Love in the Lower Haight

A wise old owl sat in an oak
The more she heard, the less she spoke
The less she spoke, the more she heard
Why aren’t we all like that wise old bird?

(Probably because most of us would rather not be socially awkward.) Anyway, in this case it’s actually “The more she saw.” Still feeling withdrawn and quiet.

I’ve been delighted to watch the following unfold for the last month. Two blocks from our house at the corner of Haight and Laguna and on the foundation wall of the old orphan’s asylum (and more recently an extension of UC Berkeley), some of my favorite Lower Haight artists have been putting in a street art installation, waking up an ugly little corner. For almost the length of a block, wrapping around the corner, are multiple murals, flowing one into the next. If you are a local, you may be familiar with the feel of the art from Upper Playground or the side of Lower HatersOr, if you are a shoe gazer, most likely you have found yourself splashing through a koi pond for a few sidewalk squares. I love the different styles of the more prolific artists in my neighborhood. Something of an edgy hybridization of animal instinct and nature in urbanity, post post post modern. No matter how many times I have seen the images, everytime there is a *POP* as a light turns on in an otherwise under-used room in my soul.

In other words, I really like it, and so I want to share. Enjoy.

The corner of Laguna and Haight. I didn't take this one...I believe it was Andrew Dudley over at Haighteration.
Awww...little pink bunnies! So cuuuute....wait....er....
A skull, a face within a face, toes, wings...what else?
Love in the Lower Haight
This might be my favorite. It almost feels a little post-apocalyptic to me...the survivors explore what is left. Holler if you had wallpaper like that in the 70s. Ours was velvety.
I think Leo was a little confused
1984
The corner of Laguna
Heading towards Market
Well golly, there's a giant rat in a coat above my head.
splish
splosh
I get sucked in
totemic
This particular artist does a lot of that hybridization I mentioned earlier. Usually this kind of thing would make me sad, bringing up knowing of our disappearing wildness...but this doesn't. It feels sneaky and magical to me. I know, my eloquence right now is mind-blowing. I'm getting over a cold, cut me some slack.
Looking down Haight Street
I put Fern up with the bunnies...
...which she thought was great fun...
...and then the bunnies started to exert their influence over her, and she refused to get down. 15 minutes later I was able to nab her. Little Imp.
The main entrance to the building...I don't think it has been used as a UC Berkeley extension for a while now, and like I said, it used to be an orphan's asylum. It's fantastically creepy.
Insecure bears on the side of Upper Playground, on Fillmore. This mural is new...before the side was covered with what looked like flying fists giving a "hang ten" and the front had the signature walrus with wings that turned into creepy bunny fingers. The style always rides the edge of ugly and profane, and intellectually titillating and beautiful.
On the side of Lower Haters. This is another one of my favorites, primarily because of the soundtrack it inspires in my head.
Can you hear it? Faintly reminiscent of some 70's cartoon. "AAgahwahahwahah OOga rawah herfoosha...down...hermph...put me down".
Mother nature nurture (also on the side of Lower Haters, Haight and Steiner)
It's in the details. Bot pigeons.
Two worlds
More koi, plus my foot and Fern's arm, who had fallen asleep. There are other koi ponds all over the hood. I particularly know of two others...on Fillmore between Haight and Waller, and right around the corner from our house on Buchanan and Rose. Do you know of any others?

There are more great pics and articles on the mural over at haighteration.


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One thought on “Love in the Lower Haight

  1. Great pictures lady, i lovvve all the art! Makes me want to visit San Fran so bad again!! 🙂 hope all else is well, Martha xo ps you have the cutest baby in the whole world!

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