Clarion Alley, A Mural Lover's Playground

San Francisco, USA

One of things I love about San Francisco is its collection of vibrant, and often quite distinct neighborhoods which always make for a great weekend stroll around. Taking a stroll in one of San Francisco’s neighborhoods is one of the ways to enjoy this city on a budget and absorb the multi-cultural vibe that makes the city one of the coolest places to live in the states (I’m not biased, really).

Located in one of my favorite San Francisco neighborhoods — Mission District, Clarion Alley is the chosen location for a mural project that was started in 1980’s. Along the alley, walls and garage doors have been transformed into colorful murals depicting a variety of topics by local artists.

One of the murals on Clarion Alley, San Francisco
One of the murals on Clarion Alley, San Francisco

The attention to details on some of these pieces is simply amazing,

One of the murals on Clarion Alley, San Francisco
One of the murals on Clarion Alley, San Francisco -- wallyg

The stated goals of Clarion Alley‘s mural project are simply “social inclusiveness and aesthetic variety.” I’m guessing the dinosaur mural (– my favorite) falls in the second category…

One of the murals on Clarion Alley, San Francisco
One of the murals on Clarion Alley, San Francisco
One of the murals on Clarion Alley, San Francisco
One of the murals on Clarion Alley, San Francisco
One of the murals on Clarion Alley, San Francisco-- by wallyg
One of the murals on Clarion Alley, San Francisco
One of the murals on Clarion Alley, San Francisco

And if that’s not enough, just a couple of blocks over is Kid Power Park… where a 3 story mural has been created using paints, broken tiles, and mirror pieces.

*sigh*

I love San Francisco…

There’s something completely awesome about a place that fosters so many opportunities to create public arts. A place where even a mere stairway can be given a chance to shine… — pun intended

-- by Marc_Smith

Note: Clarion Alley’s sister project was started in Yogyakarta, Indonesia — a city we had a chance to visit about a month ago. If you’re into street arts, lookout for a series of photos taken from the alleys of Yogyakarta next week.


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20 Replies to “Clarion Alley, A Mural Lover's Playground”

  1. This is the best off-the-beaten-path tour of an American city I've seen/read. Appreciate the intriguing photos and the info so now I can repeat your steps easily when I visit SF. Bravo!

    1. Thanks! There are tons of beautiful murals in Quito where we are right now, unfortunately they're all located in crazy freeways and bridges far from the center.

    1. There are so many of these hidden treasures in San Francisco… we keep finding new ones each time we go there. It's an amazing city.

  2. Awesome! We loved the Mission District and all the murals there, I think it even is our favorite part of San Francisco! We love street art, so we're looking forward to your photos from Yogyakarta's street art.

  3. I went to college out in the Bay Area and I took a class on Art in the area. We got to go wander through the Mission District and look at all of the murals. They truly are remarkable.

  4. Beautiful! I have to go there now. I love that staircase at the end. Great post! I love discovering new and great things in the U.S. πŸ™‚

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  6. wow I lived in the Bay Area, even lived there off and on when I was just a weeny teeny youngster I don't remember these murals; though my mom will as soon as I tell her πŸ˜€

    Thanks for this! I don't drive and I drove 5 blocks in San Francisco I'll never drive in that city again! I'd have to hop a ride or try to see if the city buses work out otherwise hire a taxicab

    1. Yeah, I wouldn't drive there either. Thank god it's a cool city to walk around. I've lived in cali for 10 years and keep discovering new things.

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