The echoes of that era are strong. Neighborhood native and filmmaker Vero Majano just bought a poster at auction that was crafted in 2000 by an anti-displacement coalition. It shows two upscale white diners and proclaims, "Come Enjoy the Mission. CLEANER WHITER BRIGHTER Tablecloths." The message, Majano said, is "almost timeless about what's happening in the Mission," reflecting a cluelessness by newcomers that the neighborhood has a deep-rooted culture — including long-standing gang issues.
Still, many believe the latest revival is different. "There's a lot of interest by the younger kids in the history of the Mission," said Chavez, a longtime resident. "They may not speak Spanish, but they're interested in knowing the stories."
Matt Martin, 37, who pulled his silver scooter into a neighborhood alley one recent evening before meeting friends for dinner, called the Mission a "complicated onion."
The first-grade teacher's example? A tenth of a mile separates Valencia Street, with its array of trendy restaurants and boutiques, from Mission Street, which bustles with Mexican discount clothing stores, beauty shops and botanicas.