Balmy Alley is a block long alley filled with a collection of colorful murals located in the Mission District between 24th street and Garfield Square. The alley includes a current painting of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, a mural describing gentrification in the Mission, and human rights. The earliest mural in the alley date to 1972 painted by a woman named Maria Galivez and children in a local child care center.
TIP: Balmy Alley is best viewed by foot or on a guided tour through Precita Eyes Muralists.
Here is a video from my recent visit to Balmy Alley (dated March 2017). Please note that if you plan on visiting the alley in the future, the murals constantly change so some of the artwork that you see in my video may not be there when you do decide to go.
This photo was taken from one of the alleyways off 24th Street. Throughout the Mission, you will find murals and graffiti art painted on walls and fences.
I grew up down the street near Dolores Park. My family rented an an apartment off 16th and Dolores. In the early 1970’s to early 80’s, my family paid roughly around $300 a month for rent. But since the tech boom in the 90’s and recent years, young professionals moved into the neighborhood initiating gentrification, raising rent and housing prices. I was browsing on YouTube and found this video describing gentrification in the Mission District. The neighborhood has changed a lot since I moved out of San Francisco. Check it out!
PLACES TO VISIT
- Mission San Francisco de Asis (Mission Dolores Church), the oldest standing building in San Francisco, located on 16th and Dolores
- Dolores Park (located near the Mission Dolores Church) I will cover more about Dolores Park another day
- Precita Eyes Muralists
- Alley Cat Books, 24th Street and Treat
- Dianda’s Italian Pastry (My personal recommendation), 2883 Mission Street
- Clarion Alley and Balmy Alley for the street art enthusiasts
- “I hate food.” said no one ever! Dozens of taquerias are located throughout the neighborhood. If you’re craving tacos, the Mission District is the epicenter of authentic Mexican Food. It is also know to have a high concentration of Guatemalan, Salvadorean, and Nicaraguan restaurants. If you want to try a really good burrito, I highly recommend Papalote SF off 24th and Mission – don’t leave the restaurant without taking home a jar of their Roasted Tomato Salsa!
- Public Transportation is highly recommended to avoid spending countless minutes looking for a parking spot. If you plan to travel by BART, you can either get off at the 16th Street Bart Station or 24th Street Bart Station. By bus, you can take the 14 MISSION.