Eva was sitting at UN Plaza during a Farmer’s Market day enjoying a coffee and the sunshine.
“I just finished taking class at the Alonzo Lines Ballet right around the corner. It’s my first time at this market and I’m completely in love with it; it’s gorgeous.”
Eva currently lives with her family in Modesto but commutes to San Francisco every week to take ballet classes.
“I’m originally from the suburbs but I’ll be taking class in the city so I’ll be around. This week was just with some drop-in morning classes and then next week a more intense schedule starts.”
Eva has only walked through the Civic Center area in the past. Today was her first time stopping and sitting to hang out at UN Plaza.
“It’s great because there’s a lot of stuff going on and there’s a lot of potential, but I guess it just doesn’t feel completely comfortable. I just love the straight shot to the building directly over there [City Hall]. It feels a little confusing. That’s how I feel when I enter this space.”
Eva said she would prefer a space that is easier to navigate and provides more opportunities to relax.
“I would say, something like an open space that maybe feels a little more planned or mapped out makes me feel more comfortable, as far as functioning within a space. For some reason, it feels, like, a bit cluttered.”
“I think more places to sit, relax, and enjoy it. And it’s great because there is a lot of space. There’s a lot of open space to just meander, and when the market’s here, go from booth to booth; and I haven’t spent time here without the market to know what that’s like. It’s great that there’s a fountain over there but it just feels like there could be more community within the space itself. And of course, the market completely changes the atmosphere so I would have to be here without it here to know. I think more seating areas, more communal areas to function in.”
Eva’s favorite thing to do is sit in a public space and enjoy the day but UN Plaza wasn’t quite giving her the ideal experience.
“I don’t feel like there’s a comfortable place for me to sit within it. I’m very comfortable here, it’s a gorgeous day, and the market is here, and there’s music and that’s wonderful, but I don’t really feel like the space is catering to that, it’s more the situation itself, and there’s so much here already. If the market was here, I would bring friends, but otherwise, probably not. I don’t think it would have made an impression on me.”
“I think there is a feeling of community, or an ability to be that, because there are so many people in and out. I think if the space could facilitate that, as far as what we talked about like seating and whatnot, then I think it would be less dysfunctional and more like ‘Let’s enjoy this space together.’”
Eva prefers going to the Embarcadero and enjoying the public spaces along the waterfront because it provides a better experience.
“Yesterday, I was just sitting by the Ferry Building along the water, and even though the Ferry Building and the water speak for themselves, I really loved how the seating was arranged. Everyone immediately feels comfortable to just like sit there, eat their food, just be together. I don’t know if it was intentionally planned that way but everyone wants to be there and I feel like in this space, at least for me, it’s more functional, movement-oriented…getting from one place to the other, like going through the market.”
Although Eva grew up in California, she has traveled to different cities in the country to dance but she is happy to be back in California and dancing in San Francisco.
“I’m originally from the suburbs and I would come to the City every so often. But then seven years ago I moved to New York and then Chicago. And then I moved back here but I’m back here dancing in the City, which I’ve never done before and so to experience San Francisco from that perspective has been awesome so far. I think San Francisco just has that West Coast energy and so people are of that spirit. I don’t know if ‘welcoming’ is necessarily the word I would use to describe the City but it’s beautiful and diverse and there’s definitely a sense of so much creativity and expression in the City and I think San Francisco definitely facilitates that. Everyone seems to kinda be doing their own thing but in good ways. I love being here.”