Living on the eve of a new dawn… and not being able to stop that sunrise!

The Dawn!

The Dawn!

They always say that

“One never knows what they have got until it is gone.”

This is not and has not usually been the case for me. Nope. Instead, i can see that things are really good right now and they are changing and the changes are not ideal. I realize when i am living in one of the apex’es of my life… On the verge of a new, darker dawn. A time where things are now as intelligent and as open as they may ever be. I can see a new dawn before me, yet i am still standing in yesterday or what is today.

It is a strange feeling to be living in what feels more like a memory than the now. Usually when i think of the right now… it feels exciting and innovative and current. But sometimes it feels like the now is the yesterday or yesteryear. The golden era that once was… the good ol’ days. And it feels like right now is actually part of the past because I know what the future is looking like.

Usually when i have this kinda like reverse deja vous, it makes me very melancholy and i just wish i could push that button on that stopwatch so I can just stop time before things move into this new outline i see before me. Like a line drawing that is about to be colored in. That is what the future feels like. You know what it is going to be (in its simplest form) and you know what these changes are going to do to the reality that you have grown your life around and into. You know that big things are about to change. Drastically.

The familiar markers that you thought were a part of the landscape that was a permanent fixture of the main picture. You thought that certain infrastructures as a part of the fabric that you have come to count on would be part of that picture forever. That, without that part of the landscape infrastructure, it would or could never survive. That it has relied on these components for so long that you assume that it is and will be like that forever.

I think that this is an optimistic and naive perspective and not surprising from someone who’s generation has never seen the face of a drafted war or famine.

I am sure that all of those jewish people who were just living their lives in Germany, going about their business like they had been doing for generations were caught off guard when all of a sudden their friends and colleges were being harassed and eventually moved into ghettos. They never thought that that would be their reality or that they would not be doing what ancestors had been doing for generations. No, Their reality and future was MUCH much different. They would be fighting for their lives with many of them losing that fight, and the ones that managed to survive, their towns, and their families and communities did not.

My point is this… What if those German Jewish people were able to see what was in store for them before it was actually become a reality? It would make one despondent yet so desperate to try and capture the reality before the darkness. To remember it and keep it with you for always.

But that makes one not really interact within their lives. Because it feels more like interacting with a scene on a set. You cant really dig roots or make any plans for one’s future when that future is so different and unknown. What do you do?

I think this has been how it has been for me for a good portion of my life. At least my adult life. I think that this is EXACTLY why i have never gotten married or had any children and i think it is a huge contributing component to why i have suffered depression so severely over the past 20 years. It can be a never ending downwards free fall of despondence. Along with that guilt and a warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia.

I guess i am saying that it is a very weird feeling to be having a lifetime apex moment and at the same time being so totally aware that things will never be better than this very moment and you can not hold onto it. It is elusively slipping away as the seconds tick by. It kinda feels a little bit out of body experience.

It is just bizarre.IMG_1292

Advertisements

Open letter to the residents of the city of Oakland….

English: The of . Français : Temple mormon d'O...

English: The of . Français : Temple mormon d’Oakland, en Californie (États-Unis). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know that things are starting to change over there for you in Oakland.  Rents are rising and the vacancies are less.  There are more people moving to Oakland because the locals are being forced out of places like mostly San Francisco due to the new sweetheart deals our douche-bag mayor arranged to bring in new tech firms and along with them over 50,000 new soul-less, uncultured, ass-brained tech workers.

This topic of gentrification has been one i have been writing about for a while now and is probably the issue that weighs down on me more than any other. It is such a heavy subject that i actually see it changing the way i see society and my general outlook on people in general. It is making me a little bit discriminating towards certain new crowds. And i know that there are probably a few cool ones in all of that gentrification… but i hate you regardless… i know… it is wrong…. Continue reading

Take a look at these numbers and then tell me SF bay real estate is not HOT HOT HOT!!

Houses going fast and high in San Francisco.

Just to give you some idea of what a hot market that is highly inflated (if you ask me!) for housing sales…  Check out these numbers….

Last year, 162 properties sold in the Bay Area for over $5 million.

AND In the 9 counties of the Bay Area, over 11,000 $1 million-plus properties were sold.

Now if you dont call that a sellers market… i dont know what is!

It does not surprise me though.  If you want anything more that 2 bedrooms in San Francisco, you are looking at over 1 million dollars.

That is pretty crazy and ridiculous to me if you ask.  I remember not very long ago, if you spent a half million dollars on a home, you were living LARGE.  …But… that is back when being a millionaire was a big deal.  Now i think you need to be a billionaire to really impress anyone these days.

So much for buying a house in my hometown in this lifetime!  And… they wonder why people want or have to rent…?  HELLO!!  Some of us dont make a 7 figure salary… and never will.  Thankfully, this is ok with me if this is our reality.  As long as i have a roof over my head, running water and insulation, i am all good. That is as long as i am in my home of SF. even if it is too expensive for god!  I am just going to enjoy it each day as it comes and hope that there are many before displacement is a reality for me too….

What does San Francisco need to help fight its rash of bicycle thefts…? This could be it!…

Since San Francisco is now clearly turning into a town of big corporate sponsors and a high earning population… AND is really in its prime for its curent ‘bike culture, together  makes for a perfect storm for bicycle thefts.   Continue reading

Dear San Francisco recent recruits… Question for you on housing…

Image

Dear San Francisco recent recruits... Question for you on housing...

