San Francisco has been going through some major changes – sky-high rents, displacement, gentrification, and conflict. Natives have been pushed out of neighborhoods including the Mission District, after decades of residence. Those remaining feel that their voices are sometimes drowned out by those of the tech companies that have moved in and used their money and influence to force these changes. That’s why when true San Francisco natives are shown representations of their past, it is nostalgic, fun, and well-received by many. The Welcome2theMission Instagram is a reminder of the rich history of this popular district.
Welcome2theMission is a visual showcase of what is described as the “tru Golden Eras of the Mi$ion District.” Photos are from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, and offer a real glimpse into what the SFM (San Francisco Mission) – once a predominantly Latino neighborhood – looked like.
Cholos and cholas, homies and homegirls made up several local gangs, reppin’ their specific street and/or hood. Latinos started political movements, demanding change. Muralists were expressing the current climate through colorful statements on walls, while writers and taggers were staking their claim of The City.
Style was one way to identify yourself in The Mission. Commonly worn clothing items included: Dickie’s, Nike Cortez sneakers, Converse Chuck Taylor’s sneakers, Ben Davis, beanies, Chinese slippers, flannel shirts (with only the first button buttoned), knee high white socks with long shorts, bandanas, military belts, pressed and creased pants, religious t-shirts and jewelry, and more. Guys would slick their hair back or shave their heads, and rock goatees, while girls pumped their bangs up, and later wore a high half ponytail. Essential chola makeup was pencil-thin brows, dark lipstick, and mile-long eyeliner.
Style also extended to your ride. Lowriders were the cars to have, such as ‘64 Impalas, Chevelles, and Cadillacs, dropped low and with hydraulics. Lowrider clubs formed and the thing to do was to go cruisin’ on a Sunday afternoon. The soundtrack playing? Oldies, of course.
For many, it was about family, friends and your neighborhood. Solidarity, loyalty, brother and sisterhood were paramount. Today, the native residents continue to preserve, in the face of rapid change, the identity of San Francisco that so many remember and love.