Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Murals of Balmy Alley

One of my favorite spots to take people when I am doing my More of San Francisco or A Day in the City Tour is Balmy Alley. This small street is the birthplace of San Francisco's contemporary mural movement.

Murals have been a part of Mexican culture since the early twentieth century. In 1971, local muralists began creating beautiful paintings on the fences and garages of Balmy Alley. Many of the murals have political themes. The styles range from very traditional to cartoonish. Today there are an estimated 600 murals throughout San Francisco with many located in the Mission District, home to many of San Francisco's Hispanics.

Balmy Alley runs parallel to Treat and Harrison Streets between 24th and 25th Streets. Precita Eyes Visitors Center at 2981 24th Street is near the alley and has information on San Francisco's murals. They also sponsor mural tours, some of which include walks through Balmy Alley. You may call the center at (415) 285-2287 for more information.

If you visit Balmy Alley, stop in at one of the nearby restaurants for lunch. Roosevelt Tamale Parlor, 2817 24th Street (at Bryant) and St. Francis Fountain, 2801 24th Street (at York) are good bets.

If you would like to take a San Francisco tour that includes visits to Balmy Alley and other mural sites, please call me at (866) 326-4237 or e-mail me by clicking here.

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