If you make so much income, why are you really working for your landlord and not yourself? You know that you are being fleeced by your deep pocketed (and lined) landlord. It doesnt really have to cost that much to live in San Francisco but you are willing to give up up to 60% of your income in order to live here which means, you are really working for your landlord who is planning his retirement thanks to you now.

So, if you are making all of this elitist income, which entitles you to be able to call yourselves San Franciscans, WHY ARE YOU RENTING AT ALL???

You are supposed to be the smart ones right? If you were so smart, with interest rates where they are and programs for first time buyers in place, why on earth would you not be working to be paying yourself to be able to call yourself a SFer instead of some international corporation that is your landlord?

The thing that has been going through my mind ever since this new tech migration started moving in… How can these kids afford to be saving anything that they earn? They only eat out and at the hippest joints!. They can pay upwardly of up to 50-60% of their income on rent and the fees associated with hi-rise and condo living (parking, gym, etc.). They (mostly) refuse to use MUNI so only take cabs which by 2015 will not cost less than $5 just to get in.

Where are you saving or investing your income? How do you plan on actually becoming one of these rich people that you are pretending to be?

Real rich people are NOT renters that is for sure! And they have houses that are actually big enough to COOK in!

As well as a place to store all of your fun outdoor sporty equipment so you can stop having to rent a storage unit to house the real stuff in ones life. Hard to live so minimally without any storage or space isnt it? Hard to invest when you can not save. Hard to save when you are throwing all your money away as disposable income.

No wonder the city likes you so much! You come in, make a good wage and turn around and just gladly give it right back.

You all may be ‘smart’ but you do not have much common sense or intelligence. If you did, you would have migrated into this town with a whole different approach and with a knowledge of what their smartest way of integrating would be for both them and for those that they are trying to inter-merge with.

All of other groups in the past that get recruited or just decide to move to SF to work, if they can not find appropriate accommodations, They, in the past have taken a place outside the city until they can find the right place for them. Why is this not an option for you? If some of you had decided to do this, the cost of your rent would not be so overly inflated and you would be able to figure out exactly where in SF or otherwise you fit best thus looking in that area if you chose to come in after getting settled in your new job. This is how things have been done for the ages. What makes you think that instead of that, you can come in and force the market up into the sky so you can find a place right here right now??

I am just wondering, why is it not YOU that has to look outside the city to find a place and not people that have lived here for decades?

Remember the saying… First come first served… YOU are definitely NOT the first! So go serve yourself somewhere where there is availability. Quit being predators upon the local population AND with that awful entitled attitude problem of yours! It makes me truly SICK.

I am just saying….

This is just one random home that is currently for sale in San Francisco… Can you see the change?

Image

Screen Shot 2013-02-24 at 10.28.23 PM
Just incase we need a visual to get an idea of what San Francisco real estate market has been doing in the last couple years, here is a lovely chart thanks to Zillow. I know right now, i am just lucky to still be here! It wont be forever unfortunately. At least according to charts like this (and the rest are all the same…:(.

What would Adolph Sutro think of UCSF cutting down 30,000 out of 45,000 trees that he planted over 100 years ago.

Adolph Sutro: you’re my guy

Adolph Sutro: you’re my guy (Photo credit: phil dokas)

So, the past week or so,  the media reported that UCSF is about to cut down approx. 30,000 out of the 45,000 trees that stand in Mount Sutro forest.  This is a forest of eucalyptus trees that was planted over 100 years ago by Mr. Sutro of Sutro bath‘s fame.  He was the main developer and land owner of these western lands when SF was being built.  He even built himself a railroad line all the way out to the beach where his mansion sat on the bluff above the Cliff House (which he built… several times after each one burned down) in order to bring tourists out to enjoy his baths, the cliff house and the ocean.   Continue reading

Dear new “tech generation” that has just landed in our fair city of San Francisco… and think that major changes need to be made for you…

… I would like to address this to all of you.  You know who you are.  You are incredibly arrogant to believe that you have a right to the really REALLY unbelievable attitude you seem to feel you deserve towards our city and its residents that already live here…  Here is a response to a response from an article that i read in support of these tech assholes who are (to me personally) out of their fucking minds…  Here you go.. I think it explains it pretty well to you all.

This is the problem we have with you all and your point of view….

Ps.  i am a little bit mad.. If you go and read the threads above mine, you can see where this agression lies….  I do apologize for the tone in this setting for you….

Six Sisters Houses, San Francisco

“What the F*** I mean is who the hell do you think you are to think that you have any right to come into a world class town and abolish its history.  You godam tech narcissists think that the world owes you a world of gratitude and the ability to take whatever you see that you want.  Again, i have to ask you… Who the F*** ARE YOU? … other than some ignorant uneducated in ANY OTHER field than the tech industry egomaniac?  Are you serious here?  You are going to look back (i would normally expect but with you lot, i am just going to hope.) and feel so ashamed.  Ashamed of your shortsightedness, ashamed of your greed, ashamed of your insensitivity and ashamed of your choice to want to destroy history for many generations to come.  You at that point SHOULD feel ASHAMED!  SHAME ON YOU!!  I think it is time for you all to open up some books… real books,  Not some C+ manual.  Take a look (and then… try to..) read some of them.  You will soon learn just how deeply entrenched the REAL (curent or former) SF means to people outside of your little foggy bubble.  Right about now, i bet that most of us “old timers” would actually chose to give up “technology” and go back to the dark ages if it were to mean that we could have our people filled with soul and compassion and diversity back as our neighbors.  I know i would trade you and all of the tech that you so praise in a HEARTBEAT.  I lived once without it and did just fine… i am sure I could survive just fine… Dont so much know how well you all would do though.  Cant wait to find out maybe someday.  When that happens, i am grabbing my popcorn and chair and catching a front row view of your well deserved melt down!!  As well as i am pretty sure quite a few others.  You aint makin any friends here with that f***** up attitude of yours and it needs a re-evaluation… FAST!!”

