Category Archives: History Tour

Explore San Francisco: Explore The Folsom District. Free Event

Explore San Francisco: The Folsom District

Free Event This Saturday July 14th

 We’ll start in the heart of the old SOMA District, “South Of the Slot”.  See this blue collar neighborhood as it used to be before re-development.  Then we will travel to a former gay entertainment strip, the area is now commonly called, “Crack Alley”.  Before it is destroyed forever, see the Hugo Hotel and the world famous art installation known as, “Defenestration”.
Next up, we’ll cruise the 1970’s “Miracle Mile” of the Folsom District. This area was Mecca for the Gay Leather community and withstood re-development until the AIDS crisis of the 1980’s decimated much of the population, leaving the community weakened and vulnerable. The Folsom Street Fair was created out of this crisis, and is the largest leather/fetish event in the world and the third largest, single-day outdoor event in California. We will see the Fairgrounds but we are really here to celebrate the Folsom’s heyday. During that time this area boasted over 30 gay bars and bath houses, as well as lesbian bars, shops, hotels, retail, private sex clubs, eateries and motorcycle clubs. This was called the “Valley of the Kings“, and you will see why.
We will stop at Wicked Grounds ‘kink” coffee shop for refreshments and snacks. Shopping stops and tours are at Mr. S Leather and Good Vibrations. Many more stops and places of interest are included on this one of a kind tour. This tour ticket does not include the Armory. Please see The Folsom District & The Armory listing if you wish to attend both. For further information please call 415.793.1104 or email info@exploresf.biz

To reserve your space for this free event please sign up at: http://www.facebook.com/events/200800926712135/

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EXPLORE San Francisco: The Folsom District

Folsom District Walking Tour- Free Event…

Public Event · By Explore San Francisco

Image
  • Sunday July 1st 2012
  • 1:15pm until 3:00pm
  • Meet on Mission Street at 4th
  • Adults only
  • Sign up on Facebook

We’ll start in the heart of the old SOMA District, “South Of the Slot”. See this blue collar neighborhood
as it used to be, before re-development.

Then we will travel to a former gay entertainment strip, the area
is now commonly called, “Crack Alley”.

Before it is destroyed forever, see the fantastic Hugo Hotel and
the world famous art installation known as, “Defenestration”. Watch out for falling furniture…

Next up, we’ll cruise the 1970′s “Miracle Mile” of the Folsom District. This area was Mecca for the Gay Leather community
and withstood re-development and thrived for a couple decades until the AIDS crisis of the
1980′s decimated much of the population, leaving the
community weakened and vulnerable.
The Folsom Street Fair was created
out of this crisis, and is the largest leather/fetish event in the
world and the third largest, single-day outdoor event in California.

English: Folsom Street Fair banner (simplified...

Folsom Street Fair banner

We will see the Fairgrounds but we are really here to celebrate the Folsom’s heyday. During that time this area bosted over 30 gay bars and bathhouses, as well as lesbian bars, shops, hotels, retail, private sex clubs, eateries and motorcycle clubs. This was called the “Valley of the Kings”, and you will see why.

We will stop at Wicked Grounds ‘kink” coffee shop for refreshments and snacks.
Shopping stops are at Mr. S Leather and Good Vibrations.
Many more stops and places of interest are included on this “one of a kind” tour.

This tour ticket does not include the Armory. Please see The Folsom District & The Armory listing if you would like to attend this tour.

For further information please call 415.793.1104 or email info@exploresf.biz.

This is a free event but guides will gladly accept tips.

Image

http://exploresf.biz/folsom.html


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"Explore Pride Tours 2012"

 

Pride 2012

Gay owned and operated,Explore San Francisco is pleased to announce Pride Tours 2012. Want to see the city above and beyond the parade, festival and the clubs? We offer the GLBT community tours and sightseeing within our community but outside of the box. Food tours, walking tours, running tours, 1970s Folsom District walk, or even porn studio tours. We accomodate groups and we offer sightseeing with transport provided by van service, SUV or town car. You may find the perfect choice from our regular itinerary or let us create something special for you. Please call the Pride Desk at 415.793.1104 or email pride@exploresf.biz

Scenic Running

Scenic RunningSan Francisco is the perfect city for running, incomparable scenery, varied terrain and mild temperatures. Take one of our scheduled runs or let us lead you on a custom run.

 

North Beach & Chinatown

North Beach & Chinatown at NightThis tour is very social, we have fun and friendships are made. Maybe its the wine or exotic teas, good food, the company or the vibrant area, but if youre looking for a great evening, you cant go wrong with this fun event.This is part of our regular line up, 4 or more and well have a GLBT outing.

 

Neighborhood Tours

Side StreetsSan Francisco, California is one of the most walkable cities in the country. We have walking tours all over the city. Choose from our regular line up of tours, or let us design something for you. 415.793.1104

 

Folsom- Armory

Folsom DistrictRelive the 1970s Miracle Mile and The Folsom District in all of its glory. See just the Folsom or combine this with a tour of the SF Armory, home of Kink.com. Select tours go to Treasure Island MediaUpon Request

 

Upon Request

Anniversary or birthday celebration, Pride Party to never forget, personal milestone, marriage proposal, business proposal, romantic evening or just something new and different. Give us your vision and let us expertly and meticulously make your extraordinary event a lifetime memory. 415.793.1104

Shuttle, Van, Towncar

Shuttle, Van or Town CarANapa, The Russian River, Black Sand Beach, or San Gregorio are all popular GLBT destinations within driving distance. We have transportation for any size group. Please call the Pride Desk for these spots or anywhere else you might like to see! 415.793.110

via “Explore Pride Tours 2012”.

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San Francisco — the Good Stuff!!!

