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I have a thing for street art. Murals, light projects, sculptures. I’m not exactly sure when this started or why, but whenever I’m in a new place, I’m drawn to public art. San Francisco has a ton of it, especially in the Mission District. There’s a legacy of political and cultural murals in the community and after I had a fabulous lunch in Emeryville with my friend and fellow journalist/romance author Stacy Finz, I had to cross the bay and check out the street art.

 

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I visited two alleys known for their murals and the walk in between was also chock full of amazing visual treats. Clarion Alley was my first stop, and it was an easy walk from the 16th Street BART station. Here’s a link to a good article that explains how to take public transportation to these places.

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Although the Mission neighborhood is becoming more gentrified (I noticed lots of fashion pop-up stores) it still retains some of its original Latino culture. Many of the murals reflect that, while others are a mirror of the city’s progressive heritage.

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About halfway down the block in the first mural, I looked up to see a tall, gorgeous woman who looked very familiar. Then I realized: it was Erlina Ortiz, the playwright and fellow Amtrak Resident I’d met the day before on the train. San Francisco serendipity! Of course we had to take a selfie.

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I covered the Pulse shootings in Orlando and I always start to cry when I see any public displays of acknowledgement of the  tragedy. I think our country has forgotten this horrific incident all too quickly.

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