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How San Francisco Broke America’s Heart

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by TravelTime, May 25, 2019.

  1. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    If you’ve ever fallen in love with a place, you’ll know what style writer Karen Heller is talking about.

    She grew up in Washington, D.C., but was captivated by San Francisco.

    Heller, who went to college in Chicago (“a spectacular city”), once spent the summer as a paralegal at a law firm in San Francisco. And the city didn’t disappoint.

    “Every person I talked to back then agreed that San Francisco was the most beautiful city in the country,” says Heller. “It was unanimous.”

    But in the decades since her summer in San Francisco, technology startups have transformed the city. An influx of educated young people have ratcheted up property values to eye-watering levels and spread an expensive monoculture, Heller says. And it's lost its appeal.

    “Everyone I spoke with came to loathe San Francisco,” says Heller. “Even people who could afford to live there were leaving, or complaining about what the city has become. It sort of dropped off everyone's list of favorite cities."

    And as landlords raise the rents, businesses that make cities like San Francisco livable — places like shoe repair shops and hardware stores — are disappearing.

    Shoe repair shops, or their absence, are ”sort of the new indicator to me if a city is in trouble,” says Heller.

    One detail that didn't make it into Heller's story was an interview with a woman who said that she threw away an old pair of boots because she couldn’t find a single shoe repair shop. A Google search shows a few options, but Heller says the overall observation rings true: mom-and-pop businesses that offer the basics are closing shop.

    Read article here”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/life...term=.93cc70669480&wpisrc=nl_mustreads&wpmm=1

    Disclosure: I live in the SF Bay Area so be gentle with your comments! :p
     
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  2. SteelerGal

    SteelerGal TUG Member

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    Couldn’t agree more w/ the article. I wanted to take my family to SF to see the sights, but the cost and homelessness is a concern. We are in SoCal but insulated for now but the rise in homelessness due to many of the factors started in the article, is affecting all cities throughout the State.
     
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  3. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    Herb Caen is rolling over in his grave.

    I lived there in the 80s, good times. We read Armistead Maupins Tales of the City and Herb daily in the Chron.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  4. CanuckTravlr

    CanuckTravlr TUG Member

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    I have visited San Francisco three times. The first time was in 1974, then in 2000 and the last time in 2009. It was always a favourite city for a number of reasons.

    It has a geographically pretty setting, like Vancouver, BC and some other similar cities around the world. It has always been a city that encouraged diversity and innovation. The tech industry is part of this, but has been so successfully innovative as to endanger much of what made San Francisco the interesting city that it was. Finally, that welcoming of diversity created a vibrant cultural scene, which resulted in many interesting neighbourhoods and a fabulous choice of restaurants, from inexpensive to high-end.

    It is sad to think that the city is now to some degree choking on its own success. Any dynamic city changes over time, some of it for the good and some of it to be longingly missed. And I noticed many changes even in my last two visits. I still hope to visit the city again at some point, but I am sure my next visit will again remind me of what has been lost as much as inform me of what is new.

    This is not a problem unique to San Francisco, although the specific cause in this case might be. I have also noticed the changes and gentrification/internationalization in many cities over the last 40 or 50 years, not the least of which have been Venice, Florence and Rome.
     
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  5. Beachclubmum

    Beachclubmum Guest

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    Spent part of my high school and college years in the Bay Area, late 70's/early 80's. Fond memories here too...
     
  6. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    I moved to the Bay Area in 1974. Except for a 2-year period in SoCal, we lived the Bay area (Contra Costa) until 1993, when we moved to Seattle.

    One reason for leaving the Bay Area was the changes that were occurring - it had been fascinating, but it was losing its charm. When I was becoming familiar with Seattle in the early 1990s, Seattle then reminded me much of what San Francisco was like in the mid-1970s. And I've watched as Seattle has followed a similar trajectory as San Francisco.
     
  7. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Rick's brother was born there in November of 1947. Rick's parents were embarrassed as Catholic kids for getting pregnant before marriage, so they moved to SF to avoid the entire fiasco. they didn't marry, either. We didn't know that for a very long time. They didn't marry until Rick was on his way, so about 7.5 years later.

    Ronnie's heart was always in SF. Even though they moved back to Denver at about the age of 3, Ronnie returned there and lived almost exclusively in the bay area until his death a few years ago. He was a musician of some renown and is well known in the area. I don't know how many times Rick was asked if he is related to Ronnie during stays in SF.

    It was sad for us to go back the last time. We usually visited with Ronnie a few times during our stays. He took us to half-moon bay. I would love to eat at the restaurant again. It was delicious and not expensive. It was right by the water, and you would swear it was Hawaii, the water was so pretty.
     
  8. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We lived in the San Francisco Bay area (East Bay specifically) from the early 1980's. In our last few years there dh worked near the Embarcadero and would walk the city at lunch time. We moved because the entire area was getting too crowded. It wasn't like we were dying, and counting the minutes to leave. We still go back at least once a year and spend some time in San Francisco. As I've mentioned in other posts I still love going back and haven't encountered a lot of the problems being reported.
     