DISCOVER SAN FRANCISCO From Sparkletack

 

San Francisco History, Photo Archives, Map Archives, Walking Tours, Museums, Online Resources, Running Tours and Historical Organizations

History Resources
  • April 18, 1906“Exploring San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake and fire through the photographic archive” — A new and interesting project, which pulls out individual period photos and digs in deep.
  • Bay Time Reporter
    A series of smart, funny and insightful columns on a staggering array of Bay Area historical (and contemporary) subjects, written by the inimitable Paul Potocky. Highly recommended… the man can write.
  • California Business History
    Don’t be put off by the awkward design; this site is actually packed with timelines, photographs and histories of California (and San Francisco) businesses.
  • California Historical Society
    The grand-daddy of California history in its physical incarnation, the Society’s website features an online guide to over 300 years of California history. This resource includes over 400 images from their fine arts, library, and photography collections.
  • Library of Congress
    The “American Memory Project” — just type “San Francisco” into the search bar and jump back at the flood of photos and historical artifacts… this is the Library of Congress, after all!
  • Market Street Railway
    All things “streetcar”, packed with historical articles and photos — the home of the brand new “San Francisco Railway Museum”
  • Mister SF
    Long time chronicler of the city’s faces and places. This website features countless short takes on aspects of life in our favourite city — local joints, the vanishing of favourite haunts, literary/cinematic history and more.
  • Online Archive of California
    A part of the “Digital Library of California” — over 1,000 texts available. These include transcripts of oral histories, personal narratives, letters, press releases, newspaper articles, and other types of documents.
  • Russian Hill Neighbors
    Small site — couple of nice walking tours and a guide to neighborhood architectural styles, run by a non-profit neighborhood association.
  • San Francisco Genealogy
    An incredibly rich and comprehensive collection of historical sources — always my first stop on quests for information. Many primary sources, maps, and a forum where host Ron Filion helps answer your San Francisco history questions.
  • San Francisco Memories
    A loving tribute to our fair city from a passionate collector of San Francisco ephemera — photo intensive and quite lovely.
  • San Francisco Virtual Museum
    A long running and deep archive dedicated to historical accuracy, curated by the energetic Gladys Hanson. A terrific source for primary texts & photos, currently featuring major exhibits on the Gold Rush, Golden Gate Bridge, and ’06 Quake.
  • The Western Neighborhoods Project
    “Preserving the history of San Francisco’s West side” — An excellent site featuring photos, memories, and passionately in-depth essays documenting the lesser-known half of San Francisco.

Historical Photo & Map Archives

  • America Hurrah!
    A little treasure trove of California historiana with a San Francisco slant — click on a link and a map, reminiscence, or who knows what may result. Good fun…
  • April 18, 1906
    “Exploring San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake and fire through the photographic archive” — A new and interesting project, which pulls out individual period photos and digs in deep.
  • Calisphere – University of California
    A part of the “Digital Library of California” — More than 150,000 digitized items, including photographs, documents, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, advertising, and more…
  • Charles Cushman Photograph Collection
    Charles Cushman, amateur photographer, bequeathed 14,500 Kodachrome color slides to Indiana University. Hundreds are of San Francisco in the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s.
  • Old SF
    Interactive map of the SF Public Library’s Historical Photograph Collection, which contains 40,000 digitized images from San Francisco’s past.
  • Online Archive of California
    A part of the “Digital Library of California” — access to tens of thousands of photographs, paintings, graphical materials and other images, which can be organized by topic.
  • Rails Around the Bay
    Frank Caron is an Amtrak engineer and passionate rail buff. His website focuses on railroads operating in and around the greater San Francisco Bay Area, including the history of operations in the area, maps, drawings and historical diagrams.
  • Rumsey Historic Map Collection
    This stunning collection of cartographic ephemera from the 18th and 19th centuries includes atlases, globes, school geographies, books, maritime charts, and more. Insanely cool.
  • SF Images
    Images of the past and present day, people and places, structures and landscapes. Large collection of historical photographs, from pre-Gold Rush times to today, all digitally mastered at high resolution.

San Francisco Walking  and Running Tours

  • Barbary Coast Trail
    The famous self-guided walking tour — follow the bronze medallions in the sidewalk!
  • Oakland Walking Tours
    Free walking tours of historic downtown Oakland — explore the Railroad Era, Chinatown, Art Deco Uptown, the Jack London Waterfront, Preservation Park and so much more. Sponsored by the City of Oakland.
  • San Francisco Tour Guide Guild
    “A professional, non-profit corporation of experienced tour guides and members of the travel industry.” They maintain the prefessionalism of the industry through tour guide certification, but also offer their own tours.
  • Walking in San Francisco for Health and History
    “Meet other locals interested in walking for fitness and in learning about the history of San Francisco. Most Saturdays we go on long walks that have great variety in distance, stair climbing, and amount of history information. Walks are free.”
  • Explore SF
    Explore SF offers unique tours that from a local perspective that for the most part avoid anything touristy. Each tour offers something above and beyond a normal tour, be it  lunch and a spa visit in Japantown,  Wine Country in the City,  1970’s Folsom District Tour, Sin Francisco to the SF Armory or a WIld Parrot Safari, “These tours are not to be missed.”

