• Local Expert 807 points
  • Review 1
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  • Answers 63
  • Discussions 4


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
Just now

"Murals and Attractive Touches"

It is virtually impossible to fully capture or even summarize all the nuances of the such a long street as this. Mission street, however, has at least two distinct sections, the section where it begins in the financial district and the second portion in the neighborhood which bears its name.

In the financial district, Mission Street is much cleaner looking alternative to Market Street, which it parallels. Mission is virtually all glassy office buildings whose cool exteriors hide the financial dealings within. There are, of course, more than its share of older brick buildings, that look squat and heavy next to the newer high rises. Occasionally, in this urban setting there are touches of elegance and even beauty. For me, I like the appearance, for example of the restaurant that begins our journey on Mission, the Boulevard Restaurant. Its separate booths are so displayed so you can see their individualization from the street, each tinted window with its own blue awnings. The first floor roof is topped with a classical cornice before it gives way to red brick. A lovely detail. You could really spend all day admiring such details on this street and perhaps many of the homeless who wander it have noticed these. The business people who rush along to their next financial deals certainly don’t seem to have the time to appreciate such subtleties.

You will find an Academy of Art College and the Cartoon Museum just off Mission as well as the Rincon Center, the Jewish Museum, and the Metreon. My next favorite part however is where St. Patrick’s church sits across from the Yerba Buena gardens. The juxtaposition of one of the oldest structures in the City with this most modern of parks in the financial district is quite striking.

After the Court House, the buildings get smaller and seem more worn down, the street narrows and you start to get more gang tags. Mission is undergoing a metamorphosis as it reaches Van Ness and prepares to turn south.

The Mission mural at the Arriba Juntos Building just past a red brick monstrosity near 14th street announces this strange new area. Large eyes stare out at you from the short two story building, as if to say they are watching you as much as you are watching them. Even the gang tags start to take on a more artistic quality at this point—as if they are aware they must compete with the magnificent murals of the area.

Beyond this point, however, you start to get adult movie stores, taquarias and cheap motels. The financial district is well behind you now. You no longer feel quite like you are in the United States. You start getting places with strangely opaque names like the Blue Macaw and the Dark Room Theater. Are they bars, or strip clubs? They don’t bother to tell, inviting to you to come and explore at your own risk.

As Mission starts nearing its end, things start to brighten up again. Buildings are more colorful and more taken care of. It becomes clear that you are in a neighborhood transitioning from a blighted area to a newly gentrified one. Yet another sign of the juxtaposition of city life where new and old mix, not always in a seemless manner.
Recommended for
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"From Shopping, to Residential, to Barren"

Willow Pass Road is arguably the major artery going through Concord. It picks up where Taylor Blvd. leaves off at Contra Costa Blvd. The Sun Valley Mall is right at the corner. It is the biggest mall in this area and has all of the amenities you would expect from a mall—JCP Penny, Macy’s a Red Robin hamburger joint, the whole shebang.

As you cross under the 680 freeway (there are onramps and off ramps here) you come to another very nice shopping and eating area at Diamond Blvd. You can find a Sizzler and a Denny’s there and there are several other places up Diamond Blvd. to the north. There are also some office buildings and a gym there. This is also the location of one of the really great Concord eateries, the Elephant Bar—very yummy and reasonably priced though it is often fairly crowded and you will have to wait for a table.

Past the 242, you get yet another heavy shopping area with a pet store, electronics store, furniture store and several places to eat. You get just about everything from fast food to Indian, to Mexican food—a reflection of the cultural diversity of Concord large population.

As you reach Galindo Street you have probably the nicest shopping and recreation area in Concord. You have the Brendan Theatres right on the corner and then a half-price books and a Spaghetti Factory restaurant right across the street in Todos Santos Plaza. There is a very nice, though small park here, and several coffee shops and eateries in this area. Great for meeting up with friends and for first dates.

As you pass under the elevated rails of the BART, Willow Pass starts to become more residential. You get apartment buildings on the south side and Crossroads High School, a continuation school and a Montessori on the north. As Willow Pass turns northwest at Esperanza we get into a fully residential area, with some nice parks on the north side and then lots of apartments and houses.

As you start to get further along the northern side starts to become open fields. The southern side of Willow Pass fills with lower, flatter, older houses and apartment buildings. Many seventies style buildings here. You even get some trailer parks and So Cal style palm trees in this area. The northern part becomes more and more desert-like and soon you can see all the way to hills, where the wind farms are spinning on windy days.

Then, Willow Pass becomes a complete country road with empty grass fields on both sides. At this point it is just you and the telephone poles all the way to highway 4. It’s busy at rush hours with commuters.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Just now

"A Perfectly Awful Little Cul-de-Sac"

If you enjoy the noise of traffic, this is the place to live. I got roped into living in this horrible little hole of street becuase I had to move suddenly. A "friend" of mine found this place for me and for a year I have to stay here trying to deal with his poor decision making.

My second story apartment literally opens onto the freeway, so in the morning I can open up my windows and wave at the passing commuters on Highway 80. The double paned windows are not enough to block out the cacophany of engines and horns. Hopefully, you will never have to bear such a place as I have had to for what has only been a few monthes.

I have resorted to playing a trick on myself at night in order to sleep. I close my eyes and try to imagine that passing hum of cars is only the tide rolling out over the rocks--like Arnold in Dover Beach. Unfortunately, more often than not a trucker rolls by shaking my room as if I were in a minor earthquake. The Horror! The Horror!



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