The 39th Annual Carnaval San Francisco – Heart

Carnaval San Francisco

 (bryan farley)

On May 28th, 2017, I photographed the 39th Annual Carnaval San Francisco Grand Parade in the Mission District. The parade lineup included about 70 groups. I took about 1600 pictures. My final edited photo gallery has fewer pictures, but you should check for yourself.

The 35th Annual San Francisco Carnaval was held Sunday May 26, 2013 in San Francisco's Mission District. My children danced with the local Fogo na Roupa. (bryan farley)


In 2013, 2014 and (again in 2015), I photographed the parade route; my children were with the Fogo Na Roupa contingent.

 (bryan farley)

This year I photographed the entire parade… or as much of the parade as I could. Because I spent the previous parades with one crew, I did not realize that groups lined up on both sides of 24th.

 (bryan farley)

Before the parade started, groups line up for several blocks in each direction fixing their costumes and practicing their routines.

 (bryan farley)

This year’s theme is “El Corazón de San Pancho/The Heart of San Francisco.” The theme underscores how the city welcomes people. While photographing this year, I remembered 1999, my first year in San Francisco. I worked in the Mission District the summer I moved to the Bay Area. When the school year started, I began teaching at Lincoln High School. This year, the ALHS Latino Marching Band marched.

 (bryan farley)

My children did not participate this year; my daughter had a ballet conflict. Instead of staying for the party, I ran towards the end of the route and rushed across the Bay to something I loved more than a parade.

Four Capoeira Festivals

Last month, Ginga Mundo Capoeira Oakland held their fourth annual Festival da Caopeira. The three day event includes sessions for youth at Melrose Leadership Academy in Oakland, California. (MLA is my children’s elementary school.) My fifth grade son has attended all four. The first festa da capoeira was held in December 2013; the last three have occurred in May.

 (bryan farley)

2017 Festival Photos

Until my children began capoeira, I was unfamiliar with it. I did not appreciate capoeira’s history nor the dedication of the capoeira community. Because I had not seen capoeira, I did not appreciate the complex lessons my son would learn.

 (bryan farley)

Capoeira is inter-generational and participatory. Younger students learn from older masters and professors. Many of the teachers travel from other states or other countries to share their knowledge. Knowledge is valued… the sharing of knowledge is valued.

 (bryan farley)

Young students learn how to share their knowledge with other younger students. Capoeira teaches students how to teach and how to learn.

2016 Festival Photos 

 (bryan farley)

It is too simple to say that “life is difficult.” We are reminded of this often. We need reminders that life can be beautiful too. In capoeira, young people learn how to support each other and be supported. My son learns how to take center stage and yield to another person. He learns how to take direction from a man and a woman. It’s wonderful! My son also learns from a gentle man who is strong. He learns from men of color who care about him. My son also learns from women who are physical. My son learns the reality of diversity by experiencing diverse situations.

2015 Festival Photos


The first Festa da Capoeira 2013 at Melrose Leadership Academy of Oakland occured on Saturday, December 14 2013. Capoeristas received or exchanged new belts and medals. (bryan farley)

My son (and all the children) learn about the rhythms of community building. It is my opinion that young people need more role models. For our communities to grow stronger, we need stronger roots… with stronger connections. We need stronger communities to survive the storms and to celebrate the festivals.

First Festival Photo Gallery

See notes on a blog for more about Mason and Capoeira

Anne Lamott – Hallelujah Anyway in Oakland

 (bryan farley)

Last week Anne Lamott discussed her new book Hallelujah Anyway at Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California. A Great Good Place hosted the event; I took some pictures (that you can see here).

 (bryan farley)

I was excited to see Anne. In 2014 I was on the other side of the country when she visited Oakland. I wrote a meandering blog post that referenced a few of her books and avoided any mention of my impending divorce.  Last week, I had already started reading her new book about “rediscovering mercy” when I noticed that I was one of the only men in the audience. It was shocking.

Anne Lamott discusses her new book "Hallelujah Anyway" at Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California. Local bookstore A Great Good Place for Books hosted the event Tuesday May 2, 2017. (bryan farley)

I am often one of the only men… or one of the only white people or one of the only people with a disability. I often seek activities where I will be an outsider, but I feel like a visitor. The Lamont event was different. I did not think I was going to be an outsider.

Where were the men?

Why do I often feel comfortable being an outsider?

What is the cost of being a outsider?

Anne Lamott discusses her new book "Hallelujah Anyway" at Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California. Local bookstore A Great Good Place for Books hosted the event Tuesday May 2, 2017. (bryan farley)

For a week after the event, I struggled to discover the radical self-care that Lamott addresses. I like being different, but I do not always know my place. In 21st Century terms, I don’t know my “personal brand.” Now that I have had more time to reflect, I returned to a passage from Einstein about everything being connected. “Everything slows down when we listen and stop trying to fix the unfixable.”

Perhaps there is nothing to fix, except for my perspective that I am an outsider. We all belong, because we are all connected… if we just slow down enough, we can see it.