The Richmond district of San Francisco [pictured: across the Bay on the left side of the Golden Gate Bridge; at the mouth of the Inner Richmond at the intersection of Geary and Masonic; and looking east on California street in Laurel Heights] comprises the area below the Presidio and above Golden Gate Park between the Pacific Ocean and roughly Geary Blvd.
The fog that San Francisco is famous for often comes in thick and can turn the evenings prematurely dark and cool, while the relatively wide streets, low buildings and gentle hills (aside from a few areas like the University of San Francisco campus and Seacliff) remain truly San Francisco in look and feel while welcoming skateboards and bikes.
Like all of San Francisco, the Richmond is a complex mixture of the special and the universal which is not as easy to unravel as it may as first seem. I have two short movies set in the neighborhood, each named for the part of the Richmond they are set in.
“Journey Into the Outer Richmond” is set in the area past Park Presidio Boulevard, where the fog thickens along Geary all the way out to Ocean Beach. This area is a residential area like many others in San Francisco, but not many people get out that far into the city, so I went for universality. I cut together a few clips from daytime interviews with people bustling along during the day in the busy commercial strip between 16th and 25th Avenues and some clips of activity like people riding bikes and being pulled over.
“Journey Into the Inner Richmond” is set on a Thursday night, where the week is nearing an end and a few people are telling stories and making deals in the area around 6th Avenue and Clement, while the homeless look on.
The night life in the area is a bit shadier than for most of San Francisco–plenty of local neighborhood dive bars, while the bars trying to compete with the rest of the city seem to cater mainly to college students and the Irish. As the guy in front of the pizza place says, “I don’t know what the f[..]k happened.”