Posted: February 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

The history of San Francisco holds a rich tradition of cross cultural eclecticism, diversity in the arts, radical social politics, accompanied by a more modern desire to be a leader in technological development. One such district that holds a variety of these elements is none other than San Francisco’s Mission district, otherwise know as ” The Mission.” The boundaries of the neighborhood are US route 101 to the east which is better known as the ” Inner Mission,” while Sanchez Street separates the neighborhoods of ” the Castro” and Noe Valley to the west. A very specific part of the Mission, north of 20th st. is better known as Mission Dolores and is the home to San Francisco’s Mission, which is part of a greater chain of California’s historical Missions spanning up the pacific coast from Mexico. In recent years following some re-development and “City Hype”, Dolores Park, a centrally located community park of San Francisco has become a trendy destination spot for tourist, new city patrons and is also located in Mission Dolores.

Durning the early 19th and 20th century it was noted that large groups of Irish and German immigrants migrated into the area. However, with the damage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, many of them and their businesses were displaced to different districts of San Francisco during the rebuilding of the city. In the 1980’s great numbers of Mexicans, Central and South Americans relocated to San Francisco’s Mission district fleeing civil wars, political unrest and financial instability. These Mexican and Spanish immigrants set up banks and companies that still line the Mission Street. As a results this great migration of the 80’s has led to the latino vibe of the Mission today.
Throughout the 1990’s, the Mission maintained a unique balance amongst its Latino roots and gritty street boho and art scene subcultures. However with the developments of new technology start ups and business ventures, the overfed era came to rise in the Mission. With the sudden influx of new city dwellers and businesses, real estate prices rose dramatically threatening not on the working class community, but altering the city’s epicenter of all things edgy, hip and cool. Artist, musicians, local merchants and long time latino neighborhood residents faced a new breed of city dwellers, some call them working professionals, while others tend to use the term ” Yuppies” in disdain. Individuals were forced out of their urban dwellings into the east bay or further out to the outer Mission, which lies south of the 280 south. New start ups and wealthier people able to afford the inflating rental market at the time slowly were taking over more central parts of the district.
With a population that is half latino, a third white and 11 percent Asian, the Mission district was experiencing the common development process which many city dwellers refer to as ” Gentrification.” As the era deflated after the year 2001, the Mission was left in ruins financially with failed businesses lining Mission, South Van Ness and Valencia streets. For about three years, the district began to redefine itself, maintaining some businesses, and seeing a rebirth in music, club culture and restauranteurs. Such bars as Cassanova, Beauty Bar and Delerium retained their usually neighborhood local crowds and provided an affordable venue for local musicians to brave the stage with their new songs. Today in 2011 following the Gavin Newsom years, the inner Mission is seeing some growth again. With the rise of social networking companies such as Myspace, Facebook, LInkedIn, and Google, new coffee shops and restaurants are opening up along the more popular sections near Valencia and 16th street, along with 24th and Mission. New uber coffee shops such as ” The Summit offer cheap office space for start up’s and social networking companies seeking to save money on renting office space. Consider it an extending stay america for hip twenty to thirty somethings with a big idea! In the last six months alone, I myself have witnessed the opening of about four new high end four star restaurants. Though these developments may resemble some similarities to the late 1990’s, it seems as though the Mission and its inhabitants are still sharing the streets and community in a positive way. Annual street fairs such as the 18th street block party, show that regardless of who moves in, someone is interested in retaining some history and constant rebirth of the Mission District.


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