Tenderloin National Forest

“Right now we’re standing in front of a more arid desert feature,” says my tour guide Darryl Smith. It’s an odd thing to point out in the middle of San Francisco – and the street sounds nearby don’t let you forget that you’re in the heart of the Tenderloin, but as soon as you set foot in this park, you know you’ve walked into a unique space.


The door to the Luggage Store Annex in San Francisco's Tenderloin district is unlocked on the 15th of each month, rain or shine, fog or wind, and a converted tamale cart is rolled onto the sidewalk. The man pushing it into place is Michael Swaine.

“People either call me the Sewing Guy or The Roving Tailor,” he says.