Over the past decade, the gayborhood has morphed into whatâ€™s often termed a â€œpost-gayâ€ neighborhood. At many LGBT-owned businesses, youâ€™re apt to bump into plenty of straight folks as well â€” and vice versa. And itâ€™s a good bet that the formerly explicitly gay neighborhoods will continue to become steadily more diverse â€” including the influx of the dreaded â€œhipsterâ€. But if you can get beyond the sometimes precious conceits of these trendy urban districts, youâ€™ll discover some of the best businesses and restaurants in the country. Every day for the next two weeks, weâ€™ll be taking a look at a dozen of the most dynamic and interesting post-gay neighborhoods, like the Mission District, in the United States and Canada. These arenâ€™t necessarily the biggest or the most popular â€” just a good sampling of especially notable ones.
Mission District in San Francisco, California
Adjacent to arguably the worldâ€™s most recognizable gay ghetto, the Castro, the significantly larger Mission District has a long and fascinating history. Itâ€™s named for the oldest extant building in the city, Mission San Francisco de Asis, and has been a center of the cityâ€™s Mexican-American population for eons. By the â€˜60s it had become a hub of countercultural activists, feminists, and lesbians, and todayâ€”although very much gentrified and increasingly expensiveâ€”itâ€™s a diverse community known for some of the hippest coffeehouses, indie retail, and creative restaurants in the city.