Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

Things I Hate about San Francisco’s Gentrification, Take Two a Year Later

One year ago, in August-September 2013, in a perverse experiment in trying to capture capitalism’s rampage on the streets of San Francisco, I created a “Twitter” poem: 140 lines of 140 characters or less each. You can find it at https://cbmilstein.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/things-i-hate-about-san-franciscos-gentrification-a-love-poem/.

Sadly, there are probably at least another 140 lines this September 2014 that add to my original thoughts concerning the gentrification aka class war going on here in the city by the bay. So I’m going to tweet 140 photos captioned by 140 characters or less — a picture-poem — and add them over time to this blog, toward a second love letter of sorts about what’s being lost not only in San Francisco but in all the cities and now small towns being transformed into playgrounds for the rich and high tech. The lines are in no particular order. Here goes, starting with . . .

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1. The paleo accumulation phase of capital

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2. Drones are cute

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3. Needed SRO housing is rebooted as techie communes

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4. Public buses now cost more; private Google bus still free for techies

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5. Last week, this street art read “$1,300”; 8 weeks ago, it was “$1,012”

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6. High-techsters

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7. Yesterday’s parody re: to-go jars from hip cafés is already reality

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8. Sharing as an/the economy

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9. “Luxury” is not a dirty word but rather proudly, publicly sells homes

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10. Pastries as museum pieces

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11. Being forced to (i)watch the hype around every new “innovation”

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12. City hoses down sidewalks not to clean them up but clear out homeless

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13. Cumulus monetization of clouds as high-tech service & sky-high ads

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14. Startups & venture capitalists have no shame

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15. The utter debasement of human relationships

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16. Over 39% of the city’s residents now “earn” 6 figures or higher

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17. People blame “Asians” for buying up property & raising market rates

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18. Fewer public political talks & more public events related to (e)money

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19. The divey has to try to do a beauty makeover to stave off eviction

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20. Art galleries out (troublesome as they can be); sales galleries in

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21. Erasure of histories, struggles, resistance

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22. Suddenly, oodles of scooters move into your neighborhood

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23. When you talk to white tech bro re: evictions, he says, “Adapt, baby”

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24. Dollar stores forced to be $1.49 stores to (try to) survive

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25. Too many activists still don’t seem to get logic of state & capital

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26.  Fabrication of whole new neighborhood (& whole new people to fill it)

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27. Added morn & eve rush-hour congestion due to techie-bicyclist traffic

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28. The pain that stares out at you from too many windows

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29. Weekend nites are a big, sprawling, outdoor pop-up party for the rich

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30. You read Octavia Butler’s sci-fi dystopia & think it’s a news story

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31. 1,000s support their baseball team, but only 100s or 10s aid evictees

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32. The packaging of the next cool, unaffordable place to inhabit/stea

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33. Graffiti as crime, ever more policed & enforced

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34. High-techification applied unnecessarily to everything, like this ATM

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35. Orange is the new building boom

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36. Apps invisibilizing labor; “art” romanticizing manual labor’s tools

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37. Native plant restoration ceding land for  neo-settler colonialism

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38. Laundromats becoming endangered species

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39. The hills are alive with the sound of destruction

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40. Mega-profit, mega-projects are a wrap before they’re officially OK’d

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41. A world of ever-more smart objects & ever-more not-so-smart people

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42. Self-driving “autonomous” cars got green light to test on SF streets

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43. Cranes

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44. Landlords

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45. Eviction, up close & personal

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46. Simulated images on soon-to-be-finished spaces are oh-so-white (men)

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47. A 5-bedroom house sold for $9.5 million, doubling its 2013 price tag

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48. One experiences nostalgia in the present for all that is already gone

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49. Taxis have lost 65% of their biz to ride-service apps

 
 

 

 
 

 

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This entry was posted on September 2, 2014 by in Art & Culture of Capitalism, Dispatches from Gentrifying San Francisco.
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