Commentary: ‘The Best of the Richmond’

By Michael Durand

When I was a kid in the late 1950s and early ’60s, we had a black-and-white television. TV Guide would put a (C) next to the name of the few shows that were in color. It was years before I saw my favorite movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” the way it was intended. I got chills when the black-and-white scenes in the beginning of the show – when Dorothy was in Kansas – turned to full color in the Land of Oz.

“You’re out of the woods

You’re out of the dark

You’re out of the night

Step into the sun

Step into the light”

In not quite as a dramatic and sudden way, it feels a little like that now as we slowly emerge from the restrictions imposed on us out of the necessity of preventing the spread of COVID-19. It is heartwarming to see restaurants and bars reopening, small shops once again welcoming people – many of us still wearing masks when we’re around each other – back out into the world after a long year of isolation.

Our neighborhood newspaper exists to help keep our neighbors informed, give them a platform to share their points of view, and to help businesses and organizations large and small get the word out to our community about what they have to offer.

Best of the Richmond”

I am excited to introduce a new project we will be starting in December: “The Best of the Richmond.” It is certainly not a new idea. Many publications have collected feedback from their readership about their favorite offerings in their communities. We are excited to give it a try ourselves. Hopefully, it will bring attention back to our treasured small businesses and give them a boost as we rebound from a very dark year.

We created a list and quickly had to work to pare down the too-many offerings that we have in our neighborhood. We decided to separate food from other goods and services. So, we will be starting with your favorite food choices: breakfast, lunch, dinner, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Italian, Indian, Russian, pizza, seafood, burgers, vegan, and a lot more. Soon we will add the list to our website ( Voting will begin with an announcement in the December issue. We plan on publishing the results soon thereafter.

Autumn Moon Festival

After a year off because of that nasty coronavirus, the annual Richmond Autumn Moon Festival returned on Saturday, Sept. 18, on a beautiful day on Clement Street between Sixth and Ninth avenues. Check out some pictures by staff photographer Tyrone Bartoli on our website.

Judy Chicago

We also posted on our website many photos of artist Judy Chicago’s retrospective exhibit at the de Young Museum. I was lucky to see and photograph the show and was delighted by her talent. I recommend heading over the de Young to check it out. I was also there when her “Forever de Young” performance took place. An estimated crowd of 8,000 observers filled the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park on Oct. 16 and were cheering the colorful clouds of billowing vapor. Check out the pictures on our website.

“Meet the Editor”

Another sign that we’re emerging from the COVID-19 lockdown is the return of “Meet the Editor” office hours at the One Richmond office at 802 Clement St. every second Wednesday of the month from 1-2:30 p.m. Appointments are not required but are suggested. I’m looking forward to meeting you!

Michael Durand is the editor and publisher of the Richmond Review and Sunset Beacon newspapers and the website. He can be reached at and (415) 706-6428.

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