If you want to read the actual article and ALL of the comments (beware they can get a little agressive.  Clearly this is a passionate topic for all involved)… you can read it here…

http://pandodaily.com/2012/12/01/san-francisco-can-become-a-world-capital-first-it-needs-to-get-over-itself/?hubRefSrc=email#lf_comment=58083266

 

Let me know what you think and what side of the coin you chose to fall on ok?  Thank you!!

I have an idea for relief for this SF housing crisis….

Modern Apartment at 1000 N. Lasalle

Modern Apartment at 1000 N. Lasalle (Photo credit: PPMChicago-Alex)

Views over Plaza Cataluñya. Modern apartment f...

Views over Plaza Cataluñya. Modern apartment for sale in Barcelona|LFS3064 (Photo credit: lucasfoxbcn)

I dont know why some smart little city near sf (maybe like foster city over on the bay side or somewhere like that…) does not decide that they are going to invest in a portion of town and build luxury living (renting) and luxury dining for this part.  Clearly we need another place that these tech workers would consider living other than the city or there will be nothing but only tech and advertising highly paid kids living in the city.  They are young and quite wealthy (at least bringing in large paychecks) and want the lifestyle of luxury and modernity and hip swank. Continue reading

Can San Francisco survive its mass sell out that has put it under seige? …Dont bother asking the Mayor!

 

When i get despondent about my beautiful city by the bay, i have got to remember that San Francisco is just like it always has been since its inception… trying to be cashed in upon. It has ALWAYS had someone who is or has attempted to be sell it out completely.  And why not?  It is a BEAUTIFUL place with so much charm and character and a beautiful warm/cool, colorful clean landscape with still hints of the wild left intact.  It also was rebuilt after 1906 at a time when there happened to be a LOT of money in this city and in the hands of a few hardcore business men. 

The ones who came to San Francisco knew where the real gold was, were the ones that stayed in town and provided the provisions that the huge new influx of inhabitants and travelers needed and cashed in.  Those in turn, many of them became the Grandfathers of what is the SF we know today.  Otherwise called The Argonauts.  Within this small grouping, a lot of the time they kept the money within the family, by lending it to nephews or marrying 2nd and 3rd cousins etc.  This is how my ancestors managed to maintain the wealth within this small group of tight knit Jewish Bavarian immigrants.  It also helped strengthen the faith and their durability and standing within the community.  This is true with a lot of different ethnic immigrant groups that settled in the city (think Italians in North Beach, Japanese in Japantown, Mexicans in the Mission etc.).  However, although settling with like faiths, this tiny 7×7 square mile town, it is so small, it is pretty much, where you can find a place that fits most of your needs that you can afford, you take it… and get to know other neighborhoods and cultures.

 It has been a battle since Sam Brannen made his claim while running through Portsmouth Square… …GOLD! … There is gold found in the American River!  A battle between those who make San Francisco why people love it so much, (they are the heart and soul that match the beauty and architecture), and those that see San Francisco as it also is… a great place that could easily be exploited to make themselves a lot of money.  The potential to make money here by selling out to big business and sweetheart deals to line one’s pockets will always be a vulunerability for a place like SF. 

The locals are stubborn steadfast fighters that are doing it out of survival and do not back down.  They are what puts the “active” into “activist”.  They know that they are only as strong as they are organized and committed.  They are fighting for all the right reasons and have had to pretty much non stop from one direction or another since the start.

The other is the big greed machine which is almost a force as well as a contageous disease that makes the ones it infects as addicted to it as a junkie to his fix.

There has to be a beautiful blend of the two… the residents that actually call this home, and the ones looking at it by means of how other ways they can bring in more people, and usually, richer, (and i hate to say it but i will… whiter) people who will be willing to pay more for this magical place. 

What the problem gets to be is that it is the mentality of the locals which is through their intelligence, humor, ease and creativity as well as acceptance of all things different and also their empathy for people in conditions different from their own.  They get forced out by the increased costs of living, (from mass transit, to rent or a coffee etc.)  Without the freedom filled free living locals with all of its nuts and unusual people as well as the bankers and lawyers and waitresses and cab drivers etc, it is closer to a Hollywood set than our little Bohemia by the sea!

When (hopefully if not when, but we are seriously running out of  room!) this beautiful world class city ( & loses all of those that put their heart and soul and time and love into making this that city), are gone, it will just be one GIANT gated community with fear humming from within Its sand colored walls.  It will lose its sparkle and innovation.  It will lose its soul.

This is what i am seeing and gets me so scared, but like always… like i said in the begining, SF has always been growing and becoming a modern beauty throughout its inception.  We just have to cross our fingers that so many locals have not left, that their army of activists has diminished to the point of not standing a chance, because i think that there is a point of no return where it will become an enclave of the rich and the rich alone. 

