“Welcome to the Mission!” These are the words of many of the locals of this sublime district. The colors, the restaurants, the murals ,the culture, and the people give this District a unique character that can only be experienced by treading its lively streets. During this past weekend, I had the opportunity to take a trip down to the Mission, where according to many of the locals was the hot spot for many reasons. They passionately shared their love for the weather, the restaurants, the parks, and the sea of cultures that live together in one community. While walking down many of the streets, I noticed a plethora of colorful murals that expressed the deep rooted Latino influence on the District and the art culture that seems to be embedded in its inception. From speaking to a diverse group of locals, I had the pleasure of learning about this district from a variety of different perspectives, ranging from teenagers, to the elderly, and all those in between.
Initially, the locals tickled my ears with all the wonderful assets that this district had to offer. They were more than elated to give me a taste of their side of town! Its close proximity to public transportation seemed to be a major perk for commuters who worked in other districts ,as I am sure it is for the majority of Northern California residents. Many of the locals also raved about the great variety of bars, cafes, and restaurants in the Mission which serve as a major addition to the uniqueness of the district. In addition to the major eateries, they did not hold back their love for the famous Dolores Park that not only attracts the locals but also the tourist and visitors that come to get a taste of San Francisco. According to the locals, this park is known for its cultural diversity, its festivals and concerts, and its great weather. As excited as the locals were to share the advantages of living in the Mission, they were not afraid to share their dislikes about the place they call home. From my interviews, the most trending complaint was concerning the large homeless population, which according to many of them seem to be a nuisance and threat to their safety. Many of them shared their personal experiences with frequently encountering feces and urine on the streets and violent behavior. As I continued to explore the district, I could not help but attempt to picture how the mission looked before its gentrification process began.
I knew that I was not the only person who was interested in this process and having met one passionate local who felt the same way was a great informative experience for me. Although many of the locals raved about many of the benefits of this process, this passionate young man seemed to be slightly upset by the gentrification process. He expressed that this process took away many of the “grit” of the area, referring to its authenticity. He also expressed that this process has really caused the area to become very crowded ,especially during the weekends, and has also caused a substantial rent increase that he says many locals are upset about. This process truly seemed to benefit some and hinder others, but throughout my visit, here in the Mission, I began to see the beauty of the district and the reason why many people decide to call this place home. Its cultural diversity and lively atmosphere is very alluring and is a great reason to want to be part of a trending and growing district.