  • SF Scenic Running ToursThe newest trend in staying in shape and meeting new people. Running
    tours led by professional trainers and experienced guides, all of whom are
    locals, and they take you on the most beautiful runs through the most
    breathtaking city in the world. We challenge you to find a more positive way to see San Francisco. If you can find one, we’ll pay your way…

San Francisco Museums and Archives

  • Bancroft Library
    California’s memory bank on the UC Berkeley campus, one of the largest special collections in the U.S. Includes the Mark Twain Papers, Regional Oral History Office, UC Archives, History of Science & Technology Program, & Pictorial Collection.
  • San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum
    Documenting and preserving the Bay Area’s rich performing arts heritage from the Gold Rush to today – and making it available to us! Programs, events, exhibitions, and the fabulous library. Based on dancer Russell Hartley’s private collection, ca 1947.
  • Treasure Island Museum
    Once upon a time there was a museum on Treasure Island. Someday it may return, but ’til then, enjoy the museum’s website, featuring a “Memory Book” message board, info about the collections in storage, and “Treasures”, an illustrated history of the Fair.
  • Wells Fargo History MuseumThis colorful museum features a beautiful stagecoach, piles of real gold, and many other exhibits focusing on San Francisco’s Gold Rush history. Even cooler, it’s located on the very spot in which Wells Fargo opened for business in 1852!

Contemporary Online San Francisco

  • FunCheap SF
    “Finding fun and cheap stuff to do San Francisco and around the Bay Area.” Yahoo group dedicated to having fun in the Bay Area on the cheap. Good stuff!
  • San Francisco Virtual Tour
    “An interactive photo documentary Walking Virtual Tour” — and that’s just what we have here, a staggering amount of work. Kudos!
  • SF Journey (German language)
    A German-language travel guide to San Francisco and the West Coast: “Ihrem Reiseführer nach San Francisco an der Westküste der USA”
  • Wells Fargo History Museum
    This colorful museum features a beautiful stagecoach, piles of real gold, and many other exhibits focusing on San Francisco’s Gold Rush history. Even cooler, it’s located on the very spot in which Wells Fargo opened for business in 1852!

San Francisco History Organizations

  • San Francisco History Association
    A group “Dedicated to Remembering San Francisco’s Past” — they sponsor regular talks, slide shows, and guest speakers on a fantastically diverse array of subjects.
  • San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Historical Society
    Often referred to as San Francisco’s “queer Smithsonian,” the GLBT Historical Society houses one of the world’s largest collections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender historical materials. The society’s GLBT History Museum is the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States.
  • San Francisco History Museum and Historical Society
    The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society is dedicated to preserving, interpreting and presenting the historical heritage of San Francisco.

  • Treasure Island Museum
    Once upon a time there was a museum on Treasure Island. Someday it may return, but ’til then, enjoy the museum’s website, featuring a “Memory Book” message board, info about the collections in storage, and “Treasures”, an illustrated history of the Fair.
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CHERRY, Starring: James Franco and Heather Graham

 

CHERRY, Starring: James Franco and Heather Graham

Filmed at The SF Armory, home of kink.com

 

Kink star Lorelei Lee and Stephen Elliott’s porn story ‘Cherry’ had its SF debut at SFIFF (April 24, 27, 28)

STILL FROM CHERRY

Kink.com is getting its star turn in the mainstream media – everyone’s favorite historic-building-cum-porn-palace served as the shooting locaiton for the movie that Stephen Elliott and Kink star Lorelei Lee penned, Cherry (trailer here). The flick, which makes its San Francisco debut at the SF International Film Festival (April 24, 27, 28) stars James Franco and Heather Graham, who plays a female director at a porn company.

It isn’t Kink in the movie, exactly — it’s not a BDSM company, for one. And I met up with Lee at Thieves Tavern this week and she told me that despite the vocation of Cherry’s protagonist, she didn’t consider it a movie based in sex-positive activism.

“You can really destroy a movie by making it too political,” said the NYU student and star of multiple Kink sites, over a glass of red wine. Lee says she and co-writer Elliott wanted to write a story with a happy ending (er, spoiler alert.) “I think it’s a complicated story that doesn’t try to sell you on anything.” Of course, showing happy, functioning sex workers should be considered activism in and of itself these days.

Theirs isn’t the only project that uses the Armory as a backdrop for for an upcoming non-NSFW film. Filmmaker Simone Jude has been shooting a documentary on the lives of Kink’s women – Lee, Isis Love, and Princess Donna primarily — for the last four years. The trailer looks fucking awesome, and Jude needs your Kickstarting help funding the final editing process.

The three women portrayed are total badasses, and it’d be great if this film could recieve the same kind of exposure that Cherry, which picked up IFC as its distributor and is being slated for a limited-city release, is enjoying. With all the sex-negative politicking going on these days, we could use some more high profile looks at women who refuse to let conservative social norms guide their views of fucking. People need to be exposed to that kind of stuff. Or at least, as Lee told me “I hope that they leave the theater feeling like they’ve watched a movie about real people.”

And now for your week in sex events.

“A Taste for Brown Sugar: The History of Black Women in American Pornography”

English: Interview with Oscar nominee James Franco

English: Interview with Oscar nominee James Franco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rad lecture alert: University of California Santa Barbara professor Mireille Miller-Young will be giving a talk about her much-needed manuscript examining the history of black women in porn this afternoon. Miller-Young’s work tends to focus on race, gender, and sexuality as it appears in sex work and popular culture and she is also currently collaborating with sex-positive author Tristan Taormino and others on The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure.

 

 

 

 

EXPLORE SAN FRANCISCO SF ARMORY TOURS 

 

SF Armory Tours ExploreSF

 

EXPLORE SAN FRANCISCO SF ARMORY TOURS 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Folsom District

Folsom District- SF Armory Tours

 

EXPLORE SAN FRANCISCO FOLSOM DISTRICT TO ARMORY TOURS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Dolores to Armory Tours

 

EXPLORE SAN FRANCISCO MISSION DOLORES TO SF ARMORY TOURS

 

 

 

 

 

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Alcatraz and Historic San Francisco, From Gold Rush To Silver Boom

FROM BACKWATER BOOMTOWN TO BOOMING METROPOLIS

 

San Francisco became a city during the Gold Rush of 1849, prior to that it was a sleepy backwater named Yerba Buena. But soon after the Gold Rush came years of economic insecurity and then, financial panic. That all changed in 1859.