This city has always been known for being a super diverse place with a lot of sex and drugs and music and art.  It can not white wash it so that you get used to not having that element of acceptance, San Francisco will be done for. 

 

 

……

…that is until the next big earthquake.  It really unnerves those who have managed to maneuver their lives into such a controlled existence, that a percentage of them will and do run for the hills or at least back to wherever it is that they came from.  And then the locals will move back and start again…. Just like the cycle of life i hope!

 

 

By the way, this is a response that turned into an over-winded reply turned post to Mskatykins.  Thank you for being such a valued reader and always contributing to the conversation. Katykins… You are awesome!

I think i have helped unlock to the key to my unease of the gentrification of San Francisco… Again!..

 

 


 

A conversation with one of my roommates led us to talking about the infamous after-hours nightclub / gay bar pioneer in SF, The Endup.  (It has quite the story ending with a fight for power after the third brother of the founder challenged the former club manager for the estate after his two first brothers passed away, one from AIDS and the next from a shooting accident.  I have not gotten that far in my research to tell you what happend there…. The Endup was turned over to brother 3 because of mismanagement of the moneys and some shady unpaid bills type history, which enraged the manager which kinda made him go kinda crazy to the point that he shot the brother in the back and then committed suicide after a 10 hour stand off with police two weeks later….anyway…) The Endup is a legend and thankfully to historical landmark distinction will be for years to come.  It is the one place they are gonna have a heck of a time getting rid of!  It is true SF fabric.

Of course in normal fashion, my roommate and i got into a good healthy discussion (argument) that i was not buying (one of my roommates has a vivid creative mind and memory!) and decided to try and fact check him (which is a regular activity for me and i hate to brag, but i am 98 out of 100 times right, or at least proving he is wrong actually usually.)

This in turn led me back down memory lane  which has become a bit foggy in areas which is always surprising (remember… WRITE IT DOWN NOW!! You will not remember it in 20 years most likely no matter how sure you could not forget!), and right into my old beloved home away from home…The Endup!

The Endup is a SF Landmark and now thankfully a little more protected for the future generations to use and experience and find themselves as the last almost 4 decades of generations have.  The Endup sits right under the Hwy 80 overpass and merging onto the Bay Bridge part of the freeway that runs right between Harrison and Bryant at 6th St.  Ironically it is also across the street (and on the opposite side of the 80 overpass from 850 Bryant, AKA the Hall of Justice (the popo station and jail.) ( Infact, now days, when you forget to move your car at 6am for commute flush down 6th, and your car get towed, you only have to go one block to not only retrieve your car, but pay your tickets that release your car.  In the old days, you had to go to 850 to pay and release and then (usually back) to 11th and mission to get your car from the infamous City Tow… unless you were REALLY having a bad day and they were full at City Tow and they took it to the city overflow lot at Pier 70 (way out down by Bayshore/ HP.).

When reading different articles about the crazy end of the era that i was there regularly (1992-1998ish) attending, i came across this AWESOME article that is truly the pre-curser to my writings regarding the fear and sadness in the changes i have seen in this city.  It brought it all back.  It is incredible that i forgot truly how horrible the dot com loft explosion fucked up our town.  It really took a huge blow.  One that was so immense that i did not know if it ever could truly recover.  I guess we will never know now because it hit before full recovery.  I was watching closely, but never imagined a just few years later it would happen all over again only instead of the all the industrial and lot spaces being made into these so called live/work-loft conversions all over town and especially SOMA and China Basin, but now, the only difference is that it is vertical.  They are putting up more high rises than i had ever realized until i watched a video on utube of the city from 1992.  It was so sparse then.  It is filling in and in and in and in!  And not picking the most beautiful of high rise structure always either unfortunately.  Hopefully the ugly ones will soon be covered  by yet another new layer of bldgs. OR, an earthquake takes em back down!

I am so upset by this, because i have lived this before!  How could I have forgotten so soon?  It is like tangible Deja Vous.  The kind that you can go back into for hours and bite onto.  I have watched the soul of this beautiful bohemia get sucked dry one time already and now i am horrifically watching it happen all over again.

To give you an idea of what it was like, you must read the article.  It was so close to home for me because i know a bunch of the people mentioned in the article (Kato, Charlotte the baroness, Martel & Pollywog).  These were my people.  This was my 20’s-30’s.  Now all over again for my 30’s-40’s only unfortunately now, without any real kind of kick ass underground or at least grounded parties:(.  Heart breaking i am telling you. H E A R T B R E K I N G !!!! ! ! !

Now re-live the boom that was the 90’s dot com invasion….

A huge THANK YOU and BRAVO to Michelle Goldberg circa 1998 in its full form….

 

_______________________________________________________________________

[MetroActive News&Issues]

SF Metropolitan | MetroActive Central | Archives ]

All We Want to Do Is Dance

[whitespace] IllustrationSan Francisco may not be facing the end of nightlife, but we are looking at the end of the mega-club, the end of the club-as-institutionBy Michelle Goldberg
Illustrations by Katherine Streeter

 

 

 

At 3pm on a Saturday, the EndUp is still going from the night before. On the dance floor, a girl–totally bald except for a tiny gelled spike of hair like a baby unicorn–gyrates in lime-green platform shoes and fluorescent orange hip-huggers. A stunning white-blonde from Austria sits on a banister and sways while her boyfriend, a compact man from Ethiopia with a long, black goatee and tiny rectangular glasses, moves with funky, serpentine grace on the dance floor. He’s been at it since midnight the night before, she tells me. The dancers spill out onto the Edenic back patio, where the sound of fountains mingles with the insistent thump of house music. Bright and lush with palm trees, the back yard of the EndUp is a kind of country club for the underground, where people who still look shockingly attractive after nearly 20 hours of partying stretch out in the San Francisco springtime sun. No wonder local scenester Miss Polly called her book I Found God at the EndUp.

