For many years, the Mission District in San Francisco has welcomed a melting pot of cultures, lifestyles, and cuisines, thus offering unique glimpses into the markedly different stories of its residents. Take a walk through this diverse neighborhood and you’re likely to find authentic taquerias, trendy clothing stores, independent shops, dive bars and upscale restaurants neatly situated on the same block.
Though seemingly united, San Francisco’s oldest neighborhood is not new to controversy, as the clash of old and new cultures creates an environment ripe for protests over eviction notices, disputed neighborhood renovations and perpetually rising living costs.
But to what lengths are longtime residents willing to fight for a spot in their neighborhood? And more importantly, why?
The San Francisco Chronicle spent eight months in the heart of the Mission District to find out. The result: A Changing Mission. The project is beautifully presented online with a movie, story and an in-depth look at the people of the Mission.
In following this eclectic group of merchants and residents near the block of 24th Street between Shotwell and Folsom, the Chronicle delves into the history of the neighborhood, the changing atmosphere and what lies ahead.
One of the stories follows the Mosqueda family; rooted in Hispanic culture, the family represents the very “soul” of this neighborhood—with restaurants, streets, grocery stores, parks and familiar hang outs all nodding to its Latino influences.
Now rich in history and value, their once humble Mission home provided them with lasting comfort and served as an ideal place for creating memories for over half a century.
Though many Hispanic families in the neighborhood have been able to stay in their homes and continue their tradition of influence, the Mosqueda family could not. Unfortunately, the deaths of the Mosqueda clan’s father, Jesus and their mother, Margarita, brought their home ownership in the Mission into question. And with nine of the ten children leading separate lives in surrounding parts of the Bay Area, they were unable to afford to buy out their siblings in their now “pricey” home.
As the Chronicle recalls, “Juan Mosqueda, 49, the youngest of the 10 Mosqueda siblings, did his best to ignore the house hunters and real estate agents as he watched a World Cup match with his daughter and grandson.” Though an emotional process, Juan admitted that selling their family-owned home was the right thing for both he and his family as they could no longer afford to keep it.
For the children, their home was more than just a shelter—it was a reminder of the backbreaking labor that their father and mother endured to in order to provide them with a better life. Their childhood home embodied the very pride that stemmed from their family’s successes. They made it in this world and having to sell their house meant letting go of this pride.
But it was time to let go of the home that once housed all of their memories, laughter, tears, hardships and joy—and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Independent Agent Rich Michaels was along for the emotional journey. From the fights and tears in the beginning, to the hugs and celebrations at the end, the Mosqueda’s story puts a very human face to the role of a real estate agent and their candid relationships with clients.
And in providing an unfiltered look into the Mosqueda clan’s painful decision of closing the door on a lifetime of memories, the Chronicle opened the door for honest discussion surrounding the Mission neighborhood and its residents that are lucky enough to call it home.