The discovery of silver in the Comstock Lode would transform San Francisco from boomtown to metropolis. The era ushered in the Gilded Age that would last until the early 20th Century. The Gilded Age was a time of great wealth, corruption and Corporate interests bribed governments, locally and nationally. Some of the world’s greatest fortunes were made and lost during the silver boom. The “Big Four”Leland Stanford, Collis P Huntington, Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins would dominate the city, link the country via railroad, and bring in tens of thousands of Chinese workers who were despised by their neighbors;  yet Chinatown thrives to this day.

 

<Wild SF parrots>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because the political landscape was considered so corrupt, an emperor was
proclaimed in 1859, lived in San Francisco and may or may not have wandered the city with two dogs. He printed his own currency that was accepted all over San Francisco.
He fired President Lincoln and abolished Congress, attempted to solve the civil war and end anti-Chinese sentiment. He also ordered the building of the Oakland Bay Bridge and the Transbay Tube in the 1860’s. The self
proclaimed Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I was the Emperor of the US and Protector
of Mexico. He declared himself the Protector of Mexico in response to the French
invasion of Mexico in 1861. Luckily, on Cinco de Mayo 1867, Mexico ousted the French
so the Emperor did not have to send any American troops.

English: Image of His Imperial Majesty Emperor...

Image of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I

 

Emperor Norton bans the F-Word

Whoever after due and proper warning shall be heard to utter the abominable word “Frisco,” which has no linguistic or other warrant, shall be deemed guilty of a High Misdemeanor, and shall pay into the Imperial Treasury as penalty the sum of twenty-five dollars.

1872

 

English: Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro (April 2...

Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro (April 29 1830 - August 8, 1898)

 

Adolph Sutro was the King Of the Comstock, he also became a defender of the common
man and fought to break up the control that monopolies had on the everyday citizen.He spent great amounts of money on gifts to the population of San Francisco. He built  He built
the Sutro Baths and also built a railroad from downtown to his bathhouse, the train fare
was a nickel. He became the city’s first Jewish Mayor. He built
the Sutro Baths and also built a railroad from downtown to his bathhouse, the train fare
was a nickel. He became the city’s second Jewish Mayor. Although, not remembered for
being a great mayor, as a citizen he was beloved by all.

 

 

 

 

 

English: San Francisco harbor (Yerba Buena Cov...

English: San Francisco harbor (Yerba Buena Cove), 1850 or 1851, with Yerba Buena Island in the background. Daguerrotype. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

We’ll look at the:

*Barbary Coast                 

  *Wells Fargo Museum                       

 *Shanghai Dens

 *Portsmouth Square           

 *Pacific Heritage Museum               

  *Playboy Club                                                  

  *Playboy Club

   *The Original Federal Mint

    *Alleys of Ill Repute              

    *Montgomery Block                        

     *Pony Express Headquarters     

     *Leidesdorff Street-Named for explorer, merchant and SF’s 1st Black citizen,

 

 

English: The lighthouse on Alcatraz Island, Sa...

Includes Alcatraz!

 

Explore SF
Explore Alcatraz and Historic San Francisco 

Cost $75.00

 

Retail Alcatraz Island ticket price $28 and is included in tour package price.

When: Thur and Sunday at 9:00

Reservations Line: 800.595.4849 (24hrs)

Book Online Now to Reserve Your Space!

Easy meeting location emailed with confirmation

More Information: 415.793.1104

Fax: 415.651.9148

E-mail: info@ExploreSanFrancisco.biz

Please note: Alcatraz tours must be sold as part of a package and cannot be sold separately.

All other Explore San Francisco Tours are sold individually.

Alcatraz | Alcatraz-Japantown with Spa| Alcatraz- The Mission District | Alcatraz-Presidio Run| Alcatraz-GG Promenade Run

Alcatraz-Chinatown | Alcatraz- Chinatown & North Beach | Alcatraz- Chinatown & North Beach at Night  | Alcatraz-Historic SF

 

 

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Armory Tours

In January, 2007 Armory Studios, LLC announced that it had acquired the San Francisco National Guard Armory and Arsenal located at the corner of 14th and Mission Street.For some in the neighborhood this was contreversial. But for Armory Studios,LLC and most citizens of progressive San Francisco this was and is the perfect home for Kink.com…

This behemoth San Francisco landmark completed in 1914 is a 200,000 square foot reproduction of a Moorish Castle and was used by the National Guard until 1976. It sat vacant and deserted for almost 40 years, imposing and foreboding, it’s identity was a mystery to most neighborhood residents. Upon closer inspection the beauty of this building becomes more apparent. It retains original period details including wainscoting, stone staircases,  sweeping corridors, beneath the main floors is the cavernous access to Mission Creek. It served as both a barricade and safety point for officers during the violent rioting in San Francisco in 1934. George Lucas used this place for filming during the production of the first Star Wars movie. This impressive structure is the home of Kink.com, an adult entertainment company and SF original. If you have ever wondered what an adult entertainment studio might be like this is your chance to see.

We are proud to be working with The Armory to bring you tours of this historic gem as a destination along with our historic neghborhood tours. We currently have two Explore SF tours that include a look around this fascinating facility. We are the only outside tour company offering Armory tours as part of our regular line up. Come see this incredible San Francisco landmark and tour the building and studio sets within. This is a unique chance to see a working adult entertainment production facility for yourself. You will actually see the sets and production areas in which adult entertainment is created. This is not the kind of tour that any of your friends have likely been on and this is one of the most unique experiences that anyone will likely have on any trip, ever.

