Tech Bros

San Francisco Isn't Mine

I came to San Francisco almost 18 years ago. Hard to believe really. I was just a kid with a pony tail (seriously, a really long pony tail), with delusions of grandeur, looking for something I couldn't find in the suburban Midwest. I moved to San Francisco to go to college and have never found a compelling reason to leave, plain and simple. I love this town, and I always will. I'll die here.

#0001_15 - Mission Street. San Francisco, CA. 2003

You can't sugar coat it, San Francisco's got problems. A one bedroom apartment in my neighborhood is going for $3,000 a month. The City is being systematically carved up and sold to the highest bidder. Tent encampments are becoming increasingly normal. My old dive bar is now a tech bro rookery. Real issues.

It's easy to blame money, startups and tech bros, but San Francisco is a boom town, always has been. That's not going to change. But money and privilege breeds isolation. What's troubling is how insulated so much of The City's population has become. 

Don't forget how amazing, ridiculous and entertaining this place can be.

Forget Uber, take Muni and sit next to drunk people on a Friday night. Stop using those ridiculous valet services and walk the streets, it's worth it, trust me. Go to the Folsom Street Fair and see just how off the charts it really is. It smells bad and you'll probably be genuinely frightened at least half a dozen times but you're going to see some crazy shit and that's rad.

Don't ignore The City, don't ignore the weirdos and the artists (there's a lot of them), the bike messengers (why so angry?), the armies of lost art students (I know, they're sad) and confused tourists (sorry Europeans, our public transit blows). Don't be a dick and bash this place because it isn't what you thought or hoped or wanted or was promised. Don't ignore the people that are less fortunate than you that have to sleep on the god damn street. They all came here looking for something, just like you did. Don't think for a second that "wealthy working people have earned their right to live in the city."

The first dot com bubble was a disaster, but San Francisco survived. She'll weather this boom and bust just as she's weathered them all, mercilessly, with vengeance and style. Nobody has a right to be here. San Francisco isn't mine, and it certainly isn't yours either. It belongs to itself, you can only be a part of it.