In the Castro

One of my favorite neighborhoods in the City.

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There’s so much going on here especially at the Castro Theater. Going to see a movie here is more than just going to see a movie, its a cinematic adventure. Not only is it a one-screen cinema, but it’s a grand theater in the most traditional sense of the word. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the inside, but I will make a point of doing a blog post specifically about the different theater houses in the City.

I don’t know about you but I love the rainbow flag. It says so much about this City, the people who live here, the state of mind most of us share and the overall desire we have to create a City of singular beauty out of a variety of styles, cultures, faces and backgrounds. There is something here for everyone and that something is best represented by a rainbow  of colors which by the way, is not lost on the color choices residents here have made for their homes.

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This pink home is so visually delicious. It just calls out to be loved. Not every house, in fact, most houses couldn’t pull off this color but this one does perfectly. And I especially like the garden that will soon grow tall and wild. The green being a perfect compliment to the pink.

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This blue structure is both a business and possibly, a residence. With so much eye-candy in this neighborhood, it’s challenging for a business to announce its presence without being too obnoxious and turning residents off. People in San Francisco are sharp. They know what’s going on, especially in their neighborhood and one thing they don’t like, is being manipulated by someone drawing attention to themselves in order to sell you something. This choice of color is both a strong statement and a subtle reminder that you are in the Castro where beautiful color is everywhere and deserves to be celebrated!

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Now this business, so subtle, yet incredibly cleaver, made me take a double take once I realized what was happening. How cool for two buildings to share a strong diagonal; talk about cooperative! Its surprising how subtle this strong statement is on the street. With so much car traffic, people traffic, stores, restaurants and cafes, it’s easy to miss this wonderful and simple stretch of possibilities and yet, here it is! Just imagine how may other possibilities are out there for expanding one’s canvas if neighbors decide to work together.

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This unusual house on a hill caught my eye as I was looking for pictures to take. Needless to say, the people who live here have a fantastic view looking north but what really caught my eye was the red wing slats coming off the arched roof. Since it only exists on one side of the structure, I’m guessing that it may also act as a covering for a deck that wraps around the eastern side of the house. You can see how high up it is in the lower photograph.

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Not only is San Francisco built on hills, but the houses here are hilly too! Tall, narrow, rising up to touch the sky yet accommodating residents need to be outside. Lacking yards or yards with sun, these homes satisfy the needs of sun lovers by creating rooftop space exposed to the elements or enclosed with widows as the two examples below illustrate.


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Now look at this show stopper! How this roof design made it all the way to San Francisco is a riddle to me but here it is and it’s beautiful!

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Again, this house is almost invisible given its location right next to Market Street. Cars whiz by at 50 mph (or at least it seems that way). I’ve lived here almost 30 years and never noticed it before but I’m glad I did on this day. Houses like this one make me think anything is possible the only limit out there is one’s imagination.

So on that final thought, I bid you good night. Thank you for hanging in there with me. It’s been a real tough last few days with the horrible event that took place in Newtown, Conn. I know everyone has been thrown off balance because of it, I know I have, and I look forward the to ongoing dialogue and examination of values that we will collectively bring to the table for a better America.

As always, I remain your design detective,



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1 Response to In the Castro

  1. sandy says:

    hi karen – love the wonderfully colored homes in the castro and your take on them!

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