to render a more diverse design. Utilizing what is readily available is our call. Humanity would be in a better place if future generations would harness and cultivate this mind set, especially during this political climate.  Pallets are a universal commodity in which can be obtained in almost any state, country, or region in the world.  

Our approach is to take a customer idea and create a design platform in which reclaimed pallets are utilized. When reclaimed pallets are not sufficient we then incorporate new FSC certified wood to finalize customer build. Wood pallets are the single most important object in the global economy for transporting goods. It was a natural choice for myself and OPD members to harness what is readily available and maximize the life span of what others would more than often discard.  The decision to use pallets as our main building block was a decision that would drastically reduce the consumption of less sustainable products and raw materials from being produced. 

I would like to thank my father, Jose G Padilla SR, and brothers, Jose, Javier, Carlos, Joe, and Juana whom instilled the work ethic in me. I also want to thank my mother, Altagracia, for her unspoken love and admiration in keeping our family together.  Last but not least, my beautiful wife, Sofia, and my two daughters, Eva and Ari, without you three I don't think I would have the courage and will to be following my passion. 

Mission Arts Performance Project

Author: Ariana Cisneros

The Mission Arts Performance Project is a live performance event occurring every other month on the first Saturday. Originally envisioned as an event to “[take] over spaces, and for one beautifully chaotic evening, [transform] them into whatever we want”, MAPP encompasses multiple venues a night, as well as a diverse cast of performers.

Venues are decided on through submission to the MAPP committee. Each venue sets up a schedule of performers through an in-house curator, so each performance lineup is unique and specific to their location. Due to the mission of freely inhabiting many spaces, MAPP events are centered around a varietal cornucopia of cultural centers, bookstores, arthouses, and other unorthodox settings.

Started twelve years ago in the Mission, MAPP has, and still does, feature core groups of artists, musicians, filmmakers, and poets that have embodied the spirit of the Mission as a multicultural arts community. On the night of events, audience members are given a map of the venues and the featured performances at each. Performances are spaced so that an audience member can either choose to sample all the venues in the night, (each location a walkable distance from all the others), or simply stay in one venue as long as they choose. Each MAPP event will feature often a political theme for the night. The August Mapp for 2017 fell on the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and was dedicated to memorializing the victims of the bomb as well as addressing “increased militarization around the world”. Although the theme dominates some venues, because the curator sets up their own venue each MAPP, the performances themselves may vary.

Due to the MAPP originally being predominantly oriented around Latino art spaces, such as Precita Eyes, the Women's Building, and The Mission Cultural Center, venues themselves are often well known places for community engagement for residents, particularly in the Latino community. Precita Eyes, an educational nonprofit for visual artists, is responsible for many of the distinctive murals the Mission district is famous for, such as the “MaestraPeace” mural of the Women's Building, painted in 1994 by local female muralists Juana Alicia, Miranda Bergman, Edyth Boone, Susan Kelk Cervantes, Meera Desai, Yvonne Littleton and Irene Perez. The Mission Cultural Center, a venue that the MAPP has featured since its conception, acts gallery space, offers workshops in art and performance, as well as youth after school and summer programs. The Mission Cultural Center also hosts annual Day of the Dead celebrations in November. Many of the MAPP performers, who teach, collaborate, or perform in these locations, discuss tenuous political situations regarding immigration, law enforcement, and the gentrification of the Mission causing displacement of local artists and families. Performance locations and their lineup may vary based on the curator's decision—Red Poppy's Dina Zharif, for August, dubbed her location “Music of the Dammed”, and featured live Kurdish, traditional Persian, fusion Persian, Greek, and Turkish music.

The MAPP is a great way for Mission residents to not only meet their neighbors, but get a sense of the deep cultural history of the Mission and how the arts community collaborates together to create original artwork. Because the MAPP is free and/or requests a suggested donation (depending on the venue), audience members are encouraged to get to venues early.


Farmhouse Kitchen Serves Classics for the New Thai Generation

Author:  Jesse Mallare

Farmhouse Kitchen was originally positioned as a casual Thai counterpart to other popular SF eateries, like Kitchen Story and Blackwood. Comforting and homey, definitely, but Chef Kasem “Pop” Saengsawang’s most recent venture feels more captivating than casual.


