If I had billions of dollars I would buy all of the old theaters in the Mission and refurbish them. I think about this every time I walk down Mission Street.
I love my neighborhood; from the most beautiful parts to the most dilapidated. It is an amazing sort of living history. And the history of the Mission District is unique among a collection of unique neighborhood histories in San Francisco. Obviously, totally Mexican pre-Guadalupe Hidalgo, the neighborhood has had shifting ethnic and economic characteristics over the years. The district grew up around Valencia(no), Guerrero, Dolores, Bernal, Noe and De Haro streets reflecting the history of the place by keeping all the old rancheros around at least in name. The Mission was also home to the first baseball stadium in California (at Folsom and 25th). Home to Irish immigrants, then German and Polish in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the 1940s saw the beginning of the Mexican immigrant influx, which in turn lead to white flight and establishing the Chicano flavor that is more characteristic of modern ideas of the Mission (which now includes South and Central Americans as well.) Always known as a place where people could come and party away from the watchful eyes of other neighborhoods, the Mission is still one of the main food, drink and music destinations for people from all over San Francisco.
When I walk around I cannot help but think about how it must have looked in its heyday. Amazing old buildings, wide streets and sidewalks, colorful people. Recently, I started looking into doing a rephotography project, we will see how that goes. Some of the archives are available online here and here.
For now, here is some more of one of my mornings in the Mission.
All photos shot with Canon EOS 400DSLR by Me. 🙂