Murals of Clarion Alley 2016, Pride & Peaches

I visited the murals of Clarion Alley in San Francisco for the first time in 2012 and wrote about them in this post. At the time, a friend and I took BART into the city on what happened to be Pride weekend to get peach pies from Bi-Rite, as June is when peaches are in season.

This year, when we looked at our calendars and settled on a date to go, it happened to be Pride weekend again. (And a Giants game with fans dressed in orange and black.) I remembered the crush of people on the train, but also how happy and colorful they had been. On Sunday, the late morning train operator told us to crowd in as much as we could, and that if the doors didn't close, the train would be taken out of service. We packed in. Rainbows, wings, unicorns, and tutus as well.

The train relaxed after the Civic Center stop as the bulk of the passengers departed. We were staying on until 16th Street, Mission. We went to Creativity Explored, an amazing and magical art center for adults with developmental disabilities. The theme of the show, "Ripe," in the front gallery was food.

No artists were in the studio, but their works were all arranged on the tables and available for sale. This time, I was looking at the writing. I bought two little notebooks that had covers made of previous showcards. The one by Richard Wright has a wide variety of letterforms, and John Patrick McKenzie's has quite distinctive handwriting. You can see the works at their links. Check out the website to see more works from all the artists.

The murals at Clarion Alley seemed even more politically charged this year, an election year, with emphasis on displacement: housing and otherwise. A commemorative for the Orlando murders even appeared in a mural.

The murals change as different issues move in and out of focus. The messages are there to stir up the viewers, and as calls to action. The art is passionate, colorful, inspiring, and alive.

For an immediate peach fix (well not immediate), we stood in line at Bi-Rite Creamery for ice cream, which neither of us had ever done before. The line snaked around the block, part in shade, part in sun that was hot, but wasn't too hot. While in line we watched as more be-winged and be-rainbowed folk streamed into Dolores Park. The pink triangle visible from the corner. The atmosphere was open and joyful. My friend's cone: black sesame and peach. I bought a little peach pie, and back we went.