Two days after we visited the murals, a teenage boy died in front of the Taqueria where we got fresh strawberry juice, the victim of a drive-by shooting at the corner nearest to Balmy Alley.
Dang, that made me sad.
More so because I’d just been there, enjoying the murals. The murals are so beautiful, so complicated, so personal. You want to get to know the people who created them. You want to know more about their life, their struggles, their triumphs, joys and sorrows. I guess you assume that the murals reflect on past struggles; I mean, they are painted by residents of San Franciso, California! Then you hear about the shooting and you remember that the struggles and sorrows occur every day.
On this mural, the letter the woman is holding is legible from up close, and it is written to her husband, who is "up north." She has not heard from him, she misses him and she is worried. If I remember correctly, she tells him about his child who he has never met. Poignant.
This one is a tribute to Frida Khalo. I love the gas meter flamingo!
Here are just a few more...only a small sample of what's there.
I'm off for one more summer romp. Enjoy the murals while I'm gone.