A well-meaning friend sent me THIS to mull over.
Now it’s worse than it was in 2000. Now it’s only about the money. Now the only diversity we have left is ethnic diversity. Everyone is rich and privileged and entitled or hustling as hard as they can to become rich and privileged and entitled. A city once defined by people wanting to change the world is now defined by people who just want to be among the world’s richest. A culture that once understood history and tried to create it now has a memory that’s about 2 fiscal quarters long - and a vision that goes as far out as their funding allows.
It amused me that the author, after having acknowledged being part of the problem, didn't realize how self-centered he was being in his assessment of my favorite city.
I responded with:
The truth is that, yes, these are *some* of the people making affording a city apartment nearly impossible. But the old money from the area, plus strange laws around tenants/landlords have also done major damage. And there's a trend of using property as a vacation rental (higher prices) rather than a place to house people actually living in the city long term. BUT, my beloved weird people who are so much more liberal and progressive and open-minded than I am are still in the area in abundance. And I adore them. It's also gorgeous here - from surf to skiing in the same day, mountains and ocean, lush farmland and a major metropolitan area. There's incredible racial and cultural diversity, though admittedly you have to include areas outside of the city for this to be fully true. The art, the food, the quirky fashion, I still love it and will continue to do so. It's home.I'm never sure if I can call myself a San Francisco "native." I grew up in the heart of the city - my artist parents lucked into a swank apartment in upscale Nob Hill before things got pricey. The usual test I've heard is, "well, which high school did you go to?" I have an answer, but I only attended for a year before my dad had an epiphany that took us all to Great Falls, MT.
I feel like an unnative native. It is and always will be my true home, my heart is here and it is here that I feel...well...like I fit somehow.
These conversations about San Francisco not being what it once was pop up constantly. I wouldn't care, but well meaning people send them my way, hoping for comment.
In the future, I'll send them here. It is and always will be my favorite city. Self-important startup folks aren't a strong enough force to change that. Ditto to hipsters, trustifarians, dotcommers, the "plants who ruined the hippie movement" or anyone else, for that matter. I'll never leave it for long.