This is Rio Yañez taking it to the streets in an effort to bring you the latest news, chisme, and trash talk from the Mission District. Strap on your chanclas ’cause here we go!
Maybe it doesn’t hold up much these days but back in the day you couldn’t claim any sort of ghetto glam status without having your photo in the window of Dore Studio. If there was ever a Mission District version of America’s Next Top Model it was the competition between homegirls and hoodrats to get face time in the window at 2442 Mission Street. No joke, my homegirl Michelle once had her photo up in the window and we all treated it like it was a glorious 15 minutes of fame.
You want proof of the rapid gentrification of the Mission District? Look no further than the steep decline of ghetto gold. HISTORY LESSON: These gaudy-ass gold pieces used to be everywhere in the Mission. You used to be able to buy gold 49er chains in the New Mission theater while movies played. Sharp dressed men would go up and down the aisles with suitcases full of ghetto gold. You also could walk down the street and dudes would open their coats and they would be draped with the most ghetto fabulous chains and watches. The ghetto gold hustler is an endangered species in the Mission; the last time I saw a ghetto gold deal was years ago. It was inside the McDonald’s on 24th street and this guy has a small briefcase full of chains, he strolled up to a woman sitting down with her cheeseburger and opened it up on her table. She paid cash for a thin necklace and her parting words to him were “If I find out this shit is fake, I’mma come back and getcho’ ass.” Nowadays, ghetto gold is limited to a handful of shops around the neighborhood but I can’t imagine them lasting long unless gold weed leaves become a popular ironic accessory for hipsters.
Apparently the Mission District version of Batman claims North Side. That explains the MS13 tattoo I saw on the Joker’s neck the other day. Somewhere out there the ghost of Bob Kane is spinning; keep ya head up Bob.
Mariela and I went to Sheikh on 23rd & Mission to cop some cheap & sexy shoes for our Valentine’s day rendezvous. Back in the day, Foxy Lady Boutique was the only place on Mission street to buy ghetto-ass hootchie shoes; thankfully a lot of less-expensive alternatives have sprung up over the years. Sheikh may be a corporate chain but it’s my favorite place to buy footwear in the Mission. We came across these amazing pair of Shiekh Mellina-17G‘s pictured above and it was love at first sight. My homie Roger tipped me off that they’re bootlegs of Chanel gun-heeled shoes. Alas they were just a bit too small and they didn’t have the next size up. Once I get paid again best believe that I’ll be ordering pairs in gold and black online.
That does it for today’s dispatch from the front lines of the Mission District! Stay tuned for more slangin’ and bangin’ soon!
I’ve been experimenting with my new Wacom Bamboo tablet. People are shocked to hear that I’ve always done my drawing with a mouse. I got the tablet for my birthday and have had to start to learn to draw all over again. After struggling through a handful of awkward sketches I came up with the image below. The image above is my second attempt using the tablet. World’s Finest Collaboration combines two of my heroes from two very different mythologies. Much love to the Dark Knight and GGP.
The tablet will change a lot of how I make my work. I’ll probably fumble a few times along the way but I’m excited about all the potential in it.
Here’s my second round of pop crucifixes. About the creation process: The crucifixes and stickers were both gathered from Mission street stores. The stickers are genuine 3rd world bootlegs and fascinating to me. Because of their bootleg status the stickers have all sorts of wonderful quirks and flaws. The Batman stickers mix are psychedelically discolored and mix elements from different Batman shows and comics. The High School Musical stickers (used in the Ashley Tisdale cross) have stickers of Miley Cyrus and Hilary Duff mixed in with them. Enjoy!