Like the diverse flavor of Thai cuisine, Farmhouse combines elements from both the exotic and the familiar to create an exciting, yet homelike environment. Chef fashioned Farmhouse Kitchen to incorporate an old-school aesthetic that celebrates his childhood nostalgia in Loei, Thailand. Iing Chatterjee, co-owner and Saengawang’s wife, says:

“From the design and deco itself, you would see some vintage pieces like the 1930 Singer Sewing Machine ([Saengsawang’s] grandma has that at home), aluminum shades, et cetera to the modern pieces. We designed the restaurant and handmade many pieces ourselves with the help of our friends and employees. Many memories were created under one roof.”

The Farmhouse team is a prime example of “the New Thai Generation”, an emerging class of entertaining entrepreneurs and optimistic leaders that sticks true to the authentic flavors from traditional Thai cuisine. Each meal is packed with a wide arrangement of flavors - spicy, salty, sour, sweet, and umami- meant to intrigue your sense. Family style orders are recommended for the ultimate experience. The menu stands by Thai classics such as tom yum noodle soup, yet introduces new signature dishes like the fan favorite hat yai fried chicken.


Farmhouse’s presence in the Mission continues the Thai immersion into the City’s cultural and culinary hubs. Chatterjee cited the concentration of great Mexican food as her favorite part about the Mission. She also welcomes the ever-evolving state of the Mission, as older influences meet new perspectives: “Impermanence is nature,” she says.

Chatterjee envisions Farmhouse Kitchen as a destination, a true taste of Thailand home cooking not too far from home: ”Our hope is our guest come in with open mind and open heart to enjoy the experience.”


Artillery A.G. Sparks A Visual Conversation

Author - Jesse Mallare

“Growing up as young people in this time period, global warming is a real threat, corporations are trying to commodify oil and water, indigenous communities are being displaced from their natural spaces. I think that everyone that comes through this space has some sort of consciousness about the injustices that are being faced, and we want to see art shift culture around that.” - Ivan Lopez

Artillery A.G. is an art space like no other. Since it opened in 2009, the gallery has attracted over 80 local artists and designers of multiple disciplines to display and distribute their work. Hand-painted mosaics and jackets hang on a wall opposite of a miniature forest of succulents and cacti. The store expands like a museum, showcasing more original prints, more apparel, accessories, and a full artist's’ workstation.

Guests are warmly welcomed and encouraged to create a wish an art project called the Mission Wish Tree. The wishes are visualized as trees, homes, brown ownership, all in technicolor. This project not only demonstrates Artillery’s inclusivity, but also the initiative to start a visual conversation for larger social issues.

Ivan Lopez and Alexa Treviño founded Artillery around the pillars of nature, family, and culture, and those values manifest themselves in the positive energy of the space and the entire Artillery familia. Lopez came to the Mission when he was 3 and his parents immigrated from Colombia. In alliance with the Mission Wish Tree, Lopez envisions a renewed respect for the neighborhood’s natural identity and specifically cites the underground river as a symbol of the Mission’s long overlooked ecological abundance and vitality.


Artillery recognizes that art doesn’t abide by any boundaries, and all forms of expression are valuable and worth pursuing. Lopez himself has artistic experience ranging from product design to farming, and he has no intent of pigeonholing other artists to traditional definitions:

“We’re trying to create a dialogue for someone that doesn’t fully express themselves only in a visual, performance, or audio [way], and just wants to get a piece of that. We recognize that we’re all still trying to figure out what we want to manifest into the world.“

In addition to promoting creative freedom and environmental connectedness, Artillery also embodies the spirit of entrepreneurialism. Lopez notes how independent creators and designers can magnify their voice through formal business skills. Concepts like distribution, budgeting, and presentation empower independent artists to more effectively translate their values into their work, transcending their respective mediums and creating a greater cultural impact.

Artillery A.G. is a reminder that communities can be healed through art, in any form that may be. As long as the doors remain open and thoughts can be freely exchanged, Artillery will help artists realize their voice is the most powerful vehicles to drive social change.