  9. Brett

    Brett Guest

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    no shoe repair shops ..... such a shame

    "The city is filthy rich in what other regions crave: growth, start-ups, high-paying jobs, educated young people, soaring property values, commercial and residential construction, a vibrant street life, and so much disposable revenue. The sole constant is its staggering beauty."

    If only Newport News Virginia had those problems.

    I have a relative in Oakland. But maybe it's not a sanctuary city
     
  10. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Not sure what they are talking about with no shoe repair shops. I just did a google search and found plenty in San Francisco. Oh well, I guess people have to have something to complain about.
     
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  11. mjm1

    mjm1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    My family moved to Half Moon Bay in 1968 and my Mom still lives there. For those not familiar it is a small town of approximately 10,000 people with other small towns to the north of it. About 20-30 miles south of San Francisco depending on where if SF you start.

    I think the restaurant you are referring to is Sam’s Chowder House, which is on Highway 1 at the north end of Half Moon Bay and close to El Granada. Another place my Mom loves is Barbara’s Fish Trap, which is located at 281 Capistrano Rd. I love the clam chowder here. It is smaller and has a view of the Princeton Harbor. You have to get to both of theses places early.

    Best regards.

    Mike
     
  12. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Yes, that is the name of the restaurant, Sam's Chowder House, and the food was excellent, especially the clam chowder, which was hands-down better than Boudin's.
     
  13. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I am glad we were there in the good ol' days on our honeymoon in 1977. Must be totally different now.
     
  14. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    As are many places. Some for the better, some for the worse.

    There are parts of San Francisco that are SO much better than the "good old days". Parts of the city have been revitalized and really come to life. The Embarcadero Freeway, which was destroyed by the earthquake in 1989 was never rebuilt and that area down on the Embarcardero has opened up and become vibrant.

    Here is a brief description of San Francisco in the 1970's, the "good old days".

    "San Francisco in the 1970s was a global hub of culture. It was known worldwide for hippies and radicals. The city was heavily affected by drugs, prostitution and crime."

    And specifically for 1976-1977.

    "The Golden Dragon massacre that occurred on 4 September 1977 originated with a dispute at the Golden Dragon Restaurant between the Joe Boys,and the Wah Ching, two Chinatown gangs. The Joe Boys attacked the Wah Ching at this restaurant as they had vandalized the graves of some of the Joe Boys members who had been killed. In the resulting gun battle of five innocent bystanders, including two tourists, were killed and 11 injured and this incident came to be known as the Golden Dragon Massacre following which the San Francisco Police Department's Gang Task Force came to be established.

    San Francisco was unusual for a large city in that its Board of Supervisors was chosen in at-large elections, with all candidates appearing together on the ballot. The candidate who received the most votes was elected President of the Board of Supervisors, with runners up filling the remaining open seats. District elections were enacted by Proposition T in November 1976. The first district-based elections in 1977 resulted in a radical change to the composition of the Board, including the election of groundbreaking minority candidates Harvey Milk, Gordon Lau, Ella Hill Hutch, and Carol Ruth Silver. After former Supervisor Dan White shot and killed Supervisor Milk and Mayor George Moscone inside city hall, district elections were deemed too divisive and San Francisco returned to at-large elections until 2000.

    [​IMG]
    Protesters in front of the International Hotel
    On August 4, 1977, the last 50 residents of the International Hotel, a building that had housed nearly 200 low-income Asian and Filipino American residents, were forcibly evicted after several years of political battles between residents and developers who wanted to convert the building for urban renewal. Five thousand demonstrators blocked the building in an attempt to stop the eviction. [46]

    Later in 1977, under increased public scrutiny, Jim Jones of the People's Temple, which had established itself in San Francisco in 1971, fled with many of his followers to Jonestown in Guyana, where over nine hundred people committed suicide by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid on November 18, 1978."
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  15. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I guess at age 21 in 1977 and on our honeymoon we must have overlooked a lot of things there. We had such a nice time visiting. We were there for 3 days, but we also took in Sausalito and the Redwoods and Alcatraz.

    Different perspective when on a vacation. Not the same as living there.
     
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  16. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    DD and SIL lived in Kensington for several years beginning about 2010. It was interesting getting back to the area. DW is a Redwood City girl, and the Bay Area will always be home for her.

    ******

    One of my most vivid SF memories is a Sunday afternoon in early December 1973 during our courtship, when on a whim we decided to go to San Francisco for the afternoon. She had a beauteous 1965 Mustang. We headed up the 280 from Redwood City. It was one of those Bay Area winter days with broken clouds and showers, followed by sunshine. As we went past Crystal Springs the sun was shining brightly, and ten miles later we were in a downpour.

