as the case may be.

I was on my way to our listings at: 3102 25th Street, 3104 25th Street and 3106 25th Street in San Francisco last week and up out of nowhere jumped Balmy Alley (it’s right next door).  It’s not the first time I’ve been to this famous spot in the Mission.  Rewind 15 years and you’ll find me, a wide-eyed tourist, taking a Precita Eyes Mural tour and standing in awe in front of the murals lining both sides of this block-long alley.  No longer there today, “Camino el Mercado/On the Way to the Market” by Ray Patlan remains a favorite:

Camino el Mercado/On the Way to the Market by Ray Patlan

I couldn’t resist and I turned down the alley to take a look.  Some of the murals that I remember have been removed and new ones have taken their place — they are all still beautiful and amazing.  There were several other people, taking photos, letting the images sink in, standing up close to the garage doors and backyard walls, witnessing the stories being told.

Mural painting on Balmy Alley dates back to 1972 and the efforts of two women, Patricia Rodriquez and Graciela Carillo, founders of the collective known as Las Mujeres Muralistas.  In 1984, a larger project, orchestrated by Ray Patlan, installed many more murals in the alley.  Those murals had a common theme of celebrating indigenous cultures of Central American and protesting US involvement in Central America.  The Mission is special in too many ways to count and its incredible collection of public art murals is one way in which this neighborhood shines brightly.

It’s not so bad being a tourist in your own city every now and then.

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