The holiday season starts with Thanksgiving (end of November) and lasts throughout December. It includes Hannukah, the Winter solstice, Kwanzaa, Christmas, as well as a few other memorable events, like our tribute to consumerism, Black Friday.
The year of 2020 was extreme: A pandemic, massive political protests, the worst wildfire season in California’s history, and more fire smoke in the Bay Area for weeks. It ended with a late onset of the rainy season after Christmas, which brought some flooding.
The holiday season is normally rich with events like open art studios, neighborhood walks, concerts, markets, and Christmas lights. Instead, restaurants are closing, shopping happens online, and the nation was gripped with the political spectacle of Trump’s lies and his insurrection.
The cost of living in the Bay Area has gone down, and some companies are throwing in the towel and leave. House prices are actually increasing, but the rental market has plunged by 20 to 30 percent in comparison to last year. Wealth still coexists with trash, cultural diversity blends into crime, and American culture with its addiction to commerce and consumption mixes with the aesthetic nihilism of the 21st-century anti-culture. Graffiti transforms many public spaces, social and cultural boundaries break down and reassert themselves in new ways.
Here are some photos, taken from various locations across the Bay Area.