Tag Archives: community

Celebrate The Unique Community You Live In Today. Be A Part Of Building Its Future!

I love to learn about my community and its history. It’s especially helpful when we volunteer.  If you understand the history, you’ll be a more compassionate volunteer.

Below is the amazing history of the Tenderloin in San Francisco.  I serve with City Impact, which helps amazing families, single elderly people, and people on the streets.  They provide clothing, meals, a thrift store, job training and a listening ear to all who need it.

Today my dear friend and colleague Judy and I visited the Tenderloin Museum. I often walk through the Tenderloin, simply because it has aliveness, richness and history. Despite the desperation, homelessness and drugs, we can choose to look beyond the surface and see the good. Truly, I was amazed!

There were so many interesting periods of time starting from the 1920s. In both of the wars, young women flocked to the Tenderloin for single occupancies residency (single apartments) in order to be closer to work on Market Street. This was considered a huge split from the past: Normally women went from home to family, or home, college and family. This was a grand opportunity for young women to provide for themselves.  They were single, working women!   They were also contributing to their families. They felt excited and empowered to work, explore their talents, and earn money.

Some of these women were labeled “independent;” others were labeled unsavory, unwholesome, or loose women.  They had to fight a battle. They simply wanted to be working women.  While it is now the norm, these women paved the way for us.  I love to celebrate history that has given us a gift, an open door, a leg up.

At the same time, there were Madams and brothels where women sold themselves.  Many young women would step inside the building innocently, hoping to find industrious work. They were ensnared and brought into prostitution.

At one point, a reverend tried to crack down on the brothels. But in the 1920s the women held a huge strike against the crackdown. Most of them were able to support their children through the selling of themselves and sex. It was hard to hear that there was sex trafficking back then. We still have some work to do.

During this time, the Barbary Coast was in full swing. This was near South of Market (SOMA), and Yerba Buena. This was where all “vice” occurred. This included prostitution, alcohol (which was prohibited), gambling and the like. The museum reviewed incredible history about prohibition, the speakeasies, and “bar girls” (you’ll have to go to find out who they were!)


So why is it called the Tenderloin?  There is a story about its name.  The police ruled this area. They turned a blind eye to alcohol, gambling and many other unsavory activities. In turn, they were paid back or accepted bribes. This extra money allowed the officers to buy  “tenderloin pieces” of meat for themselves and their families. This tenderloin is considered one of the most special expensive parts of meat prepared for cooking. So, that’s why it’s called the Tenderloin.

The city then shut down the Barbary Coast near SOMA; however, it migrated to the Tenderloin, which was becoming a thriving Jazz mecca!

The Tenderloin Museum showed the top clubs where Jazz players congregated. One was the Blackhawk: Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie frequented the Blackhawk and to this day we have their recordings. Meanwhile, Compton’s was a cafeteria where people fought for the window seats. It was considered prestigious in the hood. People came there because they could be who they needed to be — whatever type of gender, nationality, or unique characteristic they had. The Tenderloin was a model of world-class music and of diversity.

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After the Vietnam War, floods of Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian families traversing the Asian borders and settled in the Tenderloin.   This provided a huge culture boost and shift for the area and families created homes and a supportive community. Families brought businesses, created produce markets, and family restaurants, which combined into a warm atmosphere. Today, we have a diverse community of families, single people, and homeless. It is the most diverse place in the city, and labels itself as the most diverse in our nation.


The Tenderloin Museum is having a celebration of the one-year anniversary on July 16. I hope you will join me! It’s a special area of history for our community. You may want to volunteer all over the world (and I do!), and we can also volunteer and serve in our backyard. You’ll see me at City Impact, at their annual community event of service on July 23rd. I hope you’ll join me there as well!

Celebrate the unique community you live in today. Get involved, and be a part of building its future!


This day was joyful visit was with Judy Zhu, my mentee through the Duke University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative LINK. I am mentoring Judy for her new app, which is designed to match students at universities by their interests. It helps them find meaningful communities where they can belong, as they start their journey at college.

The Tenderloin Museum

Open Tuesday-Sunday 10AM-5PM

The Tenderloin Museum celebrates and educates about the history of the neighborhood it is in. In the mid-20th century the Tenderloin provided work for many musicians in the neighborhood’s theaters, hotels, burlesque houses, bars and clubs and was the location of the Musician’s Union Building on Jones Street. After the Vietnam War, the Tenderloin received large numbers of refugees from Southeast Asia—first from China and Vietnam, then from Cambodia and Laos. The low-cost vacant housing, and the proximity to Chinatown through the Stockton Street Tunnel, made the area appealing to refugees and resettlement agencies. The Tenderloin has a long history as a center of alternate sexualities, including several historic confrontations with police. By visiting the museum, it offers the opportunity to learn more about the rich history of the neighborhood and the ethnic and cultural groups that have inhabited the area.





Beautiful Thoughts, Part 3: Fill Your Mind With Gratitude

It flows through your body, your soul and is a life force…

It will reach everyone you come in contact with.

It will make your heart happy, your mind clear, your body glowing. You are flushed with rosy gratitude in your complexion rather than ‘a grey day’ ashen look.

If your thought focuses on joy, your demeanor shows it.

If your thought is focused on your worries, your issues,
or even just a lot of thoughts about just you, you’ll appear grey.

Be grateful. It will lighten your step, your heart and your soul.

Fill your mind with gratitude.

