I’ve Got the San Francisco Blues

25 Sep

I have been spending some time in the East Bay recently, and spending time there, soaking up the sun, walking among families along tranquil, tree-lined sidewalks, I have begun to undertand the area’s siren song for fed-up San Franciscans. What do San Franciscans have to be fed up about? Plenty.

We are tired of the last San Franciscans being evicted from their homes for the building of condominiums. This is happening within blocks of where I live. And in the Lower Haight, studio apartments are being rented for $4,000. A commenter on SFist notes: They say that you shouldn’t spend more than 25% of your income on rent. At 4000K a month’s rent is going to cost you $48000 a year. That means you need to earn 192K a year to live within your means. Of course what this commenter misses is that we San Franciscans don’t spend a quarter of our income on rent. For me it’s more like 51%/ Just over half of my monthly paycheck goes towards rent so that I can live in this city. And for what?

To watch as the mom and pop restaurants get replaced by crudo small plate gluten-free gastropubs, so that every last bar with character can be turned into a cocktail bar that serves libations in mason jars, where you can’t get a drink for under $12. Rather than be a city of young kids, recent college grads, families, and senior citizens, we are just a city of recent college grads. Mostly white, some Asian, but overall not too diverse. In a city known for being freewheeling and creative, I find myself more and more preoccupied with keeping up with the Joneses. This city’s vibrant residents have always made it unique, and yet I see a lot more sameness. My favorite bar, Bigfoot Lodge, once a dimly lit dive with kitschy decor and friendly if a bit rough around the edges bartenders, is being revamped. And I just read that Red Devil Lounge, just a stone’s throw away, is being turned into, you guessed it, a craft cocktial bar. Everything in this city now caters to the super rich, starting with housing.

And of course, a toast of champagne to Larry Ellison and his Oracle Team USA, who have won the America’s Cup. Huzzah!

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