Tag Archives: St. Francis Soda Fountain

Adventures with Claire and Julia: No. 2 – The St. Francis and Balmy Way

No trip to SF is complete without lunch at the St. Francis Soda Fountain and a Mission Mural Walk – especially on a perfectly warm, sunny day. In continuous operation since 1918, the St. Francis Soda Fountain is one of the best diners anywhere ever. I always enjoy the N.Y. Ruben with fries and a chocolate malted milkshake.  I also always make sure I am wearing pants with a little give!  One of the most fun things about having two teenage girls visiting us was enjoying the junk food that I ate when I was a teenage girl but now avoid as an adult. Our meal at the St. Francis Soda Fountain was a perfect compliment to our diet of Girl Scout cookes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, and Laughing Cow cheese rolled in pieces of salami (but that’s another story).  Fortunately, our St. Francis gluttony was balanced by a walk in the Mission and exploring the many beautiful murals there.

1 St. Francis Soda Fountain
Julia and Claire deciding on lunch at the St. Francis.
2 Mission Girls
I love this mural! “Once a Mission girl, always a Mission girl.” Doesn’t it make you want to be a Mission Girl?

The Mission district is covered with colorful, artfully-crafted murals especially along 24th Street. It’s easy to do your own self-guided tour but Precita Eyes Visitor Center has several tours to chose from and lots of useful information about the murals and the area.

3 Balmy Way
A one-block street between 24th and 25th streets, Balmy Way is the epicenter of the Mission Murals.
4 Cuidado Hay Perro
One of the most interesting “Beware of the Dog” signs I have seen. I love the repeating pattern of the face on this fence.
6 Mujeres Revolucionares
Many of the murals depict the struggles of Latin-American people both in and outside of the United States. I call this beautiful mural, “Mujeres Revolucionarias”.
7 Uncle Sam
Other murals are political reflecting the community’s concerns.
5 Hombre 66
Some murals are just super-cool. How could you ever be in a bad mood with this chic fellow to greet at your door?
8 Girls in front of murals
Claire and Julia in front of one of the more colorful walls. It still surprises me when I remember that people actually live on Balmy Way! What a pleasant street on which to reside.
9 Virgen de Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of the Mission.

A 500-year old Catholic icon, Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most familiar religious figures in the world. In most representations of Our Lady, her eyes are downcast and her head is tilted to the left. The artist, Patricia Rose, turned the head to the right so Our Lady could look into Balmy Way and made her eyes open. Rose said, “she’s a mother so she would have to be watchful”. What a wonderful thought and a most beautiful representation of Our Lady, a figure who gives comfort and solace to those in pain. Comfort and solace, things we all could give and recieve a little more of!