SFist posted a piece the other day suggesting that we need to move on from the pains that ails us regarding San Francisco’s massive sea of change in culture and real estate greed. Like a relationship that didn’t work out, we need to stop bemoaning our vanishing city and just get over it.
Do we need to move on?
Are we talking about it too much?
Personally I have lost my romance with San Francisco. At one point I thought I would live there my entire life. I live in Berkeley now. I tried and wanted Oakland but found housing to be a tough there also.
Recently I was in Golden Gate park, the sun was out, people were everywhere and I remembered for a moment the joy of being in the city. But mostly when it comes to living in the Bay Area I feel a boundary. Like a relationship that has worn you down, I am spent. I cannot spend months of my life on Craigslist answering ads only to compete against 30 other people for a room in a shared house for over $1000. I may be over you San Francisco Bay Area because I can not afford you. It’s not just the money, it’s the energy of having to fight for a place to live.
I have wondered if I should stop following Vanishing SF on Facebook and think about other things. SFist mentions Vanishing SF in the article and describes it as a group that exists solely to spread news:
“that everything is terrible and tech wealth has ruined the city”
But it’s how I get news.
I don’t go out in San Francisco like I used to. Not only because of how San Francisco has changed but largely because of the fact I don’t live in the Mission anymore and can’t saunter over on a 5 minute bike ride to many a fun thing. I commute 3 hours a day for work now and can’t imagine going anywhere after that. Without fun and negative news stories all the time it can dampen ones perspective.
But ultimately I think we, if we care about our city and about other people we can not stop talking about it.
Some people can not afford to do otherwise. Because their life depends on it.
This week a family ran a liquor store and lived above it on a prime commercial corner in the Mission District almost lost their lives in a fire. I think it’s the 4th fire in the last few months in the Mission. I could be wrong–I am not totally up on number. But more than several people in Facebook discussions have suggested that these fires are not accidents. The Mission is the fastest gentrifying neighborhood in the city where real estate companies are fighting to build condos and push out low-income and non-white communities.
This is not just a local issue. It’s about who we are as a culture and what our values are.
SFist thinks that we should stop bitching and the argument is that things change. But who are we if we are not a voice and a director in creating our world; our communities, our homes, the businesses we frequent, the places where are children play and walk, where we share joy and tears with each other.
Updated: there is a meeting at San Francisco City hall on March 19 at 2pm with Supervisor David Campos and Fire officals regarding fires in homes in the Mission District during this housing crisis.