Project Artaud

Author: Ariana Cisneros

Project Artaud, a huge and prominent art fixture of the Mission since 1971, boasts of over 70 individual artists' live and work-in, as well as arts related nonprofits, small artist businesses, studio theaters and galleries, offering a unique and impressive insight on west coast art as an innovative hub. Artaud's community of artists, always expanding and innovating through mutual collaboration embodies a young legacy of west coast art. As a community fixture, many of Artaud’s performance spaces feature contemporary local and international performances, as well as workshops, youth outreach programs, and community classes.

Project Artaud was originally part of the American Canning Factory manufacturing arm in 1925. However, as plastic become a popular replacement for aluminum and tin cans in the 1950's, the factory was closed as ACF merged with Penn Corp to become Primerica, an insurance and finance company completely detaching from their former manufacturing lineage. Project Artaud was founded by artists moving into what was, in the 1970's, a long-abandoned warehouse in the Mission District. The art complex's namesake, Antonin Artaud, was an avant-garde French playwright who promulgated the concept of the “Theater of the Cruel”, inspired by Balinese gamelan, wherein the audience was meant to be fully immersed in the theatrical subject matter.

Z-Space is a large theater that hosts a variety of in-house performances as well as a theater space for renting artists to perform their work. Both local and international artists regularly featured at Z-space, promote artist specific interactions with the performance space more broadly than the stage itself. Performances may use of the unique structural features of the theater, particularly in site specific performance. Joanna Haigood's 1994 work “Steel's Shadow”, for instance, explored of the history of the warehouse through its architectural qualities, featuring use of an overhead ten ton moving steel crane, affectionately nicknamed “Cyclops” used during the manufacturing days of the cannery. Z-Space hosts Word for Word, an ensemble performing bimonthly, staging works of short fiction. Originally implemented in 1994 as an ongoing program through Z-Space, Word for Word has expanded to also include an educational youth program, Youth Arts, which offers workshops to many Bay Area schools to employ Word for Word's methods of deep engagement with literature for students.

Nohspace is a theater housing the headquarters and primary performance space for the Theater of Yugen, an experimental ensemble which creates original works exploring classical material through Japanese Noh and Kyogen satire. Committed to traditional Japanese theatrical performance as a discipline, their mission pursues the Japanese concept of “Yugen” as the driving aesthetic in their performance—namely a synthesis of profound grace and subtlety which underpins Japanese aesthetic norms in many artistic renderings of beauty. Nohspace theater hosts arts apprenticeships and youth programs for the community and seeks to promote outreach to both other Japanese artists and engagement with west coast artists. They also have educational programs teaching both Kyogen and Noh theatrical standards to the public.

The Joe Goode Annex theater space hosts, Goode's theatrical dance company which performs original choreography. The space offers educational workshops, youth programs, and rental space. Ongoing community outreach programs include the Resilience Project, a residency focused on stories of combat veterans' resilience, as well as the Dance for Parkinson's project, which helps those with Parkinson's and their family members use movement as a method of retaining physical strength, maintaining coordination, and quality of life.

Mutiny Radio

Author: Bayley McMillan

Walking through this vibrant Mission neighborhood, you might think this storefront at 21st and Florida is more of a “what once was”—the door is generally closed, the windows are covered, it’s painted all over in black. But then you notice the pirate ships. This ground-level studio is the home of Mutiny Radio, a station comprised of community-produced audio. Its shows, which are broadcast on its site, run the gamut of what is aurally possible. Bughouse Square (live on Tuesdays from 6-8pm) is totally comprised of music—submitted by the artist—that is made in the same space that the musician sleeps in. The rule is if you sleep in your bedroom, you can send in music you make in there. Same goes for your car, the park, your friends’ couch, etc. Occult Oubliette (Tuesday 10-12pm) is on various magic practices and how to perform them. There’s Let’s Watch a Full-Length Movie on Youtube from 2-4pm on Sundays, Ask a Divorcee on Thursdays from 8-10, TransWorld Mondays 12-2pm, and Trish and Dan Face Oblivion from 8-10 on Wednesdays. Mutiny encourages hosts to take their far-out or offbeat ideas and develop them into a voice. These shows are also available podcast-style on their website.

