This particular blue gate on 24th Street in San Francisco has always drawn my attention. There are many painted gates in The Mission District of San Francisco, but this one is unique – primarily because of its vibrancy and hue. During the month of August, every year for the past eighteen or nineteen or so years, I have a housesit in this neighborhood, right around the corner from this gate. I’ve taken a photo of it every year or so since I’ve been coming here. Some years the gate is freshly painted and other years, like this one, it is a little bit worn. But it’s always the same shade of blue.
Most painted gates in this neighborhood are painted with bright warm colors – like oranges, yellows, reds, – sometimes white, or sometimes even silver.
This neighborhood – 24th Street below Mission – has changed a lot since the last time I was here. Pre-Pandemic. Many of the large laurel trees no longer line and arch over the street. More light gets in, and the laurel trees have been replaced with a variety of tree that is more environmentally acceptable, but the neighborhood feels more exposed, bare. Eventually they may grow and forest the street like the trees on Folsom did. Besides the trees, quite a few businesses are no longer open or have shorter hours. And there still aren’t a lot of people outside. Yeah, the occasional guy hanging on the corner smoking a cigarette or a joint is still there, some site-seers, but the only time the neighborhood seems busy is at one of the bodegas or panaderias where people always seem to be shopping for tonight’s dinner.