I was a little hesitant to visit the Mission District in San Francisco, just because so many people had recommended it to me. I was worried it would be too trendy, too weird, maybe trying a bit too hard.
But after Jordan headed back to Phoenix and I had checked off pretty much every touristy thing on my San Francisco to-do list, I made my way to the Mission District on my last morning. I mainly went to try a restaurant that had a grilled cheese sandwich with macaroni and cheese inside (SO GOOD), but also to see what the fuss was about.
As I wandered down Valencia Street I was struck by how much this part of San Francisco reminded me of Brooklyn (which is where I live). There were trendy coffee shops, an alternative bookstore, a mixture of boutiques and thrift shops. It was cool, to be sure, but I hardly felt like I was on the other side of the country from my home borough.
But then – I stumbled upon Clarion Alley, which is apparently one of several alleys in the Mission donning street art. And I loved it! Not only was the art gorgeous and colorful, it was all purposeful – there were murals protesting everything from capitalism to high housing prices (something this New Yorker can definitely relate to).
All in all, Clarion Alley (and that sandwich, let’s be real) made my visit to the Mission District well worth the long bus ride from North Beach. Sometimes places are popular for a reason!