Although Mutiny is open to having shows on literally anything—it’s a socialist, community-run project—it reserves special attention for fostering local comedy. Pam Benjamin is Mutiny’s fearless leader and a popular Bay Area stand-up comedian. A socialist by day and by night, Pam has been working on radio projects in this space since 2007 when Mutiny’s predecessor Pirate Cat Radio was here. Benjamin took over the studio and event space in 2011, and is now the fearless leader of about fifty DJs and the host of a thriving local comedy community. Mutiny hosts a comedy showcase on their main stage every Friday evening from 8-10pm and a joke workshop on Mondays from 6-8pm.

Mutiny, more than anything, wants to connect local talent with an engaged audience—whether that’s live on air or up on stage. San Francisco has long been a world-class comedy incubator—think Robin Williams or Margaret Cho—and Mutiny wants to harbor a safe and encouraging environment for folks who are just getting started. Beyond comedy, Benjamin wants to give people a platform to share whatever it is they have to say. Mutiny offers Radio DJ and podcasting classes to kids at the local Boys and Girls Club (you can check out their show Kidz Club Radio on Thursdays from 4-6) and engages with youth from around the Mission, helping them explore a new medium and hone their skills.

And, Mutiny Radio wants YOU! To come down to an open mike, to check out their event space, call in to their shows, and engage with their homegrown community. Keep an eye out for their annual comedy festival during the first week of March that attracts local as well as international talent. If you’ve ever felt the call of the stage—or the DJ booth—21st and Florida is where you need to be, because at Mutiny Radio they are doing it live.

My engaging and hilarious interview with Pam (hey, she is a comedian!) was broadcast on July 25th. You can check it out on Mutiny’s archive here:

Meet Our Neighbor: OtherLab

Tackling Climate Change: Otherlab R&D lab creates renewable energy technologies

Solving the world’s energy problems is a daunting task that has becomes more pressing each year. As the climate warms and we start to see rising sea levels and other effects on the environment, Otherlab is committed to tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the planet today.

To encourage adoption of renewable energy the technologies have to be cheaper and easier to produce than the competition. Energy from dirty sources such as coal has always been less expensive than renewable energy such as solar. Otherlab spinout Sunfolding ( has tackled this issue by creating cheap, plastic solar actuators that enable solar panels to track the sun without gearboxes, motors, and bearings that are expensive and easily broken. This significantly reduces the cost of solar, making the technology easier to adopt and bring to new markets.


Another Otherlab company, Volute (, makes conformable hydrogen gas tanks for cleaner vehicles. By creating an intestine-like tank that can hold more fuel and increase driving range these vehicles help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil.


Otherlab’s materials project (www. works on thermally adaptive textiles to make wearers more comfortable in a wider range of temperatures, reducing the need to heat and cool buildings and therefore lowering energy consumption.


Otherlab founder and CEO Saul Griffith is a scientist and engineer who is passionate about energy and making the world a better place. A family man, he wants to see his kids grow up in a better tomorrow. It is this passion that drove him to co-create Howtoons (, a cartoon-based kit service that enables kids to build fun STEM/STEAM based projects. The kits are designed, created, assembled, and shipped out of our facility in the Mission, which hosts the New School elementary school for science class each Tuesday. 


Equal parts fun, passion, and serious engineering, Otherlab is proud to call 20th Street its home and to create products that will make the world a better place for generations to come. 

EHS Pilates

Author: Ariana Cisneros

EHS is a Pilates studio on Valencia, founded in 1991 by Ellie Herman. While initially named for its founder, the studio, after being transferred to directors Nancy Myers and Tracy Sylvester, is named Energy Health Strength, retaining the EHS acronym. Nancy Meyers, who still teaches the teacher training program and specializes in rehabilitative gait Pilates, acts as the director of educational programming. Tracy Sylvester acts as owner of the studio. EHS, partnered with Balanced Body, the main manufacturer of west coast Pilates equipment, helped create the Balanced Body teacher training program: a comprehensive 500 hour certification process that includes hands on teaching for comprehensive (ie, all mat and equipment certification). EHS currently offers recreational Pilates, rehabilitative Pilates, gait-specific Pilates, pre/post pregnancy Pilates, Bodhi and Qi Gong. Other non-movement services include weight loss, chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture services.


