06 Jun 2021

That Over-Priced City By the Bay

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LithHub excerpts Grant Faulkner’s new book repining the technocrafication of San Francisco that prices out creative Bohos like himself.

Our sense of place is as important as the other senses because it provides the sense of belonging, and without knowing it, I belonged in San Francisco in the early ’90s, no matter that I wasn’t quite as hip as the other hipsters (I thought about but eventually balked at getting a tattoo of barbed wire around my bicep), no matter that my leftist politics placed me nearer Jerry Brown than Che Guevara. Whether I was doing yoga in the attic of an old Victorian on Dolores Street (yoga studios were still rare and exotic in the early ’90s) or going on my weekly pilgrimage to Fort Mason on the 49 bus to page through the slim binders of jobs at Media Alliance, desperately trying to find a job that better suited my college education than my gig as a waiter, or walking with hordes of people through Golden Gate Park for a free concert, I belonged to San Francisco, and my Midwestern self was fading away.

And yet, the place I belonged to was just about to depart. To be usurped, really. As the dot-coms rolled in, finally providing those jobs that were better suited to my college education, some of my poor writer friends became digital marketers and content providers and would soon climb the ladder to earn more money, and then more again, because it took more and more to live here. Others left for places like Portland, LA, and Austin, places they hoped would provide an easier and more creative life. The rest were pushed out. Rudely pushed out by escalating rents. We thought the Mission, the city, was ours, and didn’t understand how such a thing could be for sale. We were futurists looking in the wrong direction.

RTWT

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One Feedback on "That Over-Priced City By the Bay"

Mike-SMO

Sic Semper.

I remember that city well. Great view. Good food.

Those who are useful and energetic get to choose. Others get to move. If it is private ownership, rents and property values go up. If it is a Bolshie system, those who work for the party get reliable heat, water and plumbing. Others shiver in the corner and then take long rides on the bus to do something useful (to the party). Make a life and then decide what you can afford. Momma operated the last “Free Ride” and she is getting along in years.

Just sayin’.



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