It’s a nippy January morning and Elizabeth Gaylynn Baker, Jack of
many trades, is standing by the Plaza obelisk giving away free hugs.
Edie Tsong appears to be a little frantic as she spreads out 10-inch-tall cutout letters transported inside an SFR back issue. The clock is ticking, and she has less than two hours to use them to stencil a poem—using canned spray snow as a medium—in the street-facing windows of the Teen Court building.
For the last 15 years, a 1948 red GMC truck has permanently decorated Ray Herrera’s driveway. “It’s a one-owner,” Herrera boasts, explaining that he inherited the vehicle from his father after he passed. Next
to it, there’s a hand-built shrine to St. Francis that Herrera built
himself. A vintage, paper-stuffed Santa Claus is propped against the
pickup’s driver’s seat. “Everyone thinks he’s gross because he’s falling apart."