    We parked near Mission Street (in 1973 you could do street parking south of Market on a weekend) and walked up to Market to catch a cable car. The cable car to Fisherman's Wharf had an incredibly long waiting line, so we headed to Ghirardelli instead, and decided to meander over towards Fisherman's from Ghirardelli. The Ghirardelli cable car was still crowded; she had a seat while I stood on the edge and hung on to a pole. As we were riding a squall went over, and I tried to squeeze in under cover. But my butt, projecting out, got soaked. We spent the afternoon in Ghirardellli. We popped in for a drink at some place; I don't remember what I ordered, but she ordered a hot buttered rum and I was entranced by this exotic woman who knew about such things, but still seemed to be interested in a bumpkin like me.

    By evening, we made it over to Fishermans Wharf, and we had dinner at a restaurant (I don't know which one, except that I know it wasn't Alioto's). She had scallops. I had Crab Newburg.

    I was a midwestern kid from a poor family - I had zero knowledge of seafood. Aquatic food to me was pike, freshwater bass, crappie, and sunfish. Seafood was cod and halibut, and was largely beyond our means in any form except school lunch fishsticks. (I hasten to add that although we poor, we weren't so bad off that we had to eat lutefisk.) So this whole seafood thing was alien to me, but I was ready to learn. I ordered the Newburg because I at least had an idea of what crab was. And the restaurant prices for seafood were in line with what I might have expected to pay in the midwest for a decent beef, pork, or chicken meal.

    I was totally delighted with the meal. My Newburg was wonderful, and when I had a taste of her scallops I was enthralled.

    We took the cable car back to Market Street. This time I was able to sit inside with her. As we rode I had the awareness to realize that I had just spent one of the most spectacular days that I would ever have in my life, and I should cement that moment in my memory. Which I did.

    ******

    A few weeks later I realized that this was the person with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life, and we should get married. I told her that, and she replied, "I know that; what took you so long."

    It doesn't make any difference what San Franscisco might have become. Just as Rick and Ilsa will always have Paris, we will always have San Francisco.
     
  17. DavidnRobin

    DavidnRobin TUG Member

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    Perhaps we need a separate forum for SF bashing?

    Lakeshore Elementary
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  18. wilma

    wilma TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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  19. bbodb1

    bbodb1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We were fortunate enough to visit San Francisco in the late 80's and really enjoyed the trip. What still sticks with me even after all these years are how so many people live a considerable portion of their lives in a radius of 6 - 8 blocks and never really have to leave that area for anything. People live, eat, and work in their 'neighborhoods' within San Francisco. It was quite a fascinating sight to see.

    Now, some 30 years removed from that trip, I don't know if I would perceive San Francisco in the same way. Just as I am not the same person I was in my 20's (now in my 50's), San Francisco is likely not the same place either. We grow, we change, we get older, we see things differently. My desire to see the big cities is no more - having been replaced by the need to see mountains - but I would hope our big cities still have that allure to some. I'm not sure it does, but I just don't know.
     
  20. am1

    am1 TUG Member

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    Visited overnight on a college road trip in 2007. Vancouver to San Diego. By far the low point of the trip. I still do not see the appeal.

    May go back as it has direct flights from where we live and to where we go every year. Or a stopover on the way to Hawaii.
     
  21. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I grew up in southern California and I don't remember when I made my first trip there. Over the years the city has changed, evolved, in many ways gotten better...and worse, but I will say I have always enjoyed it.

    Love big cities. Every year we spend a few days in San Francisco (on our way to and from Maui) and a week in NYC, along with another city (this year it will be Chicago). I love these city visits, it gives me my city fix. Living in Santa Fe I am surrounded by the mountains year round, and love those too.
     
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  22. Icc5

    Icc5 TUG Member

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    Have lived about 40 miles South of San Francisco my entire life in 3 South Bay Cities. We always have taken out of state relatives to S.F. because that is where they ask to go. I've spent a week there a few different times but it definitely is not one of my favorite cities. I usually don't care for big cities but Seattle,New York,and Vancouver have been my favorites. As I write this I have relatives coming out for a conference in a few months asking me about several different hotels in S.F. They are from Green Bay and only like San Francisco and/or Napa. To each their own.
     
  23. x3 skier

    x3 skier Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Lived in Palo Alto in the late 70’s. SF was nice to visit. I’ve been back a few times since and each time, the desire to return became less. Now, if I return to Stanford for football game or other college event, I no longer trek north for a visit since I hardly recognize the place.

    Cheers
     
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  24. LisaH

    LisaH TUG Lifetime Member

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    It's still a great city and I love living close to it (but not in it). It has a huge appeal to young folks. Friend's daughter is in a MBA program from an Ivy League school and she has secured a summer intern job at a Silicon Valley company. My friend suggests that she lives at home (close to job). She replied: " mom, unless you want me to be single for the rest of my life, there is no way I will live anywhere other than SF" :D
     
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  25. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We were told on one of our visits to San Francisco that many of the tech "kids" who are working in Silicon Valley are living in San Francisco because the rents are comparable, or less. I mean, as a young person who wouldn't want to live in San Francisco as opposed to the Peninsula? :)
     
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