upper waypoint

2023 in Photos: Moments That Shaped the Bay Area and Beyond

Save ArticleSave Article
Failed to save article

Please try again

A collage of nine photos made over the course of 2023.

As 2023 draws to a close, we look back on a year that has been nothing short of extraordinary. In our annual “Year in Photos” feature, we invite you to journey through the moments, both monumental and minute, that have defined the past 12 months.

Across the nine Bay Area counties and beyond, our team captured glimpses of the vivid tapestry of life in Northern California — flooded streets in San Francisco, an East Oakland track team in the Junior Olympics, jam-packed stalls at the Berryessa Flea Market, the Bay Bridge blocked by protesters. At times, we documented celebrations of the joy and resilience of communities —  and at times, we witnessed devastation and loss.

Each image reminds us of the challenges we’ve faced and the milestones we’ve celebrated. These photographs not only reflect the events of 2023 but also the emotions and experiences that will shape our region for years to come.

Sponsored

Two people stand in deep water working with long tools in an urban setting.
Two Mission District residents work to open a clogged drain on Mission and 21st Streets in San Francisco on Jan. 10, 2023. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Two photos: On the left, a large group of people marches holding signs at night. On the right, a large group of people marches holding signs at during the day.
Left: Sloane Noel-Johnson, with the Black Organizing Project, marches with demonstrators against the Memphis police killing of Tyre Nichols in Oakland on Jan. 29, 2023. Right: Faye Crosley, center left, walks down Highland Ave in Richmond, California, with a group of friends, neighbors and family to protest her eviction from her home of several decades on Feb. 12, 2023. (Beth LaBerge/ KQED; Kori Suzuki/KQED)
An African American woman wearing a pink jumpsuit stands with both hands raised among several people who are seated in a building.
Debra Chambers, 56, bows her head during the First African Methodist Episcopal Church congregation’s Sunday service, temporarily being held at Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland on March 12, 2023. (Kori Suzuki/KQED)
A group of people stand behind police caution tape.
Residents of Pajaro, the unincorporated area in Monterey County that flooded due to a levee breach, gather just across the river in Watsonville, on March 19, 2023, waiting for authorities to let them return home. (Kori Suzuki/KQED)
A young person wearing rubber boots stands in a small galley kitchen, where appliances on piled on the counter, looking at a mud-caked floor and beside an older person looking at the camera.
Denia Escutia and her mother, Carla, pose for a portrait inside the family’s home in Pajaro on April 28, 2023. (Kori Suzuki/KQED)
Two photos: On the left, a person with long hair is interviewed by reporters in front of a large official-looking building. On the right, bright purple flowers bloom on a hillside.
Left: Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao speaks to reporters in front of city hall during a city-led “Welcome Back Wednesday” event to promote the recovery of the city’s downtown area on April 5, 2023. Right: Stems of purple lupine blossom along Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley on April 26, 2023. (Kori Suzuki/KQED)
A woman with short, black hair and a purple bandana tied around her forehead looks distraught as tears stream down her cheeks. A crowd of blurred faces are in the background.
Wood Street resident Mayana Sparks cries while watching the city of Oakland begin to evict the encampment in West Oakland on April 10, 2023. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
A person speaks at a podium beside a large body of water set in a mountainous area.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a centennial celebration of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park on May 2, 2023. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Two photos: On the left, A group of colorfully dressed people ride a cable care waving pride flags. On the right, A crowd of people pack a city street.
Left: San Francisco Mayor London Breed, center, waves a Pride flag from the side of a cable car as the 2023 Pride parade passes down Market Street in downtown San Francisco on June 25, 2023. Right: Bay to Breakers participants surge down Hayes Street in San Francisco on May 21, 2023. (Kori Suzuki/KQED)
A white man with light brown curly hair and eyeglasses has a steam inhaler in his mouth as he laws reclines against a sofa in his living room.
Long COVID patient Charlie McCone uses a steam inhaler at his home in San Francisco on May 18, 2023. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
African American men carry a white coffin to a hearse outside a church.
Calvin Breedlove, Banko Brown’s cousin, and other pallbearers escort Brown’s coffin out of the historic Third Baptist Church in San Francisco on May 25, 2023. (Kori Suzuki/KQED)
Two photos: On the left, a person with long hair standing in the doorway to a restaurant. On the right, a person with a bald head and blue jumpsuit stands beside a door in front of a large gate covered in concertina wire.
Left: Lena Turner, 93, poses for a portrait in her restaurant, Chika and Sake, in San Francisco’s Japantown on Thursday, July 27, 2023. Right: Steve Brooks, Editor in Chief of San Quentin News, stands outside of the media center at San Quentin State Prison on July 26, 2023. (Juliana Yamada/ KQED; Martin do Nascimento/KQED)
A bar tender speaks to two customers from behind a slanted bar.
Lauren Barrett tends the bar at Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon in Oakland on July 20, 2023. (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)
Two people stand in front of a stall full of wares.
Hector Garcia (left) and Lizeth Valtierra (right) working at the BayFresh Piñateria, located in the Berryessa Flea Market in San José on July 29, 2023. (Raphaël Timmons/KQED)
Women wearing ornate white outfits and holding instruments in an indoor setting.
The group Mariachi Bonitas line up on a staircase for a group photo during a break from playing a wedding at Grand Island Mansion in Walnut Grove, Calif., on July 30, 2023. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Two photos: On the left, an adult helps a child lace up their shots. On the right, the shadows of two children running are seen on a racetrack.
Left: East Oakland Track Gems Coach Traivon Soto-Johnson (right) helps Kayden Thompson (left) tie his shoes at Castlemont High School in Oakland on July 31, 2023. Right: Kaden Remson (left) and John Howard III (right) run a drill on the track at Castlemont High School in Oakland on July 31, 2023. (Juliana Yamada/ KQED)
