Off the Grid Announces First Annual ‘Emperor Norton’s Holiday Bazaar

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OTG Issues Call For Food and Retail Vendors

Off the Grid (OTG), the quintessential champion of the mobile food movement in the Bay Area and beyond, in partnership with Boston Properties, announced today that the first Emperor Norton’s Holiday Bazaar will be the first major public event to take place at the newly iconic Salesforce Transit Center and Salesforce Plaza from November 29 to December 24, 2019. Off the Grid is inviting makers, artisans and food creators to enhance the market experience with delicious food and beverages, unique wares and gifts. The deadline for food and retail applications will be Wednesday, November 20th. Applications are available at

Emperor Norton’s Holiday Bazaar will deliver a magical experience with classic holiday décor, cozy spots to relax and connect, and opportunities to shop for unique, handmade gifts - all paired with the soul-warming food and drink that OTG is known for.

The market’s namesake, Joshua Abraham Norton, was the self-proclaimed ‘His Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I’, and a celebrated citizen of San Francisco. Initially making his living as a businessman, Norton lost his fortune and left San Francisco after losing a lawsuit. Upon his return, Norton claimed to be the emperor of the United States. Although he had no political power and his influence extended only so far as those around him humored, he was treated deferentially in San Francisco. Currency issued in his name was honored in the establishments he frequented. The citizens of San Francisco celebrated his regal presence and proclamations. On January 8, 1880, Norton collapsed at a street corner, and died. The following day, nearly 30,000 people packed the streets of San Francisco to pay homage to Norton.

Today, Norton continues to be celebrated with monuments throughout San Francisco, one of which remains at Transbay Terminal, where the market is taking place. A plaque honoring Emperor Norton originally sculpted in 1939 continues to serve as one of the earliest permanent physical memorial tributes to him.

In its short history, Salesforce Transit Center has become a landmark for the Bay Area - transforming a simple transportation hub into an urban experience and destination. Salesforce Plaza is the main gateway to Salesforce Tower, the tallest office building west of Chicago. The Plaza and the Transit Center see tens of thousands of transit riders and visitors every day. Together, they form a space perfectly suited for the community to gather from the Bay Area and beyond.

“We were inspired to create this magical holiday space for the community to gather from our previous experiences at the Holiday Market at Grand Central Station in New York City and similar concepts throughout Europe'' said Matt Cohen, Founder of OTG. “The mission of Off the Grid is to unlock the potential of public and private spaces, and transform them into a meeting place for the community during the holidays. We are aiming to achieve something authentically San Francisco that draws inspiration from European tradition.

"We're thrilled to work with Off the Grid to create a truly special holiday experience,'' said Helen Han, Director of Marketing at Boston Properties. “This event will capture the unique character of Emperor Norton and San Francisco—and we hope that it becomes a holiday tradition for years to come."

For more information and for retail and food/beverage applications, please visit:

ABOUT Off the Grid: Founded in San Francisco in 2010, Off the Grid (OTG) has championed the mobile food movement, connecting people over a shared love of food and community. As a mobile events platform, OTG recreates public and private spaces with curated food experiences, innovative event production and corporate dining. Credited with reviving and cultivating San Francisco’s street food scene, OTG sets the stage for culinary discovery by creating multiple opportunities for entrepreneurial food vendors to access authentic community experiences within intentionally designed public spaces in more than 15 locations and 60 events weekly that serving more than 100,000 people. Off the Grid Catering provides a private markets experience with turn-key event production and planning. For more information visit and follow OTG on Twitter: @OTGSF, Instagram: @OffTheGridSF, Facebook: @OffTheGridSF.

ABOUT Boston Properties: Boston Properties (NYSE: BXP) is the largest publicly-held developer and owner of Class A office properties in the United States, concentrated in five markets - Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC. The Company is a fully integrated real estate company, organized as a real estate investment trust (REIT), that develops, manages, operates, acquires and owns a diverse portfolio of primarily Class A office space. The Company’s portfolio totals 51.9 million square feet and 196 properties, including thirteen properties under construction. For more information about Boston Properties, please visit our website at

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Lauren Eastman
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