The hundreds of murals around the Mission District underscore a strong sense of community pride and Hispanic heritage. The greatest concentration of work can be found on Balmy Alley, an unassuming back way between 24th, Harrison, 25th and Treat streets in the neighbourhood’s southern section, where’s there barely an inch of wall unadorned. While some of the murals are more heartfelt than either skilled or beautiful, it’s still worth stopping by for a peek, although the heavy-handed political imagery can be wearying.

For an informed tour of the artwork, contact Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visitors Center, 2981 24th St at Harrison St (precitaeyes.org), which has sponsored most of the paintings since its founding in 1971; the organization also sells maps of the neighbourhood’s murals.

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