We were not able to get to San Francisco Pride this year, but we did do a fun, self-guided walking tour of the Castro District, the city’s historic gayborhood. That is, once we found parking! The lot by the Castro Theatre was closed for the annual Frameline Festival, but two-hour street parking is available around the area.
There are of course a lot of options these days for self-guided tours and apps. One of the newest players we’ve seen but not yet tried is WeGoTrip, and they do have three tours related to Alcatraz, the uber-popular Fisherman’s Wharf and Downtown San Francisco. However, we were looking for the Castro and lots of gay content!
So after noshing on yummies at The Cove, we used Voice Map, an app that had a San Francisco Chronicle tour narrated by Arts & Culture writer Tony Bravo. Called “Over the Rainbow in the Castro: A tour of San Francisco’s preeminent gayborhood,” the hour-long tour was an easy stroll around the main historical and cultural stops in the area.
Pride was just two days away, and the district was all dressed up with all her flags and whatnot and clearly ready to party! We started in the Jane Warner Plaza and ended at Harvey Milk Plaza, next to the quite possibly the largest rainbow flag in the world. Out and about, we heard all about Twin Peaks Tavern and Moby Dick’s, took in the Castro Doll window, the Rainbow Honor walk plaques, the beauty of the old Castro Theatre and more.
The Historical Society
Along the way, we decided to pop into the GLBT Historical Society Museum, which was small and very old school. It had a variety of stories and history from within the community and showcases just a part of the archival material we were told they have. The suit in which Harvey Milk was assassinated is on display, as well as part of as well as part of Gilbert Baker’s original (eight-striped) rainbow flag.
It had been several years since I was last in the Castro. Taking the little tour was a very fun little outing, especially seeing all the various tributes to Harvey Milk. With all the nasty anti-queer efforts we are seeing across the country, the ghetto gave us hope! 🏳️🌈📷
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