But the EndUp, like nearly every other club South of Market, could be gone by 1999, forced out by a locust-like invasion of lofts and their attendant noise complaints. “It’s a basic struggle for life. It’s almost like the Native Americans that were overrun,” says Carl Hanken, the EndUp’s avuncular, white-haired owner, a former research chemist. “The EndUp could go. It’s a distinct possibility. It’s almost a week-to-week existence for the club industry. Each week I hear of some other problems.”

San Francisco may not be facing the end of nightlife, but we are looking at the end of the mega-club, the end of the club-as-institution. It’s one of many ironies in this unfortunate situation that San Francisco’s booming economy is threatening the very vitality that accommodated so much of our region’s famed technological development. The fate of SOMA could indicate something much larger–whether bohemia can coexist with our decade’s gonzo postindustrial hypercapitalism.

“Money has destroyed San Francisco’s bohemia and attitude,” says Hanken. “Young people were once more driven by idealism; these are more driven by the buck. They operate more with the head than with the heart. That’s why we have the confrontation.”

Hanken says that it would be impossible to open up a club like the EndUp today, and most club promoters agree that for the last few years the club scene has been moving to smaller bars and lounges. There’s currently a moratorium on after-hours permits in SOMA, and while some of San Francisco’s best parties are held in small bars–Kate O’Brians, Liquid, The Top–they can never approach the grandiose decadence of a 1015 or a Club Townsend.

Whether or not SOMA nightclubs are able to survive depends on whether the notoriously apolitical nightclub scene can pull together to fight a gentrification process that has become so ingrained in big cities that it’s seen as inevitable–first the “pioneers,” the nightclubs and artists, move into an industrial wasteland, making it both habitable and hip and popularizing its new name. The yuppies follow, rents skyrocket, and the nomadic creative types start the whole process again somewhere else. Many see it as a foregone conclusion that what happened in New York’s SoHo–where an artists’ neighborhood became a shiny maze of chichi boutiques–will also happen to San Francisco’s SOMA.

“What happened in SoHo is clearly happening here,” says San Francisco senior planner Paul Lord. “In New York, Alphabet City wasn’t far behind. Here, Alphabet City could be the back side of Potrero Hill or the South Bayshore, but where’s Manhattan’s Alphabet City now? That’s gone yuppie, too.” New York’s quality-of-life-obsessed Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been padlocking nightclubs and yanking licenses for years now, and San Francisco is following in his ignoble footsteps.

Of course the greatest irony in all this is that SOMA is becoming a victim of its own coolness. The professionals who are moving into SOMA lofts go there seeking hipness–the new live/work spaces are essentially condos built to look like converted warehouses, their faux-industrial chic as transparent as that of an Urban Outfitters or a Starbucks. And just as the notorious coffee monolith has strangled so many of the boho java joints that inspired it, so SOMA’s culture is being trampled by developers selling “authentic” hipster lifestyles for half a million bucks.

As a result of land-use laws passed in the ’80s in order to make SOMA more hospitable to artists, the area is zoned for both living and light industry. That means that nightclubs are being forced to comply with the same noise-abatement limits as residential neighborhoods. SOMA lofts were supposed to go to artists, people who really did live and work in their spaces. But here we have the situation’s second great irony–there are no guidelines in place to decide what constitutes an artist because the artists themselves resisted efforts to legally define them. They didn’t foresee that SOMA would become a hot address for technology professionals who can afford to plunk down the $250,000 to $500,000 asking price for the area’s new lofts or “live/work units.”

Loft development has risen exponentially–there are 1,000 units pending right now, according to land-use attorney Sue Hestor. And as new residents with early bedtimes move in, they’re calling the police and demanding enforcement of noise laws. As a result, the VSF is close to having its permits revoked, the Holy Cow has had its permits temporarily suspended, and other clubs are feeling an increased police presence. “We haven’t had a noise complaint in 10 years, until last weekend, when noise abatement was knocking on people’s doors and asking them if they had a problem with us,” says Robin Reichert, owner of the Paradise Lounge. “In large cities, noise ordinances are a way to select or select out what kind of businesses are going to be in an area. In the next three or four months, we could lose all the clubs.” The officer in charge of noise abatement, Edward Anzore, responded that Reichert is “a pain in the butt” and said that knocking on neighbors’ doors is standard during noise-abatement investigations, which are conducted “the same way we would do a criminal investigation. We knock on neighbors’ doors and say, ‘Do you hear the music?’ If the noise can be heard inside a person’s apartment, it’s a violation of the noise ordinance.”

SOMA loft-owners don’t see themselves as interlopers but as a fledgling community. “Longtime SOMA residents are bitching and moaning about yuppies like me moving in,” says one new-media professional who recently bought a $350,000 loft at Seventh and Brannan. “There’s a core group of people who won’t be satisfied until SOMA returns to what it was five years ago, an industrial no man’s land, but the bottom line is that people like me outnumber people like them 10 to 1.”

