May 7, 2012

Scenes from Sunday Streets: The Mission

You couldn't ask for a better day than yesterday! The sun was shining (and still is, by the way), temperatures were well into the 70s, and Sunday Streets gave San Francisco miles of car-free space on Valencia and 24th Streets. Saying yesterday's event was popular and an absolute success would not be doing the day justice – thousands of people packed the streets wall to wall, reclaiming the usually auto-dominated streetscape for more enjoyable and diverse uses. It all really reminded me of my recent trip to Madrid and how Madridians enjoy their weekends, socializing in the streets.

This year, Sunday Streets will be visiting the Mission District four months in a row – the first Sunday of May, June, July, and August. The idea is to show people what a more regular event in the neighborhood could feel like. I honestly don't think there's any debate that Valencia and 24th Streets could be car-lite most weekends. Local businesses were booming, neighbors were out getting to know each other, locals and out-of-towners alike were coming together, and people were socializing and being active. Even after the event officially ended at 4pm, the foot traffic didn't suddenly go away. The Mission was more alive than usual on an especially warm evening – everyone basking in the afterglow of Sunday Streets.

This week's photos are through the lens of Laura Peterson. I'm definitely fond of the new angles and perspectives on our streets. Hope you all enjoy too! The complete collection is available on Flickr.

Both 24th and Valencia Streets were packed with people as far as the eye could see. I'm in absolute awe of 24th Street's beautiful tree canopy!

Even more lovely photos after the break!

All traditional delineations of street space were thrown out the window yesterday.

Cafe 780 and several other businesses took the occasion to set-up Park(ing) Day-style parklets.

Silent raving action on Valencia – dancing to the music through headphones. Silent raves are very popular in Venice, by the way, due to their strict noise restrictions.

Lots of opportunities for shopping on the street. There were too many vendors to count!

24th Street was a great place to catch some shade and people-watch. A perfect place to spend the hottest part of the day.

You can catch the rest of the gallery in the SanFranciscoize Flickr set.

As we enjoy three more Sunday Streets in the Mission in the coming months, we should all be thinking about how we might translate these events into a more regular tradition. I'm thinking a weekly Sunday Streets event and the Mission feels like the perfect place!

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