The Inner Mission

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Walking in the Inner Mission, San Francisco
Murals in the Inner Mission (courtesy, Wilderness Press)
Kinky Stuff
In December 2006, a historic building in the Mission District was sold. The building is the old State Armory and Arsenal, a huge pile at 1800 Mission St. that was designed to resemble a Moorish Castle. The buyer is Kink, producer of bondage films. So, just when people were starting to worry that the Mission was getting less interesting, along comes the porn industry to the rescue.

Kink announced it would use the site as a production studio for its fetish films. The building seems strikingly well suited to the purpose. It looks menacing from the street, and it has a dungeon-like basement and stone stairwells. According to filmmaker James Mogul, the boiler room has been waiting decades for a chance to serve as a set.

Boundaries: 16th St., Dolores St., 25th St., York St.
Distance: 2 1/4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Parking: Off-street parking is available on the corner of Valencia and 18th streets.
Public Transit: 16th St. and 24th St. BART stations; 14 Muni bus.

San Francisco's most vibrant, diverse, and creative neighborhood is the Mission. The broad, flat district is populated by Latino families, artsy hipsters, and a growing number of white-collar workers. Amid the bars, bodegas, taquerías, and upscale restaurants are many buildings distinguished not so much by the businesses operating there, but by the art on the exterior walls. Murals—some in the tradition of Diego Rivera, others drawing on contemporary pop culture—have proliferated throughout the Mission. There are far too many works of art to take in on a single walk. This walk passes many of the key murals, and ducks into a few shops to get a feel for the neighborhood.

Published: 17 Jan 2008 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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