Some of our favorite places were found on Haight Street and in Mission District. Both places are loud, colorful, and filled with culture. If I could have spent more time anywhere, it would have been in these two places.
We started the day walking all the way down Haight Street, but we were there too early and almost everything was closed. We took it slow and looped back around later to catch everything when it finally opened. The street is filled with book stores, cafes, vintage shops, and more. We popped in and out of different shops, spending the most time at the bookstores. At the end of the street was Ameoba Music, which used to be a bowling alley! The place is filled with records and we picked out an old one by The Shins to bring home with us as a souvenir.
The main reason we went to Mission District was to try La Taqueria. Everyone recommended the place and when we got there, the line was already out the door! A quartet was singing songs in Spanish outside the door, which kept us entertained until we finally got inside. Even then, the line was all through the restaurant, which gave us plenty of time to decide what to order. We got an order of veggie tacos, a chicken burrito, and an order of guacamole and chips. Everything was delicious - it definitely lived up to the hype.
Afterwards, we found Balmy Alley, which is known for their murals. We were lucky enough to witness a group of artists painting! My favorite one was a mural based on Where the Wild Things Are. As a school teacher, this is one of my favorite books to read to my class, but I especially loved the quote - “Don’t waste water and keep it clean because across the water is where we find the Wild Things.” Most of the murals were political in nature, and we felt like we were learning so much about the people of San Francisco just by seeing their art. The people we met there had such free spirits, curiosity, creativity, and made keeping the environment clean such a priority. All of those values are shown so clearly in their murals. I’ve never had that experience, where after seeing a people’s art, I felt so connected and like I knew so much about them. Art is the coolest thing.