You don’t have to be an architect to appreciate architecture. I’m going to be frank with you right now: I am not an architect. Nor am I some sort of architecture buff or historian. I simply love the buildings in my neighborhood — the bright colors and ornate facades just beg me to capture them, and fit perfectly with my style of high saturation and dreamy light blurs.
It’s actually very rare for me to walk down a Mission district block and not stop at least twice to snap a photo (or five). It’s rather entertaining to watch my dog roll her eyes at me because I stop more than she does. How could I not? I’m surrounded by bright beacons of color with the sun bouncing off the plentiful windows.
One of the interesting things is that this neighborhood actually gets a pretty bad rap. It hasn’t had the nicest of histories, and most recently was well-known as a squatter’s district. Since it is shielded by hills and protected from the cold fog that plagues most of the rest of the city, the Mission is the city’s warmest district, attracting those without proper housing. Today families of Latino descent hold the majority — since the ’50s, the Latino population in the Mission has doubled every 10 years — providing much of the current flavor. Recently, however, Silicon Valley insta-millionaires decided it was chic to live in the Mission, and the largely Latino community is slowly being displaced.
I hope that this article will inspire you a bit – perhaps open your eyes to a new neighborhood. I took the photos you see here over the last year or so, just imagine all the ones I’m not showing. Get out there, snap some photos, and share them with me on Instagram! @justthegritty and with Untapped Cities using #untappedcities hashtag.