The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

Featured image: San Francisco’s famous Painted Ladies as seen from Alamo Square. 

It’s not a difficult thing to find colorful buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area. A drive down Highway 80 from home brings me to Oakland’s Chinatown where the buildings are alive with murals.  Below the mural on a city owned building is emblazoned with a menagerie of pandas, dragons and birds.                 

A drive across the Bay Bridge takes me to San Francisco’s North Beach.  The Italian Tricolor is everywhere in SF’s Little Italy.

At the corner of Columbus and Broadway sits a building which celebrates San Francisco’s jazz heritage.  Featured on the mural are Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson.

Crossing Broadway from North Beach I find myself in Chinatown where a short walk leads to a colorful alley called Waverly Place.  If you’ve read Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club (a wonderful book BTW) the name Waverly Place might sound familiar as this is the street where the book’s characters reside.                                     

Looking north towards Waverly Place is the ornate 1920 building on Washington Street.             

From Chinatown to the Mission District, San Francisco’s Latinx community.               

A purple Victorian on 24th Street.                                               

The building below might just be one of the coolest in The City.  The mural which celebrates Carnaval is painted on the backside of a building behind The House of Brakes.  What looks like a row of Victorians is actually a plain, simple flat wall and the buildings and windows are all painted on.  Even in person you have to look twice to recognize that it’s all one painting and not a row of buildings.

To view Cee’s contribution and the images from other blogs please click on the link to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

18 thoughts on “Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: All About Buildings: Colorful Buildings

  1. Jane Fritz says:


    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Jane. Every block in the Mission District is alive with colors. There are some common themes to many of those murals; immigrant’s rights, injustice and a fear of ICE. You don’t just look at these murals and move on, you stop and see stories.

      1. Jane Fritz says:

        So, spectacular and very special. Thanks for sharing these gifts, Paulie.

  2. Teresa says:

    Wow, amazing collection. Those streetarts, the purple house and that House of Brakes… love it.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Teresa. I haven’t even scratched the surface of murals in The Mission District. And the House of Brakes mural is one that you have to do a double take to notice that those Victorians are actually painted on. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  3. Beautiful photos. Digital photography has expanded the horizons for so many of us. That’s one of the themes in my latest story. Your piece makes me want to visit San Fran again. I’ve spent quite a few days there over the years. Terrific city.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you. If it wasn’t for digital photography I’d be pursuing a different hobby. I lived in The City in the late 70’s/early 80’s. These days I’m sorry that I moved out. Thank you for visiting.

      1. When you get a chance, take a look at my latest. You might like it.

  4. Cee Neuner says:

    I adore your painted ladies photo. Terrific gallery this week 😀

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Cee. The Painted Ladies are definitely a classic.

  5. Alison says:

    Some fabulous buildings .. love the jazz painting

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Alison. An interesting little fact about the jazz painting. It’s on a corner building. The jazz wall faces North Beach which has something of a jazz heritage. The other wall faces Chinatown and it has a mural, same artist and colorscheme that celebrates SF’s Chinese heritage.

  6. My backyard! Miss going to the City (I’m about 20 miles south) Such vibrant colors — love.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you so much and thanks for the pingback. Twenty miles south. You must be in or around San Mateo where I grew up…Aragon High, College of San Mateo.

  7. Cee Neuner says:

    Congratulations! I have selected your post to be featured on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.
    I sure hope you are having a wonderful week.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Cee. Much appreciated. We’re actually on a short COVID safe road trip

  8. That House of Brakes is amazing – I love how you found all the places and murals that tell stories that celebrate the history and people that live there

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