Hayes Valley

Hannah Kingsley-Ma


Two young trombone players are performing a duet inside a shipping container in a emptied lot in Hayes Valley. The musicians, Harry Gonzalez and Brett Wyatt, are from the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and they address their audience through the screen in front of them. 

Marlena’s was a Hayes Valley gathering place that helped knit the city together through good cheer and glitzy drag numbers. But the neighborhood has changed and the iconic bar closed earlier this spring.

It was a popular gay bar, featuring lip-synched drag shows, community fundraisers, and lots and lots of regulars. The spot was around for a couple of decades, right in the heart of the up-and-coming Hayes Valley, which, these days, has up-and-come with trendy restaurants and boutique shops. But, no longer, Marlena’s.