FROM THE POPE TO PORN: URBAN CONTRASTS, URBAN ACTIVISM,
AND CULTURE CLASH IN THE MISSION DISTRICT 1776-2013
This tour is a study in urban contrasts and an easy walk through the formerly semi-rural
landscape of The Mission lands, along the banks of an erstwhile creek and vanished lake. Not only is this tour about how several creeks, a lagoon, wetlands, swamps, and perhaps even a lake were buried and remain just below your feet throughout much of the Mission District.
This tour also looks at the changing demographics of this district and the resulting flashpoint of culture clashes that follow. From Ohlone to European, Spanish to Mexican, Grizzly Bears vs Long Horned Bulls, Californios to Yankees, Working Class to White Collar, Latino to Anglos, Bohemians to Yuppies, Artists to Developers, The Pope to The SIsters of Perpetual Indulgence, Scott Weiner to Historic Preservationists, Gay Beach Goers and Mission Hipsters to Dolores Moms and a 3 Million Dollar Playground, The Middle Class vs Dot Commers 2.0, To the Largest Porn Studio vs Mothers against Porn. The Mission defies definition and although it flies under the radar, this once idyllic piece of San Francisco has been the scene of more class wars, social upheaval and land grabs than anywhere else in the Bay Area if not the state. Although, South of Market, the Mission's closest relative, comes in a close second. But the battle continues, the earthquake reaked more destruction here and caused more death here than in any other district but the fire was stopped at Dolores Park. So not only does the Mission defy definition, you never know what to expect here, and wait a week and there will be two new restaurants on Valencia, wait 10 years and there might not be any restaurants on Valencia. There is that much intensity focused on this area, and we are going to look at it on this tour. But first...
We will begin at the Golden Fire Hydrant and make our way through Dolores Park; originally
a Jewish cemetery. Now it may be packed with hipsters,gay men, Latin American immigrants, dogs, their owners and well-to do families with strollers and children. We'll head to the Mission Francisco De Asis, commonly known as The Mission Dolores. We will see the Mission Dolores Basilica which was dedicated by Pope Pious in 1951. In 1984, while protestors chanted, Pope John Paul ll caused a scandal by hugging a child with AIDS. We will tour the Mission, the oldest building in San Francisco. The original building was completed in 1776, several weeks before the Declaration Of Independence was signed. There is a small museum on site displaying artifacts from the decimated native population. We'll tour the garden of native California plants. The graveyard, filled with tombstones of mainly Irish immigrants, is open to the public. Some 5000 Ohlone were buried here as well. Admission to the Mission is incuded on this tour.
MissiÃ³n San Francisco de AsÃs was originally built close to the banks of a creek that the Spanish called "Arroyo de Nuestra SeÃ±ora de los Dolores," meaning "Our Lady of Sorrows Creek. The creek, now referred to as Mission Creek, in later years was buried under the city streets and acted as somewhat of a sewer system. We will roughly follow the path of the missing creek and will walk along the shores of a long lost lagoon, which appears on historic maps as Dolores Lagoon.
We will venture into the frenetic locale of 16th and Valencia Streets. This bustling stretch is the food and entertainment center of the inner Mission District and has undergone far more hipsterfication than gentrification -- the inevitable result of a surfeit of moderate rents, trendy restaurants, taquerias, performance space, thrift stores, live music venues, dive bars, coffeehouses, unique shops, art galleries, street performers, independent film and avant-garde theater. There is always something going on in this area and at night the sidewalks are full of revelers. We will be stopping for a bite to eat at the taqueria that invented the burrito. You can buy your lunch here, or one of the many other inexpensive but great places to eat, Your guide will recommend a place or two. We will regroup after lunch to continue on our fascinating journey.
The creek continues toward the bay and eventually flows through the cavernous basement of the SF Armory. The Armory, built in 1914, is 200,000 square feet of Moorish castle in the heart of the Mission District. Built for the National Guard, it's biggest claim to fame is that it was used to quell the depression era Lonshoreman riots and protected the troops from the strikers who were vilified nationally as Communist insurgents. We too shall head towards the bay and will enter the Armory up the grand staircase, through the front doors. You will be welcomed by the charming staff of Kink.com and will be given an unprecedented tour of the studios and production areas of Kink. The tour will not be conducted during production hours.
This tour is very popular and sells out quickly! Be sure to get your tickets now to assure your space on the tour!
We believe that you will find this tour fascinating and an unforgettable way to spend an afternoon.
Tickets:$70 with SF Armory (Kink.com admission and tour) $45 Pope to Porn tour only
Reservations Line: 800.595.4849 (24hrs)
Reservations Online: reservations.php
More Information: 415.793.1104
Download the Mission District to SF Armory Tour Flyer here!
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