Friday, August 10, 2007

Balmy Alley Murals

Back in June, we spent a Beautiful Day in San Francisco, and at the end of it we spent some time in the Mission District, to see the murals. The best murals are the ones painted by the residents of Balmy Alley; they are more personal than the commissioned murals in the rest of the neighborhood.

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.
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TheCunningRunt said...

Those are pretty amazing... and you're right, the flamingo is a hoot!

...or is that what an owl says???

BAC said...

How beautiful. I hope the next time I get lost in San Francisco, it's in this neighborhood.