Mission and Castro
Perhaps the most famous, or infamous, neighborhoods in the City are the Mission district and the Castro] district. The Castro is the heart of Gay San Francisco, complete with leather shops, bars, and all sorts of fun festivals. It’s become pretty touristy, but you can still find the occasional jewel here. Just don’t expect the Halloween party you’ve heard about—the City law has cracked down and Halloween has become sedate in this party-happy neighborhood.
With its mix of Latino immigrants, working artists, and SUV-driving professionals, the Mission is a neighborhood bursting at the seams with idiosyncratic energy. Changing from block to block, the zone manages to be blue-collar, edgy, and gentrified all at once. The heart of the neighborhood is still very much Latin American, with delicious burritos and pupusas around every corner. It’s a haven for ethnic restaurants and real bargains in thrift shops, as well as the hippest (and most self-conscious) clubs in the City.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition