It is 10:00 a.m. but these photos were taken earlier this morning. It is now 54˚ and expected to rise to 67˚. Details for the next ten days here.
Today’s Block: 22nd St to 23rd St, Valencia St to San Jose Ave.
“Are you here yet? Where are you?” my girlfriend would ask.
“I’m circling the block! I’ll be there soon,” would be my reply.
For years, this would be a common occurrence. I lived in Mountain View, she lived in the Mission. San Francisco is the city it always was, so weekends typically meant a jaunt into the city to explore neighborhoods, discover cuisines, and drink up the atmosphere.
“Where will you park?”
I know a place.
When a decision is made to drive, parking is always the goal that must be visualized. As the saying goes, it is about the journey, but finding the destination can be just as rewarding. When I visited my girlfriend, this was the block that I circled, both on the map, and in person. There was a subtle confidence that I could always find a small space for my car. The block rarely disappointed.
It’s seen quite a bit of turnover. A gas station has been in hibernation as it prepares to give way to a new condominium complex. I used to always joke with friends that a nearby storefront (now empty) was actually a front for the mob. An adjacent restaurant space became a turnstile for a bevy of start-up eating establishments searching for a signature bevy and clientele of their own. Mainstays included a Salvadorean/Colombian restaurant, a mom and pop hardware store, and an Italian delicatessen, where I would watch people saunter out with their trademark box of ravioli and bottles of olive oil in hand.
I finally moved to the city a little over two years ago. I don’t drive around the block, circling like I once did anymore, as walking the neighborhood has become so much easier. But every time I visit my girlfriend, I gaze upon this block and recall the times that I knew… once I came to a stop, I was in for a treat.
Today, however, the block still provides hope and a modicum of solace for some in the Mission. The Red Cross and The Salvation Army are hosting some of the families displaced by the fire at 22nd St and Mission St at the shelter on this very block. Volunteers have gathered to provide supplies and basic needs for those that have lost everything. It is with great hope and optimism that these survivors will be able to recover from this terrible tragedy. A refuge for all.
With the light good early on, so much the better to sign on to document your block. Don’t wait! Let us know what day and block you would like at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can see a map of all of the blocks here. The blocks in grey are being saved for others who have signed up. Let us save a block for you as well.