I love it when things like this pop up. This was the heart of the Mission District in San Francisco. Quirkiness on every corner, and still people were looking at me like, "What could possibly be worth taking a picture of here?"

Meanwhile, a block away, a dime store Jesus was standing in a doorway, strumming a guitar tunelessly, and singing Jingle Bells at the top of his lungs. He added a Western flair to the song by dropping his voice into swooping bass registers at "...all the way" and "...one horse open sleigh".
That's what I love about walking through the grittier parts of cities. So many windows and doors, like this one, practically begging to tell a story.

This window is in the El Capitan Hotel. Actually, a hostel, where you can get a room for $20, if you have the nerve. You can see reviews of the place online by English tourists who reserve a room, sight unseen before flying in, and then write about how frightened they were by the neighborhood. It's in the heart of the Mission District of San Francisco and is surrounded by small markets and shops, like the Dragon City Bakery and Cafe, where you can apparently get good Chinese baked goods. The immediate neighborhood is primarily Chicano and Latino, and has been for a long time, though gentrification is starting to seep in at the edges, partly fueled by the hipsters who live a couple blocks west.