With its eclecticism, creativity, and unique beauty, San Francisco has starred in many movies (Blue Jasmine
being a recent example). Some of the city’s most colorful scenery is found in the Mission District, where hundreds of murals line a few blocks. One of the best ways to see them is with the nonprofit Precita Eyes
; their weekend walking tours offer an up-close experience of the artistic and historical significance of the works. Depictions cover everything from Central America’s political struggles and local street life to the women’s movement and pop culture. The walk travels down Balmy Alley, where 40 murals decorate a narrow stretch between Folsom and Harrison Streets. The first mural painted here was in 1971. Today old and new works share the space (and because acrylic paint is used, the art maintains its vibrancy). If you’d rather see the murals on your own time, pick up a map at Precita Eyes and opt for a do-it-yourself outing. Whatever your art desires.
TIP: After cruising around the Mission looking at intriguing art, refuel with some tasty authentic Mexican food. Roosevelt Tamale Parlor (2817 24th Street) has softball-size “famous round tamales” made with organic ingredients. Artistic impressions all around.
Precita Eyes, 2981 24th St., San Francisco, (415) 285-2287, has various mural walking tours on weekends. Visit their website for more information on dates and times.