Martin Kirkwood shares his thoughts on the North Beach 

The vice president of the North Beach Chamber of Commerce is the chair of the North Beach Festival, which is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

What’s unique about this event? We have more local artists and local vendors and exhibitors than any time in the past. We look at the festival more as a neighborhood festival than a street festival.

Will the blessing of animals be included this year? Yes. San Francisco is named after St. Francis of Assisi, who was the patron saint of animals. Since the church is under renovation, we’re holding it near the intersection of Grant Avenue and Filbert Street on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

What do you think distinguishes North Beach from other San Francisco neighborhoods? It has quite a distinction of being home of the Beat poets. It’s known as Little Italia and has a high concentration of Italian restaurants and stores.

How has the neighborhood changed over the years? In 2010, we’ve seen the renewal of the neighborhood organizations coming together to make North Beach a better place to dine and for entertainment.

What are some of your favorite North Beach restaurants? Tony’s Pizza, Calzone’s and Joe DiMaggio’s.

— Juliana Bunim

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Juliana Bunim

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