San Francisco Is Dead. Long Live San Francisco
Gary Kamiya has an excellent article in San Francisco Magazine, talking about the many factors and consequences of San Francisco’s economic growth.
(I)f present trends continue, the city could soon become a moated citadel of info-money, accessible only to venture capitalists, Twitter engineers, and the creators of hookup apps.
This prospect worries me. As someone who loves San Francisco’s maverick tradition and its class and ethnic diversity (I celebrated both in a book I wrote last year called Cool Gray City of Love), I find the idea that my beloved town is on the verge of becoming another Manhattan—a picturesque but increasingly expensive, homogeneous, and sterile burg—distressing, to put it mildly.
And yet, the political, cultural, and class war that has erupted over what is happening to San Francisco—call it the Change—strikes me as wrongheaded to the point of surreality.
I’m all for rushing the barricades when there’s an enemy to fight and a battle that can be won. I’ve engaged in my share of such battles. But it’s time to reckon with reality: There is no enemy here. Or if there is, it’s an enemy that won’t be defeated. What has hit San Francisco in the last couple of years can be summed up in one word: capitalism. And that is a tsunami that no seawall can keep out.
I love what San Francisco has been, and I sure hope I also can love what it’s becoming.