He continues, “The fact that they close SOMA’s nightclub district doesn’t mean that San Francisco is going to lose all its nightclubs. They’re just going to have to find a new place. If you go to China Basin, it’s like SOMA used to be. Very few people live there, and more and more nightclubs will be moving into that neighborhood.”

But the yuppification treadmill has speeded up tremendously in the past few years, and San Francisco is only about 50 square miles. Perhaps the clubs could move to China Basin, but the lofts will surely follow, and after that, there’s just ocean. “We are right now in the middle of a white-hot economy where the pace of change is very fast,” says Richard LeGates, director of the urban studies program at S.F. State. “Processes which may have taken 20 years in Greenwich Village are happening in the space of a few years in San Francisco.”

IllustrationBesides, club owners who have owned their buildings for decades can’t just pick up and move every few years–the EndUp has been on Sixth Street for 26 years. The argument that neighborhoods necessarily go from clubland to yuppieville is just “onanism of the mind,” says Hanken. “They like to massage themselves in comfortable places. It’s a sugar-coated excuse. These people are nine-to-fivers. They’re not involved in the club scene, and they see us as transient. That is their problem. They simply do not understand us. We cannot move. We have many encumbrances. There are handfuls of licenses to maintain. All they need is another buck, or five hundred thousand, and they’ll move. We’re stuck.”

Lord says that even if the clubs did move, they can’t be assured that the new neighborhoods will remain conflict-free. “Until we get some controls in place, the club owners don’t have a high degree of certainty about where they can locate and not be in proximity to a residential development,” says Lord. “Right now all of the industrial areas are fair game for live/work development.”

The building that houses the Holy Cow has been a fixture in San Francisco’s nightclub scene since 1966, when it opened as The Stud. Last year it was bought by Jeff Thompson, Matt Goodrich and Bill Herrmann, three 31-year-old guys who met as barbacks in the club in 1990 and traveled the world together in 1992. The three work in the club up to 20 hours a day, and under their ownership the Holy Cow had been an overwhelming success. Then, a month ago, they lost many of their permits–they can no longer allow dancing, DJs, pool or pinball. While they wait for provisional permits, their business is down 70 percent. It’s like some kind of twisted version ofFootloose–they’re forced to patrol their club and make sure patrons don’t start dancing.

“Moving for us means bankruptcy,” says Thompson. Adds Herrmann, “For the people who have told us to move to China Basin and Hunters Point, my answer to these people is that if you like that area so much, you move down there. That’s a long way for people to go just to go dancing, especially for tourists. There’s a need for residences, but you can’t blanket the whole city and turn San Francisco into a suburb.”

Then there’s a third irony. Tourism is San Francisco’s No. 1 industry, and the nightclubs are a huge part of our city’s draw. Mayor Brown is often criticized for being wildly pro-business, yet he’s sitting back as developers blithely destroy one of San Francisco’s most vital industries–entertainment. What’s even stranger is that Brown is known as the party mayor–he’s been spotted at the EndUp and at the New Year’s Eve Treasure Island rave, and his son, Michael Brown, is one of the city’s biggest club promoters.

“Maybe Willie Brown’s son should be sensitizing him to this problem,” says Lord. “If you have that natural sort of entry, maybe the nightclub owners really need to get to the mayor’s son and say, ‘Look, you’ve got to bring this to his attention or get us a meeting with him so we can bring it to his attention.’ “

Lord continues, “What seems strange to me is that this city will sit and watch while certain types of nighttime entertainment disappear for youth, while things like Crazy Horse and the Gold Club are going in their place. I don’t understand the city’s priorities when it comes to giving young people an alternative. Dancing is a healthy thing to do. A lot of people have seen that if young people do not have some place to go and let off all this incredible energy that they’ve got, it’s going to lead to trouble in one way or another. I don’t know what the state of the rave scene is anymore, but that was something where people said, We want to keep partying, and we’re going to do it after-hours, we’re going to get into buildings that maybe we shouldn’t even be in.”

The club owners will need an economic argument to counter the financial powers behind loft development, says Lord. “One of the major industries in San Francisco, one of the things that drives our office market, is insurance and real estate,” he says. “Mortgage brokers and financial institutions, they’re making the loans on these properties that are selling from anywhere from a quarter of a million to half a million dollars. There are literally billions of dollars involved in the live/work development process. If you look at the major downtown businesses that are involved as brokerage agencies, as mortgage companies, as title companies, as lawyers representing the condos, these are major, major players in the San Francisco political scene.

“The club owners themselves need to be organized to protect their rights,” Lord says. “They are a legitimate business concern in San Francisco that brings large numbers of tourists and visitors to the area. In fact, a case could be made that the proximity of the nightclubs to the Yerba Buena center has an influence on people deciding to have conventions in San Francisco of one sort or another. The club owners need to let their decision-makers, from the mayor to the Board of Supervisors to the Planning Commission, know what is at risk. If you look at the gross receipts, payroll taxes and other influences that the clubs have on attracting visitors and tourists to San Francisco, it’s an important aspect of the richness that is San Francisco and the diversity that is San Francisco. Visitors and tourism are the No. 1 industry in S.F. [Clubs] need to be able to demonstrate that they are a significant and important player in that sector of the economy and, in doing so, show the city what’s at risk if they aren’t here anymore.”