The Balanced Body Teacher training program taught within EHS trains their students  with future EHS studio teachers specifically in mind, but has produced a number of instructors in the Bay Area and beyond. Predominantly featuring a west coast Pilates style, involving more extension, broader creative choreography and more cross discipline collaboration, EHS can be a welcoming place for innovative and experienced instructors to hone their teaching styles based on their background in complement with the Pilates method.



The Preggo Pilates program, headed by Stephanie Forster, is a comprehensive exercise program offering both private and group classes focusing on the different aspects of pre and post-natal changes in clients. Fitness instructors design exercise programs based on the guidelines prescribed by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Private and group classes address diastasis recti, pelvic floor strength, and recovery from cesarean section based on clients’ needs. With the consent of physicians/midwives if postnatal (typically after 6-8 weeks), this program is intended to dramatically speed up recovery time as well as aid in bodily mobility and strength during the pregnancy itself.


Nancy Meyers, one of the studio’s directors, heads the foot and gait program, which provides services in rehabilitative Pilates to improve chronic pain symptoms by addressing the structural alignment of clients. A veteran Pilates teacher of teachers, her 20 years of experience has led to a comprehensive body of work on gait, such as in her “Walk with Nancy” program, her teacher training program for gait, and her expansive repertoire designed for the Coralign.


EHS contains not only a downstairs mat and springboard studio, often used for group classes, but also an upstairs equipment studio  designated for privates, duets, and small classes. Pilates equipment standards such as full cadillacs, reformers, chairs, and springboards are present in multiples--a feature that easily accommodates duets and small classes on a variety of equipment.  EHS, because of its close relationship with Balanced Body, new and unique Pilates equipment, such as the Corealign, a moving pedal system targeted towards retraining gait. EHS instructors range in experience from decades of teaching Pilates to apprentices gaining teaching hours for full certification, allowing for members of the community to access Pilates privates at a wide variety of price points.


See which of your local favs will be at 20th Street!

Among this year’s featured food vendors are returning local favorites such as Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas, Flour + Water, Farmhouse Kitchen Thai, FK Frozen Custard Bars, Savourie Streets, Seoul of Taipei, The Pop Nation, Universal Cafe, and many more. Delicious new additions to this year’s event are set to include Little Star Pizza’s mobile pizza kitchen Rollin’ Deep, Media Noche, WesBurger N' More, Humphry Slocombe, and Bonito Poke, among others.

Noise Pop is also excited to welcome a fantastic lineup of nonprofits and businesses to the Block Party this year, including 826 Valencia, Notes for Notes, and Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco-Mission. Additional vendors including Alite, San Franpsycho, Amos Goldbaum, Bay Area Record Fair, Crossroads Trading, Culk and more will also be on-location.

These festivities favorites are returning this year with more fun for all!

Art Row will feature an interactive collection of creatives from the vibrant local arts community. Each year of the Block Party, we come together with help from ArtSpan to paint a community mural one mini-canvas at a time. Workshop SF will be bringing you fun crafts for the DIYer in all of us. Crafts include flower crowns, leatherworking, henna tattoos, festival hair & hair chalk and more.

Block Party guests can also stop by Mutiny Radio on 21st and Florida to watch the live broadcast with a full day of comedy, interviews, and performances from the volunteer-run organization. Visit the Rocket Dog Adoption Zoo to check out dogs of all ages in need of a loving home, play with these pups and maybe even take one home! The San Francisco LowRider Council will bring choice classic and modern cars to display on 19th Street and Bryant. Harken Chardonnay will have a special boardwalk installation featuring Live DJs from the Magnificent 7, a pop-up record shop by Amoeba, vintage VW photo booth by Das Bus, wine tasting, and so much more!