In last weeks' edition of Ask Curbed, an inquiring mind launched a complaint against a gay pride-themed mural being painted on the site of the Castro building he rents in. "I understand a building owner can make aesthetic changes to a building, but can they make changes that also convey a sociopolitical message that the residents may not want to be affiliated with?" asked our dismayed reader. In one of the more heated (and rather hilarious) comment threads in recent memory, other Castro denizens chimed in on what we now know is a work-in-progress at 19th and Noe Streets:
Herb Urb: "Can the landlord do it? Seems if folks on Telegraph Hill can put the kabosh on a mural of birdies and trees, then any complaint should be considered. SHOULD the landlord do it? Hell to the No! I've lived in The Castro, and am, as they USE to say, a "friend of Dorothy's," but I always resented one generation's demand that their taste totally define everyone who came after them..." Anon. #18: "As far as some element of the building "advertising" something, living in a rainbow-hued building makes one gay in the same way that living in a studio apartment above Ti Couz makes one a crepe."
Seems like randy Curbed readers aren't the only ones with strong opinions on the subject— we've found that there's a whole neighborhood movement against this mural.
See Stop the Mural at Noe & 19th, the blog of one Drew, "A homeowner on Noe Street, just a half block from the ugliest mural in San Francisco." In a post entitled "Wrong on So Many Levels," disgruntled Drew alerts his readers that the artists are collecting signatures around the neighborhood in support of the project, which he deems "painfully tasteless," and suspects will have a detrimental effect on property values:
The design is an aesthetic nightmare. Rainbows and tropical plants? I don't recall seeing any tropical rain forests in San Francisco. A hideous shade of lavender? Looks more like the eye shadow on a drag queen. Bears holding hands? Maybe at Lazy Bear Weekend but not in cartoon imagery on the side of an apartment building. Schlocky gay pride images that are more tired cliches than anything original? I'm gay but even I find this offensive. We're not kids needing corny images to feel good about our community. Hell, giant drawings of Hello Kitty would be better than this junk.Tell us what you really think, Drew.
· Ask Curbed SF: Outed in the Castro [Curbed SF]
· Stop the Mural at Noe & 19th Street [blog] [The offending mural, courtesy Stop the Mural at Noe and 19th]