The organization that Lord spoke of has already started. On a recent Tuesday night, a hundred or so club owners, musicians, artists and old SOMA residents gathered at the Transmission Theater to form a coalition aimed at fighting development in SOMA and saving the area’s businesses. Hestor, who’s been in the thick of the loft controversy for years, explained the conflict’s history to the crowd of political novices. Said Brainwash owner Susan Schindler, “We need to know what we’re talking about besides knowing what pisses us off.” The crowd got increasingly passionate as Hestor elaborated on live/work abuses. One girl shouted, “They’re for people who want to live like pimps with their exposed brick walls!” Someone else added, “We created the fad, that’s the whole problem!” To which a third person replied, “We can’t help it if we’re cool!”

But despite Tuesday evening’s energy, some in the club scene feel that it’s not necessarily the city government’s job to safeguard hipness, and others are just giving up on San Francisco. Even Martel Toler, who with his partner Nabil Musleh is the owner of Sushi Groove and the club mogul behind parties like Release, Eye Spy and Leopard Lounge, says he was thinking about splitting. “San Francisco already is not a major party town or a town where there’s a ton of places to go out at night. I was even thinking about moving, especially in the last year, to Miami, New York or L.A.”

Some of the city’s biggest promoters and DJs believe the club scene thrives on adversity. “I don’t want it to happen, but I also believe in the natural evolution of things,” says Kato, the impresario behind Royal Jelly. “Until alternative art culture and club culture have no place to go, it’s a matter of not holding on to situations and realizing that maybe we do need to be uprooted sometimes. I actually have been getting tired of the same old spaces.”

DJ Charlotte the Baroness is reluctant to blame gentrification for destroying the nightclub scene. “You haven’t been able to open up a major nightclub in this city for years, but we have a Catch-22, because while the gentrification that’s going on in SOMA is definitely affecting the ability to have more nightclubs, at the same time gentrification has really helped the nightclub scene. Those people are the ones going to clubs and spending money on drinks. Those are the people who are paying our bills.”

She continues, “This challenges people. The rave scene has now moved back into the big club scene, and now if there’s going to be a problem there, it will motivate people to start doing underground parties again. It’s just another chapter in the dance-music scene. I would welcome people starting to get more innovative about parties again.”

DJ Pollywog says she’s so frustrated with the lack of venues to play at in San Francisco that she’s planning on moving to New York. “Clubland for the most part has been pretty weak,” she says. “It’s the same old clubs doing the same parties. I love San Francisco and I wish there were more opportunities out here. If there were a more thriving nightlife here, then there would be no reason for me to leave.”

Like Kato and the Baroness, Pollywog thinks that clubland could find new energy away from the SOMA corridor. “When you change to a different location, you change the vibe of your party. That’s why, in a lot of ways, San Francisco nightlife is tired. It’s ‘Oh, same club, same thing.’ It’s a little bit stale if it’s the same spaces over and over. Part of the underground is wanting to stay fresh, and it takes those creative, pioneering types to build up something. Established clubs make it easier because all you have to do is show up. Creative people in the underground are almost against that, because it’s important to have fresh energy.”

Still, Pollywog says that without the big clubs, San Francisco can’t attract big-name DJs. “If we lose these big clubs, we’re going to lose so much credit on the international scene. No small club has the capital to fly in Dimitri from Paris or Dimitri from New York. Some underground people are like ‘Oh, the big clubs suck,’ but I know that they definitely have a place and are vital in keeping the scene alive. It’s important to have yin and yang.”

Back at the EndUp, DJ Jason Hayes says that the lack of replacements for the big clubs is affecting his career, and his friend Peter Letourneav fears that San Francisco is being turned into a kind of faux-chic Disney World. Inside, though, manager Alison Page is smiling as she surveys the crowd, convinced that bulldozing developers are no match for the ecstatic energy that keeps people dancing through the dawn and into the next evening. “After the comet hits,” she says, “after the earthquakes and tidal waves, the EndUp will be left standing.”

San Francisco | MetroActive Central | Archives]

 

 


From the May 18-31, 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

 


Foreclosures – Real Estate Investing San Jose.com Real Estate

 

 

berg who wrote the following piece written in i believe the mid late 1990’s.

Why this generation’s yuppies suck so much more than the generation that was around first in the 1980’s….

  I was down on my main shopping street this morning shopping at a little childrens consignment store that also have womens clothes in the back.  There were 2 couples inside shopping with each of their one child.  They were SO LAME!  The husband was like a nerd finally getting to go to the science fair he was following his wife and child around like a dog looking for a snack saying things like… “oh honey, do we need to get her some rain boots?  I know she has snow boots, but not rain boots.”  …I live in San Francisco, what on earth would you do buying snow boots for a one year old?   They were also totally unaware of anyone else shopping in the store.  I was in the corner looking at a rack and stepped backwards 1 step and stepped on the guy.  PERSONAL SPACE?  MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU?  Not to mention, he was just blocking me in back in the womens clothing section.  Go wait outside for godsake!  This place is tiny and you are following your wife and child around like you are leashed to them.  I heard probably close to 20 “honey”‘s.  It was really pissing me off!  So much to the point that i turned around and gave them a look of pure disgust. 

By now you might be saying to yourself…  Boy, this girl has a really bad attitude problem or …It doesn’t sound to me like they are doing anything wrong other than shopping.  Both are probably true, but there is more to this than that.