Beautiful Thought #3: Fill Your Mind With Gratitude

I’m not waiting. Don’t you either!😀

Love, Pamela

PS. I hope you enjoyed this series on Beautiful Thoughts. Please feel free to read Beautiful Thoughts #1 and #2. What would you like to see in the next series?

Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.” Part Two

 Einstein means in whatever situation we are facing, we need to rise up to a new consciousness. A new way of thinking. A new approach!
Here, dear reader, is something to noodle on. That problem you think you have — isn’t even a problem?
Did you know Einstein loved to sail?  Most sailors know how to swim. Not Einstein. Apparently he didn’t swim, and didn’t think it was a problem!  He just got on the boat, was fearless, and enjoyed sailing.
Sometimes we need to take on a different consciousness. Don’t let your mind worry you. Einstein wasn’t letting his mind be worried about not being able to swim. His consciousness was “I am awake to the world! I want to be on the sea and experience the freedom, joy, mystique of nature!”
His consciousness ruled, not his mind.  So can yours today.
Now imagine an entire world based off of this thinking ….
Where your mind is positive, and for the good.
What if the world shared this same mind?  The dictionary of the public mind says it’s a “group  embodying mental qualities.” That means they share it.
And consciousness is “knowledge that is shared by a group of people.”
In essence each, thought contributes to a positive group mentality!  Adopt a positive consciousness today, and your life, and those are around you, will reflect that positivity.

Born on March 14, 1879 in Germany, Albert Einstein grew up in a secular Jewish family. His father, Hermann Einstein, was a salesman and engineer. Einstein attended elementary school in Munich. He felt alienated there and struggled with the rigid teaching style. Einstein had speech challenges, which forced him to find a passion in music. Einstein had a love for classical music and playing the violin, this love stayed with him throughout his entire life.  While attending school in Zurich, Einstein developed lasting friendships and alliances, also meeting his future wife, Mileva Maric, a Serbian physics student.
After graduating from Polytechnic, Einstein faced major challenges in terms of finding academic positions, it took him nine years to eventually find a job at a patent office. While working at the patent office, Einstein had the time to further ideas that had taken hold during his studies at Polytechnic and thus cemented his theorems on what would be known as the principle of relativity/ In 1905—seen by many as a “miracle year” for the theorist—Einstein had four papers published in the Annalen der Physik, one of the best known physics journals of the era. After many years of hard work and incredible scientific discoveries, Einstein suffered an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He was taken to the University Medical Center at Princeton for treatment but refused surgery, believing that he had lived his life and was content to accept his fate. “I want to go when I want,” he stated at the time. “It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.” Einstein died at the university medical center early the next morning—April 18, 1955—at the age of 76.

Golden River vs. Green River in China

In the 90’s, China had a saying that their rivers were “rivers of gold”.  They were creating artificial dams and diverting water.  This provided water for the mass migration of citizens to the cities who used it for both agriculture and factory production. Water was the new gold.

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Yet, it’s interesting that the word “gold” has been replaced by the word “green”.  China now celebrates their “green”rivers.

Here’s why: many uprisings and riots from the local people started to take place. Routing water to different areas and artificial dams hurt the Earth and local communities, as well as disturbed agriculture production. It disrupted the effectiveness of the community and also its natural beauty. In addition, water sources were becoming more scarce.

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So, while gold is very elegant, green has a very loving, warm, nurturing, and nature-based meaning. Now China is realizing they have to “go green” rather than “go gold”.

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Keep and support  nature, and it will help your businesses, your villages, and your cities. Nature and your community won’t only survive but they will thrive.

Go green, not gold.

Bit by Bit, China is Stopping Deforestation

Sometimes a small bit of news is great news.

China has recovered about 1.6% of areas that had been deforested. In a country that was rapidly scaling towards mass destruction of our forests, this is progress.

As we know, trees help protect our planet. When we breathe out, we breathe carbon dioxide and the tress take it in from our bodies and from the atmosphere. They actually hold it within their trunks until they die, when the release it into the atmosphere again. So if you deforest, you are basically releasing carbon dioxide en masse. That is a large part of the reason why our earth is heating up.Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 1.43.21 PM.pngSome of you may shrug your shoulders, 1.6 percent? Why does that really matter?

When you’re dealing with a country that has 1 billion people, it certainly does matter. How can you control the habits and behaviors of such a large amount of people? The bottom line is it’s admirable to see progress.Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 1.43.11 PM.png

Today you might have made one small positive step of progress in a challenge you’re facing.

Stop for a moment, please…

Celebrate it, and more progress will come.


Love, Pamela


The Classic Pamela Positive: Philanthropy at the Drycleaners


Get inspired by an audio version of this blog!

I’ve shared before about philanthropy as “the love of people,” as a daily practice.

One day I had a pivotal experience that helped me be a better ‘daily philanthropist.’  Each day, I make a ‘to do’ list. The list might range from contacting a corporate client, to running an errand at the drycleaners. Checking off these items certainly gave me a nice sense of satisfaction! Continue reading

The Classic Pamela Positive: Should Our Work Make Us Happy?


Get inspired with a new audio version of this blog!


I find that so much of what is true ‘happiness’ in one’s job is how we conduct ourselves and our thinking.

For example, even if your job isn’t your exact ideal, there are elements that can bring full happiness. Being of service is not relegated to any one sector. Being professional, kind, courteous, and with a high “client service” attitude to external parties as well as to the internal team, can bring high “happiness” value.  Continue reading