 

Both of these tours are for adults only

The Folsom District to The Armory

This historic walking tour will take you through the legendary Folsom District of Leather Bars,Gay Bathouses, huge dance clubs,and sex clubs. This area was once a vibrant neighborhood and was the front lines for gay identity and sexual liberation. Mostly wiped from the maps by zealous developers and corrupt politicians this area was also home to thousands of residents who were replaced with big box stores, office towers and condos. More

 

Mission Dolores to The Armory

Missión San Francisco de Asís was originally built close to the banks of a creek that the Spanish called, Arroyo de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, meaning “Our Lady of Sorrows Creek. The original Mission was moved a few blocks to where it is now and later the creek was buried underneath city streets. Today, the creek flows throught the basement of The Armory. Our tour begins at the Basilica at the Mission, now commonly called Mission Dolores and ends at the Armory. We could have call this the Mission Creek Tour but From the Pope to Porn has more panache, either way this is a fascinating journey. More

   Tickets:$85

    Reservations Line: 800.595.4849 (24hrs)

Reservations Online: http://exploresanfrancisco.tix.com

More Information: 415.793.1104

                                                   E-mail: info@ExploreSanFrancisco.biz

                                 The Folsom District to The Armory| Mission Dolores to The Armory

via Armory Tours.

 

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Folsom District Armory Tour

This historic tour of the former Folsom District honors and celebrates a neighborhood and lifestyle that was almost eclipsed during the AIDS crisis and a subsequent land grab during the 1980s. We will walk down streets that housed pioneering establishments that once proudly showcased the whims of the San Francisco leather community. bars, bathouses, sex clubs, dance clubs, hotels, barracks and dungeons, if it could be imagined, it was created.

This was also a neighborhood of everyday people, many retirees, immigrants and artists. There were mom and pop grocery stores, diners, small businesses, apartments and residence halls. Not the most glamorous neighborhood in the city but it was home to thousands of people. Both populations fought against redevelopment tooth and nail but as Hermann Justin said, “this land is too expensive to have poor people parked on it.” Mayor George Moscone fought to preserve San Francisco’s neighborhoods but when he was murdered with Harvey Milk by Dan White, Dianne Feinstein, wife of mega-developer Howard Blumm, became Mayor. The race was on to steal the land underneath people’s feet, many of those people were in the midst of battling the AIDS crisis with almost no support from the government. The land grab was on.

The waterfront redevelopment of the Embarcadero in the 1950s had previously pushed the gay population into this area in the 1960s, the incipient gay community, and the leather community in particular. From 1962 until 1982, the gay community grew and thrived throughout South of Market, most visibly along Folsom Street. This community had been active in resisting the City’s ambitious redevelopment program for the area throughout the 1970s. But as the AIDS epidemic unfolded in the 1980s, the ability of this community to stand up to downtown and City Hall was dramatically weakened. The crisis became an opportunity for the City (in the name of public health) to close bathhouses and regulate bars—businesses that had been the cornerstone of the community’s efforts to maintain a gay space in the South of Market neighborhood. We will honor these communities on this tour.

But as mentioned, this neighborhood and it’s values were almost wiped from the map but not quite. Many businesses survived and as a result of this struggle the Folsom Street Fair was born. In the the spirit of being free to express our innate sexuality we will visit the survivors of the SOMA turf wars and take you on a journey to the delights of the alternative and kink communities. We will tour the neighborhood, see the landmarks and visit not one but two adult stores. We will eat at historic Wicked Grounds and our grand finale will be at the fortress on the hill, if you a will, a tour of the kink.com studios at The Armory. This foreboding and unconquerable castle houses one of the largest adult entertainment studios in the world, specializing in entertainment for the kink community, both straight and gay. You will be a special guest of the Armory and her hospitable staff on a guided tour of the facilities, where you will be priveledged to a tour of the studios and production facilities, after hours, of course.

This is a completely unique tour and is for adults only. This is a wildy popular tour and spaces are limited so book early.

WIth each ticket sold you will receive admission to the GLBT Museum in the Castro. The volunteers there and the staff at the GLBT Archive were and are supportive of this tour and helped us in our research for this important project.

Details, Recap:

-Walking tour covering a distance of about a mile, no hills.

-Tour the historic Folsom District neighborhood.

-Two shopping opportunities

-Snacks and beverages at Wicked Grounds, included

-Tour of The Armory

-Admission to the GLBT Museum at 18th and Castro

Tickets:$85

Reservations Line: 800.595.4849 (24hrs)

Reservations Online: http://exploresanfrancisco.tix.com

More Information: 415.793.1104

E-mail: info@ExploreSanFrancisco.biz

 

The Folsom District to The Armory|Mission Dolores to The Armory

 

via Folsom District Armory Tour.

Recent Pics

Here is the Facebook album:

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.299504113442281.69643.218809678178392&type=3

The Mission District

THE MISSION DISTRICT

Neighborhood Profile

Liberty HIll

 

Location: The principal thoroughfare of the Mission District of San Francisco is Mission Street. Its borders are U.S. Route 101 to the east which forms the boundary between the eastern portion of the district, known as “Inner Mission” and its eastern neighbor, Potrero Hill, while Sanchez Street separates the neighborhoods from Eureka Valley (also known as “The Castro”) and Noe Valley to the west. The part of the neighborhood from Valencia Street to Sanchez Street, north of 20th, is known as Mission Dolores. South of 20th towards 22nd, and between Valencia and Dolores Streets is a distinct sub-neighborhood known as Liberty Hill.[3] Cesar Chavez Street (formerly Army Street) is the southern border which lies next to Bernal Heights, while to the north the neighborhood is separated fromSouth of Market roughly by Duboce Avenue and the elevated highway of the Central Freeway which runs above 13th Street. Also along Mission Street, further south-central are the Excelsior and Crocker-Amazon neighborhoods, sometimes referred to as the “Outer Mission” (not to be confused with the actual Outer Mission neighborhood). The Mission District is part of San Francisco’s supervisorial districts 6, 9 and 10.