 

I am becoming so angry with the selling out of San Francisco that it is becoming true hatred of these stupid people that have bought out our town.  They think that they are so fricking cool living the awesome young startup life.  The thing that they are totally ignorant about is the fact that a family or long term resident was probably made homeless thanks to them.  They march into this city and say “Ooh!  It is so cute and pretty!”  “it has such a cool style and the people here are all so… well… affluent and mostly white with some asians in there too.  Phew!

What makes this round of yuppies different than the original yuppies of the 80’s?  A LOT!  You see, the yuppies in the 80’s were a direct rebellion of the hippies of the 70’s.   They took everything that was associated with hippies and did the opposite.  What was really earthy became really glitzy.  While it was cool to recycle in the 70’s (clothing especially!) in the 80’s it was new or nothing!  And in the 70’s, thanks to the vietnam war, you never could have gotten away with flaunting one’s wealth like became popular with the 80’s yuppie generation.  

This round’s yuppies are not about flaunting their wealth, but instead, quietly judging and feeling oh so important.  This generation of yuppies are the ones that have been listening to the media’s fear campaigns for the last 20 years and actually bought that load of crap.  Now they walk around in life absolutely terrified of ANYTHING that they think will splatter bright red paint on their precious white picket fence.  

So, now, YUPPIE = NIMBY.  They are the “not in my back yard” types that are thinking that as long as they keep their bubble of protection safely secured around them, then all is well.  They do not even think to look and see if they are stealing someone elses dream in order to fulfill their own.  They do not understand that it is diversity that has made this town so beautiful not the South of Market lofts.  They dont realize that the town that they think that they bought into, they are actually part of the process which is destroying it.  Not to mention all of the people’s community’s that have been here for generations.  They just think about what a deal they got on that 1million dollar 1 bedroom flat that they bought out of city held auction that was a victim of foreclosure.  Not that 3 generations of people lived in that foreclosed unit for 45 years before the twats bought it.  

Now the new yuppies dig in their heels and proclaim that this is their neighborhood and they refuse to allow anything to possibly bring their property value down or be a possible risk for lowering the quality of the neighborhood.  May that be a venue that plays live music or a pot club.  

These people do not think with the mentality that being an individual is what makes this world so beautiful.  They think that they all should be buying a Prius and that the only color to paint a house is one of 20 shades of sand.  They are ruled by fear and fear alone.  They havent seen strife, they havent ever had to give up their creature comforts and they think that they are VERY important people.

This leaves me with a little vomit in the base of my throat.  These people do not know shit!  They just came in and took over… Just like the Spaniards and the White man.  So, i suppose that this is nothing new.  But i bet we feel all a similar feeling of invisible loss.  And sometimes visible loss.  

This is for me, mostly the loss of a collective soul that has been what drew people to San Francisco.  My ancestors were the Levi’s family who helped build this town back in the 1800’s.  It is amazing that after living here for 18 years, if I have to move, i have to look outside the city because the rents are so fricking high.  The town that i have actively been a part of and has been a part of me AND my ancestors help build! has been sold out… and mostly not even to people from this state let alone this country.  It just makes me really depressed. 

So, if you see me around the city and i have a foul scowl on my face and you hear me saying bad words like gentrification and sell out and nimby, know why.  It goes deeper than me just being a bitch.  I am being a bitch with something to lose!

Is it time we revert to 90’s era activism, like altering billboards? Brilliant regardless.

Image

Is it time we revert to 90's era activism, like altering billboards?  Brilliant regardless.

There was a time in the early-mid 90’s here in SF where this group would alter already posted billboards. They were BRILLIANT!! Considering the absolute greed and money based culture that has seemed to have taken our town hostage over the last decade, maybe it is time for us to get more proactive again. It has been proven time and time again, that the money makers want to exploit this beautiful city. And they do! It has been a tug-o-war since Yerba buena found gold between those that want to exploit her and cash in on her unique attitude and beauty, and those who help make up that attitude and beauty, the actual residents… especially the long term ones.

San francisco used to be both a place for old timers that had so many awesome stories and everybody in the neighborhood knew and a very transient population that are short-long-termers. I always used to say that this town either accepts you or it chews you up and spits you out. It is not your choosing. I still believe this is how the city used to be. It was the place that people would go to find themselves, or to work for a couple years or to play for a while. Most of them would not stay, but the ones who did, they were special. They were also very proud and steadfast locals. They did not need a lot more from life. This is about as good as it got. They tried to really work to keep the greed out.

This is a town that attracts greed, because one could sell out this town to no ends. However, if that were to happen, to start with it would never be the same town. It may look similar, but the soul would have gone. Only a cheap greed built shell that housed no heart and 0 soul! It is so easy to do though. We have helped to build what i consider my utopia. It is home. More than the home i even grew up in. Not particularly a neighborhood, but the city in itself. I always seem to take a huge exhale as soon as i reach home whenever out of town.

I am very nervous though. It is gentrifying right before my very eyes! From a sneak in job winning mayor to the costs of rent to the attack on Sheriff Mirkirami. It is very apparent what is going on here if we (whatever locals are left) kneed to begin to organize and fight back. We can not allow our city to be turned out for the highest bid just lying down! I know we have had to fight this fight before, but we can not just give up. This town deserves us to fight for her. She is so worth it!