Lowrider Love: An SF GATE News Article and Photoshoot about SFM Cold Frisco Nights Cruise 2020

Ben photographed by Blair Heagerty, SF Gate News

It didn’t get that cold, but it sure was San Fran Frisco Lowrider Love for Cold Frisco Nights 2020 🙂 On Saturday, October 17, approximately 700 lowriders and classic cars bounced in ballet-style down the Mission blocks.

Amor Action builds community and friendships. Perfect strangers become familia.

We were posted on 24th and Capp, in First Generation Monte Carlo style, four ranflas deep, when reporters and photographers approached me and started seeking reality.

I do my best to represent our grassroots street spirit, so I let go with lots of love. Read the entire article to understand history, the present moment, and our future. Thank you to all the Lowriders and gente that came out to share amor. Thank you to Roberto Hernandez and the Lowrider Council for keeping our soul strong.

Also thanks to Dan Gentile and Blair Heagerty for a solid story. Click the link to view the entire article and their photoshoot:

https://www.sfgate.com/offbeat/article/Lowriding-through-the-pandemic-how-SF-car-15662566.php

A clip from the article:

“Many car clubs function like the equivalent of community organizations like the Lions or Rotary Club, but it’s also a subculture that is inherently political. Leaning against his 1972 Chevy Monte Carlo at the corner 24th and Capp Street, City College professor Benjamin Bac Sierra points up to a mural commemorating community members killed by police officers, including one of his best friends, Alex Nieto. Bac Sierra used to drive around with Nieto in his Monte Carlo, which he’s had for 16 years, and has come to represent far more than just a set of whitewall tires and a slick red paint job that matches his Michael Jordan jersey.

“Lowriders are a political statement,” says Bac Sierra, who describes Detroit’s automotive industry in the ’60s and ’70s as a major part of American identity. He sees the stylistic transformation of those cars and the engineering that gives their signature hydraulic bounce as a way of carving out identity. “… Through lowriding, we make America our own. This is a landmark Chicano statement. We’re saying, ‘We are America.’ A lot of people abandoned those cars, and we turned them into our own masterpieces of art.”

He also sees lowrider culture as a way to set a positive example for the community and encourage participation in activism. When the mural at 24th and Capp was unveiled, a procession of lowriders was in attendance.

“It is the community lowrider,” says Bac Sierra, speaking of his Monte Carlo. “It is a family lowrider.

“I’ve used it to take out youngsters from the Homey Organization,” says Bac Sierra of the grassroots youth community service group. “We’ve done all kinds of beautiful things with these cars. It’s like art and culture. It’s rolling art, rolling culture. We tell people the stories of the Mission.”

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