 

Climate

The microclimates of San Francisco create a system by which each neighborhood can have radically different weather at any given time. The Mission’s geographical location insulates it from the fog and wind from the west. As a result, the Mission has a tendency to be warmer and sunnier than the rest of the city. This climatic phenomenon becomes apparent to visitors who walk downhill from 24th Street in the west from Noe Valley (where clouds from Twin Peaks in the west tend to accumulate on foggy days) towards Mission Street in the east, partly because Noe Valley is on higher ground whereas the Inner Mission is at a lower elevation.[4]

 

History Prior to 1900

Pioneer Race Course 1853, the grandstands shown were located just south of 24th and Shotwell St.

 

 

 

 

The Yelamu Indians inhabited the region that is now known as the Mission District for over 2,000 years. Spanish missionaries arrived in the area during the late 18th century. They found these people living in two villages on Mission Creek. It was here that a Spanish priest named Father Francisco Palóu founded Mission San Francisco de Asis on June 29, 1776. The Mission was moved from the shore of Laguna Dolores to its current location in 1783.[5] Franciscan friars are reported to have used Ohlone slave labor to complete the Mission in 1791.[6] This period marked the beginning of the end of the Yelamu culture. The Indian population

Deanza

De Anza at Lake Dolores?

at Mission Dolores dropped from 400 to 50 between 1833 and 1841. Ranchos owned by Spanish-Mexican families such as the Valenciano, Guerrero, Dolores, Bernal, Noé and De Harocontinued in the area, separated from the town of Yerba Buena, later renamed San Francisco (centered around Portsmouth Square) by a two mile wooden plank road (later paved and renamed Mission Street).

 

 

 

Lake Dolores

Lake Dolores Marker, Albion Street

The lands around the nearly abandoned mission church became a focal point of raffish attractions[7] including bull and bear fighting, horse racing, baseball and dueling. A famous beer parlor resort known as The Willows was located along Mission Creek just south of 18th Street between Mission Street and San Carlos Street.[8] From 1865 to 1891 a large conservatory and zoo known as Woodward’s Gardens was located along the west side of Mission Street between 13th and 15th Streets.[9] In the decades after the Gold Rush, the town of San Francisco quickly expanded, and the Mission lands were developed and subdivided into housing plots for working class immigrants, largely German, Irish and Italian,[7] and also for industrial uses.

 

Professional Baseball

As the city grew in the decades following the Gold Rush, the Mission District became home to the first professional baseball stadium in California, opened in 1868 and known asRecreation Grounds seating 17,000 people which was located at Folsom and 25th Streets, a portion of the grounds remain as present day Garfield Square.[10] Also, in the 20th century, the Mission District was home to two other baseball stadiums, Recreation Park located at 14th and Valencia and Seals Stadium located at 16th and Bryant with both these stadiums being used by the baseball team named after the Mission District known as the Mission Reds and the San Francisco Seals.

 

Ethnicity trends

During European settlement of the City in the 19th and 20th century, large numbers of Irish and German immigrant workers moved into the area. Development and settlement intensified after the 1906 earthquake, as many displaced businesses and residents moved into the area, making Mission Street a major commercial thoroughfare. In 1926, the Polish Community of San Francisco converted a church on 22nd Street and Shotwell Street and opened its doors as the Polish Club of San Francisco, referred to today as the “Dom Polski”, or Polish Home. The Irish American community made their mark during this time, with notable people like etymologist Peter Tamony calling the Mission home. During the 1940-1960s, large numbers ofMexican immigrants moved into the area, initiating white flight, giving the Mission the Latin character it is known for today. During the 1980s and into the 1990s, the neighborhood received a higher influx of immigrants and refugees from Central and South America fleeing civil wars and political instability at the time. These immigrants brought in many Central American banks and companies which would set up branches, offices, and regional headquarters on Mission Street.

 

Recent historyWomen's Building

In the late 1970s and early 1980s the Valencia Street corridor had a lively punk night life with several clubs including The Offensive, The Deaf Club and Valencia Tool & Die and the former fire station on 16th Street, called the Compound, sported what was commonly referred to as “the punk mall”, an establishment that catered to punk style and culture. On South Van Ness, Target Video and Damage Magazine were located in a three-story warehouse. The neighborhood was dubbed “the New Bohemia” by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1995.

Since at least the 1980s, a wave of gang affiliation appeared in the Mission. Branches of the Sureño and Norteño gangs settled in and engaged in criminal activities and open violence over territorial boundaries in the neighborhood, northwest and southeast respectively.[11] Also, the notorious international gang MS-13 who was originated in LA,become active at the time. Although during the late 1990s and into the 2000s gang prevention programs, including a 2007 injunction,  have attempted to reduce the associated violence from these gangs, these kind of activities still continue to be a persistent problem for the neighborhood, resulting in uncomfortable socio-economic overlaps of a neighborhood in transition.

 

Hipster Central

Mission HipsterFollowing that decade in the late 1990s and into the 2010s, and especially during the dot-com boomyoung urban professionals, to twentysomethings and thirtysomethings living thehipster lifestyle moved into the area, initiating gentrification, and raising rent and housing prices, with a number of Latino middle-class families as well as artists moving to the Outer Mission area, or out of the city entirely to the suburbs of East Bay and South Bay area. Despite rising rent and housing prices, many Mexican and Central American immigrants continue to reside in the Mission, although the neighborhood’s high rents and home prices have led to the Latino population dropping by 20% over the last decade. Most recently, the Mission has a reputation of being edgy and artsy.

 

 

Landmarks and Features

Alta California missionMission San Francisco de Asis, the namesake of the neighborhood, and the oldest building in the city located in the far western end of the neighborhood on Dolores Street.

