This is not exactly “out of the way”, but this is also not in every tourist’s must-visit list when in San Francisco. Not – I’d say – because it has no appeal whatsoever; but more because of where it is.
We’re talking of Clarion Alley, is a small street in San Francisco notable for the murals painted by the Clarion Alley Mural Project (or CAMP).
Clarion Alley is said to encapsulate San Francisco’s Mission District, a neighborhood that may be culturally rich but is also “rife with tension”. This is because – all too apparent – the Mission District is in a stage of “advanced gentrification”. Here, the average income and rent have continuously increased. Perhaps not surprisingly, and meanwhile, the non-white population has shrunk from 71.8% in 1990 to 57.3% in 2013.
Along Mission Street itself, there are numerous homeless people who have – in a way – established “homes” there, by living in tents or sleeping on cartons or lying down on the sidewalks.
CAMP emerged to use murals and street art to support political, economic and social justice messaging. And since its establishment in 1992, over 800 murals have already been created in the Clarion Alley, a stretch of pavement that only measures 560 feet between Mission and Valencia (parallel to 17th street).