Every year at the end of August I spend a week housesitting for friends near the corner of 24th Street and Harrison in The Mission District of San Francisco. I’ve been doing this for about twelve years and every year I have a new interest in the neighborhood. Sometimes it’s a week of taco hunting. Other times it’s a week of exploring new hipster cafes and restaurants. One year it was all about ice cream.
This year the hunt was for color.
The Mission District, besides being very gritty, is a riot of color – from the murals, to the food, to the every day items like the gates that protect the residents and merchants from thievery and crime. It’s a reflection of the colorful immigrants that make up most of the neighborhood.
As I walked around the neighborhood this year, I made a discovery – it’s changing. The neighborhood is changing. While hipsters and cool cats and artists and musicians were always part of the character of this place, it has never been so obvious that the hipsters are working on taking over. Valencia Street is almost unrecognizable as the funky place it once was, when it was full of lesbians and book shops and thrift and vintage stores. But the fight for turf is not yet won and the neighborhood is not giving in. The neighborhood has gone full steam ahead by fighting gentrification with COLOR. Many of the older murals in the neighborhood are getting a makeover and many new murals have been added, while some of the ousted shops around Valencia Street, like Adobe Books, have moved down to lower 24th.
This blue gate just symbolized all of that for me. I don’t know why.
As I edit my images from the last week, I will post one from time to time. Moving into fall, with the color of The Mission.
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My images from The Mission will be up and available in my Alamy account over the next week.