Pop-Up Magazine’s ‘Sidewalk Issue’ helps make scavenger hunt out of Hayes Valley

Eleanor Davis’ “Work/Life” mural is section of Pop-Up Magazine’s “The Sidewalk Issue” in Hayes Valley. Picture: Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle

Pop-Up Magazine’s normal shtick is to change a significant-quality magazine into a phase clearly show. Audiences eat a bunch of posts — some chunk-dimension, some probing, all sharp and surprising — that are performed as readings and movie and audio and multimedia. The consequence frequently feels anything like the really like baby of an intellectual salon and a vaudeville road present.

In the late pandemic, with indoor theaters even now generally closed, the 12-calendar year-aged organization has fashioned a new location out of a handful of blocks of Hayes Valley. “The Sidewalk Concern,” available by way of June 20, marks yet a further adaptation in variety: from magazine to functionality to scavenger hunt.

A map in “The Sidewalk Issue” of Pop-Up Journal. Picture: Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle

It starts with a map, which Pop-Up Journal calls a “table of contents,” that visitors-qua-audiences-qua-treasure hunters decide on up, at any time, at the Ritual Espresso Roasters shipping and delivery container kiosk at Patricia’s Green. Six websites are marked these are the magazine content. Other, “secret” kinds are unmarked, but the map gives its sleuths a clue about how to discover them.

It is absolutely free, but some “articles “are coin-operated, so carry a stack of quarters. Many others require a smartphone for QR code scanning reasons, so make absolutely sure your battery is charged, and bring headphones, much too. Consider going by itself, the way you’d go through a journal. (It is awkward to test to take in podcast-like material, even for a several minutes, exterior with another human being.) But other than that, you are absolutely free to continue in any buy, at any pace.

A QR code from Pop-Up Magazine’s “The Sidewalk Challenge,” which reimagines a wander-all around scavenger hunt in Hayes Valley. Photo: Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle

A sense of flexibility to get misplaced merged with a perception of mission to find compact treasures can make a nicely-trod community reveal itself in a new way — an apt condition to be in as street lifetime edges again to a bustle, as storefront windows on Hayes Road have drop some of their barren plywood boards, uncovering artfully shown items once again.

If you adhere to a west-to-east route, as I did on Friday, June 4, you may possibly obtain the to start with piece ironic. In “Who Taught You to Adore?,” Pop-Up Journal has become, properly, a broadside. Shots and visual art with accompanying vignettes from a variety of contributors, including Hank Willis Thomas, Brit Bennett, Christine Sun Kim, Tommy Orange and other folks, offer you candid, wide-ranging portraits of what really like can seem like. It’s possible it is a treatment package. Maybe it’s spiritual or inventive depth. It’s possible it is discovering a language.

A piece titled “Who Taught You to Appreciate?” is highlighted in “The Sidewalk Difficulty.” Photograph: Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle

Listed here, you may possibly want to curl up with a blanket and delve deep. Other article content in the difficulty are extra in harmony with their sidewalk environment. In “Ways to See a Jellyfish,” a swelling soundtrack by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith evokes the strategies the invertebrate unfurls then retracts its tentacles, even though also seeming to bring out the aural textures of, say, a passing bus. It’s the equal of rose-colored eyeglasses for your ears.

And “Mike, Bicycle,” by the podcast “Everything Is Alive” and carried out by actor Larry Owens, pulls off an ingenious act of empathy: imagining the consciousness of a forlorn bicycle parked ahead of you. (Just picture how intimately it’s common with its owner’s human body!)

Probably the magazine’s most putting accomplishment, even though, is a mural by Eleanor Davis. Inequality is on stark screen every day in San Francisco, but Hayes Valley may well be amid the most trusted illustrations of extreme juxtaposition, with a homeless populace treading amid bespoke out of doors gymnasium lessons and chatter about IPOs.

“Work/Lifetime,” a mural by Eleanor Davis, is aspect of Pop-Up Magazine’s “The Sidewalk Problem.” Picture: Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle

Davis’ piece, “Work/Daily life,” is a wall-dimension graphic novel, with a medley of characters and their text and believed bubbles woven together remaining to ideal. They may glimpse just like the sundry group of actual-everyday living individuals you see on Patricia’s Eco-friendly. Pore in excess of the mural, and connections arise involving seemingly different narratives. Oh, it’s possible this man is that lady’s personnel? Or that dude is a couple’s business enterprise competitor?

Davis doesn’t just take straightforward potshots but honors the total humanity and validates the financial concerns of just about every of her figures. Generally, their tragedy is simply that they cannot see every other entirely, that their paths never ever intersect at the correct time. At fault, she implies, is a technique that will make cooperation tough, that whittles human beings down into pegs in a awful equipment.

“Work/Life,” a mural by Eleanor Davis, indicates connections amongst the figures in it. Picture: Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle

At its very best, “The Sidewalk Difficulty,” by generating Hayes Valley into a bit of a fairyland, offers a touch of magic to its denizens, also. In a neighborhood where artwork may possibly tumble out of mechanical slots or peek out of a menu holder, just about every passerby looks like a journal profile ready to transpire, be it in print, on stage or past.

“The Sidewalk Issue”: By way of June 20. No cost. Maps are accessible at Ritual Coffee Roasters, 432b Octavia St., S.F. www.popupmagazine.com/sidewalk

  • Lily Janiak

    Lily Janiak is The San Francisco Chronicle’s theater critic. E-mail: ljaniak@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @LilyJaniak