A few weeks ago Mr. and I received postcards from the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library informing us that there would be a party for the grand re-opening of our neighborhood library today. I marked my calendar and Mr. looked forward to the re-opening so that my constant miniscule updates about the progress I could see through the cracks in the windows would cease. Plus, we were both stoked (sorry, there really is no better word for it) that we would no longer have to trek to our second favorite library, the Mission library, to pick up our reserves! No longer would we have to plan to go the library, we could just throw on some pants and walk down the street. Hurray!
Today, around 12:40pm I heard the familiar drumbeat of lion dancers outside the window. I quickly got dressed and tried to wait for Mr., but once I looked out the window and saw the parade of locals and librarians with book trucks headed for the library I was out the door.
Is lion dancing a tradition where you live? If so, then perhaps you are like me and feel a tad verklempt when you happen upon a produce store opening with a dozen or so teenagers in dragon costumes while others drum on the sidelines. Lion dancing is part of the culture of San Francisco. If there is a big (or even small) community event, it is likely there will be lion dancers. Pretty much any parade in San Francisco is a guarantee of lion dancing, and not just Chinese New Year, but Pride, Carnival, you name it--there will be lion dancers there. And it seems that everyone in the crowd gets into it regardless of their cultural heritage.
The lion dancers led the way into the renovated library, which looks fantastic. (Of course, as a librarian, it was hard for me to not wonder how they will grow certain sections, which already seem a little crowded.) Everyone in the neighborhood was so happy to be back in the library--everyone loading up on books and videos to check out. The big wigs came out. They even had a little catty exchange about how it was that we got the first renovated library and how the Excelsior is traditionally underserved by the city government so it seemed even more amazing that our library was the first to be renovated.
While I might normally have an issue with political back-stratching, today, I am just happy to have my library back. Welcome back, Excelsior Branch.