San Francisco: Color Bursts from the Walls

Summer is a time for vacations. My favorite vacation destination is my home town: beautiful San Francisco.

San Francisco is colorful. This may seem an obvious statement. The city is renowned for culture, diversity, and eccentricity. What you may not realize is how literal this statement is. The structures that compose the city are bursting with color. Look at our iconic Golden Gate. The Victorian houses of Alamo Square. These are iconic but only a small brush stroke in the canvas. Perhaps because the city is so often cloaked in fog, San Franciscans let the sun shine in with the walls of their homes.

These iconic Victorians are known as “The Painted Ladies”. [Alamo Square]
These Victorians are only a block away from the Painted Ladies, why aren’t they iconic?

You’d be surprised by how many people paint murals on to their houses. No one does this in NYC!  [Noe Valley]
Not just privately owned buildings, I believe this building is a school. Note my bike in the foreground! [Lower Haight]

Such intricate detail, I found these really striking.

Sometimes I wonder if they start out as graffiti and then are embraced as art. [Lower Haight]
Do the owners get together and decide what colors will go well together? [Haight]

This is a little side street in the Mission where every building has a mural.
You walk down it and feel like you’re in a museum.
If I owned a building, this would inspire me to go out right now and have at it with a paint brush.

No wall left blank. This really is a work of art, combining painting and mosaic. Also note the lemon tree in the background! [Castro]
There are ways in which New York and San Francisco just don’t compare. New York may have incredible architecture, art deco facades, the Chrysler Building but it doesn’t have legions of home owners expressing themselves for all the neighborhood to see. I gotta go back to my hometown for that.

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

8 thoughts on “San Francisco: Color Bursts from the Walls

  1. You’re from San Francisco? Gah why would you ever leave? 😛
    On another note, have you ever hung out in the section of Park Slope that’s about two blocks down the hill from the park? Like around 5th Ave? It looks a lot like San Francisco. People don’t go quite as wild on their houses, but it’s similar, and everyone I know who’s been there says, “This is kinda like San Francisco” when they walk through there.

  2. New York’s my main city, but I love San Francisco. Once, visiting my sister there, I asked her why their buildings are so much more fun than ours. “No frost,” she said. Could be this difference in weather has restrained murals and graffiti in NYC – witness Keith Haring’s choice of painting on blanked-out advertising rectangles down in subway stations, out of the weather. Thanks for a terrific posting, Cliche!

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