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Located in the heart of the city in Mission District, Valencia Street boasts a hipster and offbeat vibe. It is lined by charming boutiques, thrift stores, art galleries, restaurants, dive bars and coffeehouses. Explore this eclectic street and don't miss the paintings and graffiti at Clarion Alley.
The Women's Building is multi-ethnic and a multi cultural service center for women and girls, wherein they are provided with skills and resources so as to have an equal and important role to play in society. The colorful mural that covers this building, Maestrapeace, portrays famous women of the last century. Images include Georgia O'Keefe and Audre Lord. Ten San Francisco artists and 80 female volunteers, some of them local school children, painted this mural in 1994. Not only is this most colorful mural in the city, it is also the largest. It was founded in 1971 and is owned by women as well as operated by them. This center helps women and girls to be self-sufficient by providing them with certain services and programs. They also educate women and girls. It also rents out the space for private functions. For further details, check the website.
One end of the Clarion Alley is marked by the Mission Street and the other end is marked by the Valencia Street. This small alley is huge on creativity and vibrant colors give a lovely dimension to it. Not only are the walls adorned with murals but the street also has lovely paintings on it. The place is perfect for clicking loads of pictures and it is also a nice spot where you can stand and analyse the artists' state of mind while drawing these beautiful pictures. When in San Francisco, the Clarion Alley should not be missed.
A walk through the alleys of what is known to be San Francisco's pioneering neighborhood, the Mission District, is where the graffiti movement all began. The Latino community that called this place home back in the 1970s brought along the unique tradition to The City by the Bay. The artistic expressions began as an outrage against human rights violations in Central America and the murals depicted today continue to be inspired by social and political occurrences the world over. Balmy Alley keeps the city's heritage rich and diverse with paintings on building walls, garage doors, fences and facades. Clarion Alley followed suit, thus contributing to the district's epicenter status of the San Franciscan custom.
The northernmost of the California missions founded by Father Junipero Serra, this mission is the oldest structure in San Francisco, dating back to 1788. Walk inside and behold Spanish Colonial San Francisco beneath roof beams held together with rawhide strips. The graveyard includes the remains of both noble colonial families and the Native Americans who were conscripted to build and then serve the Mission. The museum houses artifacts and manuscripts.
The much celebrated Armory Studios building was constructed in 1914, and is also referred to as the San Francisco Armory or the San Francisco National Guard Armory and Arsenal. The building has played host to many organizations over the years but now hosts live events and tours. The mature nature of the tours make them inappropriate for children. Check out the Armory Studios website for more information. Â
Street art in San Francisco has always been a part of the cultural fabric, from the Dogpatch neighborhood to North Beach. Here in the Mission, street-art is taken to another level in the form of entire murals dedicated along tranquil alleys. On Balmy Street Alley, local artists and residents style the walls, gates and doors in various depictions of city life and abstract thought. Some murals highlight political and sociocultural issues, others offer a more fantastical theme, but one thing everyone can agree on, Balmy Street is one of the city's off-the-beaten paths and merits a visit when in the Mission. Besides that, it's a free art show in expensive San Francisco.
Hailed as San Francisco's real 'crookedest' street, Vermont Street is a hidden gem often overshadowed by Lombard Street. Tucked away between 20th and 22nd Streets in the Potrero Hill neighborhood, this winding road is full of hairpin turns and switchbacks. Unlike Lombard, Vermont Street doesn't see many tourists, so walking paths are limited. However, ask any tour guide and they'll confirm Vermont is indeed, the 'crookedest' street, making it a San Francisco must see!