I remember the santero shop, Botanica Yoruba, on the corner of Valencia and 21st. The mystery, so awesome and forbidding at times, held me in sway whenever I passed it. In its passing, the space held empty with no real promise of any solution that would fill a community void. That was, until Viracocha arrived.
Viracocha was formed a few months ago this year. It is a store filled with beautiful oddities, such as a shiny red claw-foot bathtub, just as you walk in the door. It’s run by Jonathan, who has a great, hearty handshake and a genuine spirit for rebuilding a literary scene for the Mission.
Jonathan’s singular mission is a noble, but pragmatic one. His desire is demonstrated in the site’s words: To build “a collective group of local artists & performers …. cultivate & spread the creative spirit that runs through the heart of our city and shapes the very way we interact with each other.” Along with typewriter and artworks, Viracocha has a local writer’s section, and included in their collection is one of my works, Nevermore: Alchemy of the Raven.
Another cool thing is that they have a basement space where the real magic of spoken word poetry, music and performance is done on their stage before sections of tables for the listening pleasure of their audience. An amazing scene and great vibration, resembling North Beach during the time of the Beats. Open mike nights happen on the second and fourth Thursdays. Come by, and you might see me reading from my works!