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Walk with me: Mission Creek

Mission_bay_overviewOK, so I flaked on Bawdy & Naughty last Monday, but only because I didn’t want to get caught up in the craziness of the immigration protests and march downtown. But today I struck out as promised and attended the Discover Walk: Mission Creek tour this afternoon.

This is an area I am actually pretty familiar with. When I was working at Harrison and 3rd,  would frequently go on walks all through the area from South Beach past the ball park and eventually along Mission Creek. Back then, the Mission Bay Project was just really getting off the ground, developmentally. None of the condo buildings had yet broken ground, nor the UCSF campus buildings, and the Third Street Lightrail seemed an impossible goal. Amazingly, this was just a few years ago.

Now, Mission Bay, which encompasses an enormous parcel of land from CalTran and the ballpark down to the northern edges of Potrero Hill and Dogpatch, is the new face of San Francisco. Residential, commercial and industrial buildings are cropping up like the weeds that used to occupy the open expanse. Parklands are being developed. It’s not exactly Noe Valley, but it’s getting there.

The walk covered both shores of Mission Creek, the last remaining vestige of the old Mission Bay, long since filled in. If you would like to attend this tour, it will occur again on Wednesday, May 10; Saturday, May 14; and Monday, May 22, always at 2 pm. More photos (not from my cell phone, I promise) and notes after the jump.

Don’t forget — tomorrow is Dogpatch and Potrero Point!

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Our intrepid guide, Rob, who developed the tour. Rob’s a very active figure in CityGuides, and leads many tours including the Palace Hotel, the Ferry Building, and Embarcadero North and South.

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Mission Creek from the north shore, looking east toward the bay.

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Willie Mays Field Pacbell SBC AT&T park. They haven’t changed the signage yet.

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Third Street Bridge, designed by Joseph Strauss, who later went on to design none other than the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s referred to as a "trunnion bascule" bridge, which means those giant concrete counterweights swing down to allow the bridge to draw up almost to 90º.

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The former Carmen’s restaurant on a now-derelict pier in the middle of Mission Creek adjacent to the Fourth Street Bridge. Carmen’s has relocated onto the Embarcadero. Not sure the fate of this cool little building and pier. The massive China Basin complex, across the creek, in the background.

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Farther down along the south shore, looking back at the residential structures on the north. As recently as five years ago, none of these stood and the shores of the creek were pretty raw.

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Colony of houseboats, relocated from Islais Creek several years ago. Mission Creek’s reputation as "Sh*t Creek" has been improved over recent years, in large part due to the political sway  of these residents. Farther along, where Mission Creek park ends, there’s a sweet little community garden.

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This pavillion will eventually be the hub of Mission Creek Park, along the southern shore of the creek. Until it fully opens, it is currently available for rental for events.

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Progress marches on as residential buildings continue to rise, towering over the houseboats.

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The houseboats themselves express the character of the denizens of this mini-neighborhood within a burgeoning neighborhood.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Sean – are you going to the dogpatch tour? I live in dogpatch and would love to know more of its history so I might see you there. If I wake up in time! I used to go on a lot of these walking tours and even applied to be a guide at one point, but it was the wrong time of year for new guide training and thereafter I completely forgot all about it. Until now.
    So if you see a girl in her late 30s (very late, like only a month left), with long brown hair, please do introduce yourself – it might be me.

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