A boy poses for a photo with medals hanging from around his neck.
Kaden Remson, 9, poses for a portrait with his track medals during track practice at Castlemont High School in Oakland on July 31, 2023. (Juliana Yamada/KQED)
People dance in KOHO’s BonPop Obon in the Japantown Peace Plaza in San Francisco on Saturday, August 26, 2023. This is KOHO’s second year holding Obon in Japantown, a traditional Japanese holiday that honors one’s ancestors.
People dance in KOHO’s BonPop Obon in the Japantown Peace Plaza in San Francisco on Aug. 26, 2023. This is KOHO’s second year holding Obon in Japantown, a traditional Japanese holiday that honors one’s ancestors. (Juliana Yamada/KQED)
Two photos: On the left, a group of people strikes expressive poses as they dance outdoors. On the right, a group of people wearing ornate clothing dances outdoors.
Left: Partygoers dancing in front of the Lake Merritt Pergola at Days Like This in Oakland on Aug. 25, 2023. Right: Linus Lancaster (left) and Mari Lancaster (center) dance at KOHO’s BonPop Obon in the Japantown Peace Plaza in San Francisco on Aug. 26, 2023. (Raphael Timmons/KQED; Juliana Yamada/ KQED)
A person wears a disco ball on their head with a white sequined body suit.
West Walker, also known as the Disco Cowboy of San Francisco and ‘Wild West,’ kicks a sequined boot into the air before getting in line for Beyoncé at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Aug. 30, 2023. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
A boy holds his hands together in prayer while sitting in a large group of people doing the same indoors.
Tyler Neang (center) prays alongside his family at the Fresno Cambodian Buddhist Society temple on Sept. 9, 2023. (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)
Two people stand together in an outdoor setting looking at the camera.
Cheryl Seidner (right) and her grand-niece Hilanea Wilkinson in Loleta on Sept. 22, 2023. (Alexandra Hootnick for KQED)
A city shrouded in haze.
Downtown Oakland is seen through the wildfire-caused haze on Sept. 20, 2023. (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)
A large group of people salute a casket draped in an American flag as it enters a building with the words "City Hall" over the door.
The body of Sen. Dianne Feinstein is carried into City Hall to lie in state in San Francisco on Oct. 4, 2023. Feinstein was the longest-serving female senator and longest-serving senator from California before her passing. (Juliana Yamada/KQED)
Two photos: On the left, A person in a blue sport coat cries in front of a flag-draped casket. On the right, a flag draped casket in a large darkened room.
Left: House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi holds her hands to her face as she pays respect to Sen. Dianne Feinstein as she lies in state for public viewing at City Hall in San Francisco on Oct. 4, 2023. Right: The body of Senator Dianne Feinstein lies in state at City Hall in San Francisco on Oct. 4, 2023. (Beth LaBerge/KQED; Juliana Yamada/KQED)
A person wearing a baseball cap looks down at a candle in their hands while standing in a large group of people.
The Grouch (right), a collaborator of the rapper Zumbi, who died in 2021 at the hands of Alta Bates staff and security, attends a vigil in front of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley on Oct. 8, 2023. (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)
An African American man holds a sign up that says "E-40 Way."
Earl “E-40” Stevens stands for a portrait outside his childhood home in Magazine St, aka E-40 Way, after the honorary ceremony on Oct. 21, 2023, in Vallejo. (Michaela Vatcheva for KQED)
A person with their hair in an afro stands in front of a building with the word "Library" written over the entrance.
Mychal Threets at the Fairfield Civic Center Library in Fairfield on Oct. 19, 2023. (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)
hold signs and mark. On the right, a person with a beard holds up a sign in front of a large building.
Left: Kaiser workers strike in front of the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center in Oakland on Oct. 4, 2023. Right: Michael Jones and others strike at the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center in Oakland on Oct. 4, 2023. (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)
A woman yells into megaphone surrounding by protesters on a bridge. Police are in the background.
Protesters demanding a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza block all westbound lanes of the Bay Bridge, unfurling banners reading “stop genocide” and “no US military aid to Israel” on Nov. 16, 2023. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
Two photos: On the left, a large group of people waving flags and holding signs. On the right, the reflection of a large group of people in the sunglasses of a person wearing a clear full face mask.
Left: Amaani Cassim marches in Downtown San Francisco on Nov. 12, 2023, in opposition to the APEC international economic summit. Right: Protesters demanding a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza are seen reflected in the glasses of a law enforcement officer as they block all westbound lanes of the Bay Bridge Nov. 16, 2023. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)
A group of people marches through the high-rises of an urban area.
Emad Abdulrahim (center) marches through downtown San Francisco on the International Day of Solidarity With the Palestinian People to demand a permanent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas on Nov. 29, 2023. (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)
A drag performer in a white dress singing on a traffic island as cars go by.
Dulce De Leche performs on Columbus Avenue during the San Francisco is a Drag! event on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

Sponsored

lower waypoint
next waypoint
How a Pivotal Case on Homelessness Could Redefine Policies in California and the NationAfter Parole, ICE Deported This Refugee Back to a Country He Never KnewCalifornia Pet Owners Could Rent Apartments More Easily Under New BillAngela Davis and Black Student Leaders Talk Social Justice at Alameda High School EventHave We Entered Into a New Cold War Era?Why California Environmentalists Are Divided Over Plan to Change Power Utility RatesCalifornia Court to Weigh In on Fight Over Transgender Ballot Measure Proposal LanguageGoogle Worker Says the Company Is 'Silencing Our Voices' After Dozens Are FiredNewsom Promises to Get Tough With Local Homeless ProgramsKQED Youth Takeover: How Social Media is Changing Political Advertising