 

 

 

 

 

Roxie Theater, 16th Street and Valencia Street

The Armory

The Armory
The Armory and kink.com

 

 

 

 

Mission Mural

Mission Mural

 

 

 Murals

 

Throughout the Mission walls and fences are decorated with murals initiated by the Chicano Art Mural Movement of the 197 and inspired by the traditional Mexican paintings made famous by Diego Rivera.

Banksy

Banksy

Street Murals and paintings of Latin American culture by local artists are a common feature and attraction.

 

There are even a couple very coveted works by Banksy in the Mission valued in the tens of thousands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Mural

Mission Mural

 

Murals of some size adorn almost every block in The Mission. Usually the murals are not tagged by local graffiti artists.

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the more significant mural installations are located on Balmy Alley, and Clarion Alley.

floral house

floral house

 

Dead

Day of the Dead


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mission District’s annual Day of the Dead celebration is not to be missed, Garfield Square. This nighttime parade and celebration now attracts thousands, if not tens of thousands of participants.

 

"Gay Beach", Dolores Park

"Gay Beach", Dolores Park

 

Hipsters in Dolores Park

Hipsters in Dolores Park

 

Dolores Park– A thriving social location where people congregate to explore and create expressions of art, dance, music, and fashion. The Mission provides the city of San Francisco with some of it’s sunniest weather and also a wide array of fantastic restaurants and chic clothing boutiques. It offers a beautiful view of the city and brings a friendly and diverse people together.

Dolores Park is the perfect park in the city to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon with friends-just ride your fixed gear bike on over and set up a picnic blanket, pack a couple of cold brews and your Bi-Rite sandwich or a Blue Bottle Coffee and you’re all set to enjoy a great time. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to bring your doggie!
Mission Hipster Influence

The ‘Mish’  The neighborhoods old nickname makes a comeback

The “hot-spot” to be right now in the ‘Mish’ is Dolores Park where mostly young hipsters and members of the gay community congregate to enjoy this beautiful Park. People here are socially and culturally expressing themselves creatively in different ways through clothing, sexuality, politics, music, art, bikes, hair, even shoes. Some of the “hot” things in right now in Dolores are…..

 

Bikes
To call yourself a true hipster you must have a fixed-gear bicycle also known as a ‘Fixie’ or an old vintage bike to mash around the City in. The grass at Dolores Park is packed with finely painted Fixies with neon colored bike wheels and an attitude that shows off, “I’m cool, I ride a Fixie.” To get your bike fixed up, head on over to Valencia Cyclery and then hit the City!

 

Mission Hipster Music

On a beautiful day in Dolores, musicians come together to jam on the bongos and guitar. Local bands sometimes set up their sets and rock out for people to enjoy. Up on “Gay Beach” where most of the gay community likes to congregate, DJ’s set up tables where they spin house and electronic music, getting everyone in the party groove. Down on “Hipster Hill” the Capoeiera Brazilian Martial Arts crew is usually playing their instruments while players kick, jump, and pull out cool break-dancing moves.

Most hipsters in Dolores are avid listeners and blog followers of Indie-Rock bands and the latest hype around Electronic music. Here is some of the music that people here enjoy-
-Phoenix
-The xx
-Ratatat
-Gorillaz
-Neon Indian
-Fever Ray
-The Morning Benders
-Kings of Leon
-Bob Dylan

The Mission’s nightlife is alive and full of an eclectic mix of music and local IPA brews. Some of the most popular bars to hit up while visiting are the Elbo Room, Beauty Bar, Thieves Tavern, Delerium, El Rio, The Knockout-real hipsters out here…Some other classic Mission bars-
-Zeitgeist
-Make-out Room
-Dalva
-Amnesia

Mission Hipster Fashion

Here are some of the most popular fashions that are alive in The Mission-

-American Apparel
-Skinny and tight jean
-Ray Ban
-Scruffy hairdues and long mustaches on guys
-Girls with edgy bangs, hair usually long and dark or bleach blonde, very ‘Mod’
-Leather jackets
-Toms shoes
-Frye Boot
-Chrome messenger bag
-Timbuk2 bags

Be sure to hit up the vintage clothing store Schauplatz Clothing where you will find a mix of everything we call ‘Hipster.’

Although gentrification during the 1990s and 2000s shifted the demographics and culture of the neighborhood, to account for a large younger, more White American, the Mission remains the cultural nexus and epicenter of San Francisco’s, and to a lesser extent, the Bay Area’s Latino, ChicanoNicaraguan Salvadorian and Guatemalan community. While Mexican, Salvadorian, and other Latin American businesses are pervasive throughout the neighborhood, residences are not evenly distributed. Most of the neighborhood’s Hispanic residents live on the eastern and southern sides. The western and northern sides of the neighborhood are more affluent and less diverse.


 

Food

The Mission district is also famous and influential for its restaurants. Dozens of Taquerías are located throughout the neighborhood, showcasing a localized styling of Mexican food and is the original home of the San Francisco burrito.[21]There are also a high concentration of Salvadorean, Guatemalan, Nicaraguan, restaurants there as well as a large number of street food vendors.[22] In the last couple decades a number of high caliber of multi-ethnic specialty restaurants have gained national attention, most notably the Michelin two-star rated French restaurant Sai’son on Folsom Street. A large number of other restaurants are also popular, including: Mission Chinese Food and Foreign Cinema on Mission Street, Delfina on 18th and Almathe Slated Door and Luna Park on Valencia.[23][24]

