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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

In the Mission

I thought with these 2 1/2 months I'd be getting around the city more, but that hasn't really happened. Instead, I've been spending more time in and around our neighborhood. I think it's primarily inertia related to transportation. It's easier to stay on foot, and it's possible to get and do just about everything in the 'hood.

Today, for instance, I walked/jogged 3 separate times, in 3 different directions. First in the morning, down Mission, Valencia, and Capp, to our branch of the public library. I returned 3 items we were finished with, all related to our recent trip to the DR: Lonely Planet's Latin American Spanish phrasebook, the Rough Guide to Merengue and Bachata CD, and Lonely Planet's guidebook to the DR (and Haiti). I left with only one book ("Merengue: Dominican Music and Dominican Idenitity" by Paul Austerlitz). Also picked up some onions and lemons at the 23rd & Mission market on the way home.

Second, Anj and I went for a vigourous walk into Dolores Heights in the middle of the afternoon. Across on 21st, up to the highest point up there, and back down through Dolores Park.

Finally, I ran down to our post office at 23rd and S. Van Ness to try to get our held mail. They redirected me to the post office at 16th and Bryant, so I jogged over there. But they didn't have our mail either, so I just ran home.

I am beginning to feel how the neighborhood approximates a small town, or a village.

There was an article in the Travel section of the NYT last November about our neighborhood, which I've saved with the intention of posting. It's pretty good, with some interesting bits about the history of the area. Here's the link, and the first few paragraphs:

San Francisco's Mission District: Eclectic, Eccentric, Electric
By GREGORY DICUM
Published: November 20, 2005
From the rooftop patio of Medjool, a new restaurant in the Mission district of San Francisco, the entire neighborhood is laid out like a flamboyant mosaic. Ranks of painted ladies - San Francisco's ornate wooden Victorians - rise to Twin Peaks in the west, the hills that block the city's infamous fog and make the Mission one of the city's warmest and sunniest neighborhoods. This terrace is the perfect spot for watching the cottony wave of evening fog roll into downtown, for the sky in the Mission remains crystalline.

At the intersection below, an animated scene of daily life unfolds: sidewalk vendors sell yucca flowers and avocados, blue-haired anarchist daddies push strollers, young men loiter at the corner, Central American housewives and vegan lesbian tattoo artists shop for fresh handmade tortillas.

"I try to get anybody coming to San Francisco to come to the Mission," said Dave Eggers, the best-selling author who set up the first of his community writing schools here. "Not to misuse the word 'authentic' - I think that's such a troubling word - but the Mission really does have all the best parts of San Francisco intersecting here."

That Medjool spot is at 21st and Mission, about 3 blocks from us. It's a bit too much of an upscale scene to be somewhere we frequent, but we have been up to that rooftop patio twice, and the view is spectacular.

Then again, the view from our roof is pretty good too. I'll have to get up there, take some photos, and post them.

1 comment:

Heather Becker said...

Hey Suman--YES!! Get up on the roof and take some shots. Love to see them!