Valparaiso is like San Francisco 20-30 years ago, before SF became a Segway tour. A seaport town that undulates from the Pacific Ocean over steep hills. Tires rumble across cobble stone and vintage Pullman trolleys shimmy along the coast, providing a subtle backbeat to daily life. Rattle, rattle, break, break, grind. Houses are dipped in vibrant hues and plopped haphazardly along slopes and lookouts forming a neo-impressionist landscape. Murals honor the history and heritage of the city, but this is more than street art. Valpo is a living, breathing museum. There's street art installations attached to buildings. Street poetry. Galleries carved out of bedrock exhibiting local painters and abstract sculptures. Musicians play for their bar tabs on cobble stone corners. Bands can be heard from rooftops and balconies. This is the shit out of novels, an artistic enclave near its peak. You come for a week and stay a month. A lifetime. There's commercialism, tourism, just enough to sustain artists and the community. Valparaiso is walking that edge...it's found that sweet spot. A few steps to the left and it loses itself to money, like San Francisco or Austin, to the right, and it tumbles back down the hill to struggle once again.