Art scene

Due to the existing cultural attractions, less expensive housing and commercial space, and the high density of restaurants and drinking establishments, the Mission is a magnet for young people. An independent arts community also arose and, since the 1990s, the area has been home to the Mission School art movement. Many studios, galleries, performance spaces, and public art projects are located in the Mission, including the Project ArtaudFirst ExposuresSouthern ExposureArt Explosion StudiosArtist XchangeArtists’ Television Access, and the oldest, alternative, not-for profit art space in the city of San Francisco, Intersection for the ArtsThe Roxie Theater, the oldest continuously-operating movie theater in San Francisco, is host to repertory and independent films as well as local film festivals. Poets, musicians, emcees, and other artists sometimes gather on the southwest corner of the 16th & Mission intersection to perform.[25]

Numerous Latino artistic and cultural institutions are based in the Mission. The Mission Cultural Center for the Latino Arts, established by Latino artists and activists, is an art space. The local bilingual newspaper, El Tecolote, was founded in 1970. The Mission’s Galería de la Raza, founded by local artists active in el Movimiento (the Chicano civil rights moment), is a nationally recognized arts organization. Late May, the city’s annual Carnaval festival and parade marches down Mission Street. Meant to mimic the festival in Rio de Janeiro, it is held in late May instead of the traditional late February to take advantage of better weather.

Artists

Some well-known artists associated with the Mission District include:

Music Scene

The Mission is rich in musical groups and performances. Roving Mariachi bands play in restaurants throughout the district, especially in the restaurants congregated around Valencia and Mission in the northeast portion of the district. Carlos Santanaspent his teenage years in the Mission, graduating from Mission High School in 1965. He has often returned to the neighborhood, including for a live concert with his band Santana that was recorded in 1969,[44] and for the KQEDdocumentary “The Mission” filmed in 1994.[45]

The locally-inspired song “Mission in the Rain” by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia appeared on Garcia’s solo album“Reflections”, and was played by the Grateful Dead five times in concert in 1976.[46]

Classical music is heard in the concert hall of the Community Music Center on Capp Street.[47]

Elbo Room, a bar/live music venue on Valencia Street, is home to Dub Mission, a weekly reggae/dub party started in 1996 byDJ Sep and over the years has brought many luminaries of reggae and dub music to perform there.

The Mission District is also very popular for its influencing Hip-Hop/Rap music scene. Record labels like Black N Brown/ Thizz Latin and Hometeam Ent. help put Mission District rappers, like Goldtoes, mousie, Gangsta Flea, Mr. Kee, Friscasso, 10sion, The Goodfelonz, and Don Louis & Colicious, get exposure through various compilations such as 17 Reasons, 18 Wit A Bullet, Organized Crime, Filthy Livin’ In The Mission, The Daily Grind ‘Fillmoe 2 Da Mission,’ and many others. There is a new generation of young and upcoming rappers who are emerging from this neighborhood such as G-One (R.I.P.), Los Da Rockstar, DJ Blaze, Rob Baysicc, Loco C, Young Mix and Yung Dunn to name a few.

Some other prominent musicians and musical personalities include:

Carnaval San Francisco Parade 2010 133

Carnaval San Francisco Parade 2010 133 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Festivals, Parades and Street Fairs

  • Carnival The major event of the year occurring each Memorial Day weekend is the Mission’s Carnaval celebration.[27]
  • 24th Street Fair In March of each year a street fair is held along the 24th Street corridor.
  • San Francisco Food Fair Annually, for several years recently, food trucks and vendor booths have sold food to tens of thousands of people along Folsom Street adjacent to La Cochina on the third weekend in September.[28]
  • Cesar Chavez Holiday Parade The second weekend of April is marked by a parade and celebration along 24th Street in honor of Cesar Chavez.[29]
  • Transgender and Dyke Marches. On the Fridays and Saturdays of the fourth weekend of June there are major celebrations of the Transgender and Dyke communities located at Dolores Park, followed by a march in the evenings along 18th Streets and Valencia Streets.[30][31]
  • Sunday Streets Twice each year, typically in May and October, Valencia, Harrision and 24th Streets are closed to automobile traffic and opened to pedestrians and bicyclists on Sunday as part of the Sunday Streets program.[32]
  • Day of the Dead Each year on November 2, a memorial procession and celebration of the dead occurs on Harrison and 24th Street with a gathering of memorials in Garfield Square.[33]
  • First Friday Monthly on the evening of the first Friday, a food and art crawl including a procession of low rider car clubs and samba dancers occurs along 24th Street from Potrero to Mission Streets.[34]
  • Open Studios On the first weekend of October, the ArtSpan organization arranges a district wide exhibit of Mission District artists studios.[35]
  • Hunky Jesus Contest Annually for 32 years on Easter Sunday the Sister’s of Perpetual Indulgence hold an Easter Sunday celebration including a Hunky Jesus Contest in Dolores Park.[36]
  • Rock Make Street Festival Annually for four years the Rock Make organization sponsors a music and arts festival in September on Treat and 18th Streets in the Mission.[37]
  • LitCrawl Annually on the third Saturday of October as part of the LitQuake, a literature festival, hundreds of book and poetry readings are held at bars and bookstores throughout the Mission.[38]
  • Party on Block 18 The Woman’s Building organization annually, typically in August, has held a street party on 18th Street between Valencia and Guerrero streets.[39][40]
  • Clarion Alley Block Party Eleven years annually, a block party on the Clarion mural alley, fourth weekend in October.[41][42]
  • Remembering 1906 Annually for 105 years there has been a gathering and ceremonial gold repainting ceremony of the fire hydrant located at Church and 20th streets in honor of the only working fire hydrant that allowed the cessation of the fire following the 1906 earth quake.[43]

Mission Bowling
Mission Bowling Club just opened in 2012

Transit

The neighborhood is served by the BART rail system with stations on Mission Street at 16th Street and 24th Street, by Munibus numbers 9, 12, 14, 14L, 22, 27, 33, 48, 49, 67, and along the western edge by the J Church Muni Metro line, which runs down Church Street and San Jose Avenue.

 

See also

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