This young man's story below is so moving. This is how I feel walking around the Mission these days... just a feeling of being displaced and forgotten. There were so many great rock clubs there. I remember going to the Firehouse and seeing some great bands. I myself played at the Chatterbox, and later when it became The Chameleon.
I lived at 14th and Guerrero and another house on Natoma for awhile. I've always loved the Mission.
It was so diverse and extreme and there was an amazing artistic community. It was packed with painters, dancers, writers and musicians... and authentic Mexican restaurants. Truly amazing and affordable food. The first time I went to La Cumbre on Valencia and 16th was in 1986. Glad they are still there.
But back in the 80's, it was also a neighborhood you didn't go to alone because it was so dangerous. In the late 80's I was caught in a riot at Mission at 15th and feared for my life. It's unbelievable to go to that same corner now and see what's happened to this neighborhood.