Monday, April 19th, 2010

An Amazing Street Performing Artist

My 12 year old nephew, Xin Ran, from China was on a tour in the U.S. A group of 34 middle school and high school students came to participate in a couple of robot competitions. Besides the two days in the competitions, a pan-America tour was arranged for them. For 14 days, they visited Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Hawaii. They also checked out a few university campuses including MIT, Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. Our friend Derek, a father of four, thought it was funny that they sent kids as young as 12 to check out universities.

When they had the one day layover at SFO, Erik and I picked Xin Ran up and we spent a day together. We took him where the group would have visited (Stanford and Golden Gate Bridge) and more. We had dinner at the Franciscan Crab Restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf for its view of the Alcatraz Island and the water. It was late when we got out and we needed to send Xin Ran back to the hotel for next day’s early flight. But both Xin Ran and Erik’s attention was drawn to a street performer who was already surrounded by a big crowd. Using spray cans, he could make amazing paintings at an amazing speed. Finally, failing to tear them away, I ordered one painting for each of them. (The price was surprisingly affordable!) I shot a video of the process using my little camera. I asked Paco, the artist, if he would be okay with me posting it on YouTube, he happily granted me the permission. However, the video does not capture the full excitement in real life. You have to find him on Fisherman’s Wharf and watch for yourself. You can email him at if you want to get in touch with him.

Here is a simple shot of the painting Erik got.

Here is the YouTube video.