1/16/09

The Mission District, or, for short, the Mish will do.

I took my car for a smog inspection today. You may recall that I took you with me the last time I did that back in 2007. This time I walked a different path.

This neighborhood is called the Mission District, named for Mission Dolores de Assis, founded by Spanish missionaries in 1776. A part of that settlement still remains, about 10 blocks north of here--the oldest building in San Francisco. When the Gold Rush put San Francisco on the map in 1849, most development occurred in the city's northeast corner. This neighborhood, the Mission, was built up after that. Some buildings here survived the 1906 earthquake.

I'm standing in front of the building that I lived in across the street from that Arbutus from 1998-2002.

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Friends lived in this building for several years. It was owned by one of San Francisco's worst slumlords, and the place was falling apart inside and out. But it's getting a new paint job--and a nice one. Maybe someone else owns it now.

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For five years I bought pretty much all my food (except for meat) at the tiny Valencia Farmer's Market on the corner of 24th and Valencia. If you're into economizing space, you should go here and check it out. It's like a Safeway superstore in there, but with good produce. I think this market had a big influence on me, as the store is half the size of my tiny garden but still managed to have a little bit of everything.

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When I first moved to San Francisco in 1989, I thought of the Mission as a kind of dangerous, remote, no-man's-land. That changed completely within ten years as students and artists and twentysomethings moved here in droves looking for cheap rent and easy living. Today the Mish is many different things...

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I would like to see even more of these sidewalk cafes

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Lots of murals in the Mission. Whole alleys have been muralized.

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There are several Spanish-language evangelical Baptist storefront churches in the Mission.

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Blank walls tend to get vandalized wheatpasted. I'm not sure what the legal status is, but it adds color.

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Very occasionally, some of it is visually interesting too.

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For years people would say this is the Mission's best taqueria. I always thought that unit of praise had an aura of the emperor's new clothes. It's a fine taqueria, but there are many other fine taquerias.

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The smog inspection station has a nice view of Bernal Heights.

6 comments:

cindee said...

Thanks for my Saturdy Morning Tour(-: I can sit right here and see all of San Fran without leaving my house(-: I Love It!!!!(-: Now whoever threw the banana peel in that planter needs to be slapped upside the head. How rude. Or were they thinking compost?(-: I hope you had a good smog inspection. I hate having to do those. Oh well thats part of life in CA I guess.

tiragreene@gmail.com said...

You always do these cool tours. Can't wait for my next visit to SF.

Les said...

Thanks for the tour. I went out for a walk this morning with the dogs and they had enough sense to run back to the house before I did. It was severly cold.

racheld said...

Thank you for these!!! I wandered this way via Jon's Mississippi Garden, and am glad I found you. I love all the pictures---the murals, the buildings, the people and the stores, the pictures with swoop-lettered words unreadable to an Outlander.

I love the walls of colors, with pictures and words and intricate drawings resembling 12-piece Escher-Puzzles, and storefronts like the Hall of First Ladies' wardrobes.

Our #3 son has lived there for some years, and it gives me a happy to see things through his eyes---the everyday and the unique, the ridiculous and the sublime. You have a wonderful gallery there, and I thank you for sharing it.

Erick Lux said...

Great pictures Chuck,

I was just up there visiting over the New Year & I had to stop by 826Valencia for some lard.

lisa said...

Another fun tour! I like the store with the vintage gowns, the murals, well, all of it! :)