Monday, November 25, 2013
I thought of Didion's essay in light of an article in today's NYT about how tech money is changing San Francisco, a city where I lived for more than a decade and where I still spend a fair amount of time, and is forcing an exodus and a redefinition of the city's neighborhoods. From the article:
For critics, such sights are symbols of a city in danger of losing its diversity — one that artists, families and middle-class workers can no longer afford. On the day of Twitter’s public offering this month, 150 demonstrators protested outside the company with signs reading “People not profit” and “We’re the public, what are you offering?”
More and more longtime residents are being forced out as landlords and speculators race to capitalize on the money stream.
Mary Elizabeth Phillips, a retired accountant, is fighting eviction from the rent-controlled apartment where she has lived for almost half a century. If her new landlords have their way, she will have to move in April, shortly after her 98th birthday, because they want to sell the units.
Her neighborhood has given way around her. The car dealership across the street is now a luxury apartment complex, complete with rooftop herb garden, a butterfly habitat and a Whole Foods.
“I can understand it from an investment standpoint,” she said of her landlords’ actions. “But I don’t think I’d ever be that coldblooded about this.”
All of which makes me wonder, will this transformation of the former bohemian capitol of the country spawn a batch of leaving-San Francisco essays? Or, ironically, will the goodbyes come in the form of tweets and Facebook posts, the very media that transformed the city having transformed the essay itself?
Stephen R. Miller
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Stephen Miller on New Arkansas law requires local governments to pay for a "takings" where certain "regulatory programs" reduce FMV by at least 20 percent
- Josh Galperin on New Arkansas law requires local governments to pay for a "takings" where certain "regulatory programs" reduce FMV by at least 20 percent
- Jesse Richardson on New Arkansas law requires local governments to pay for a "takings" where certain "regulatory programs" reduce FMV by at least 20 percent
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Uber Goes to the State House Seeking Preemption of Local Government Control
- Stephen R. Miller on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Can UberPOOL Make Carpooling Cool?
- Are Earth Day cookies an endangered species?
- Fordham Urban Law Center's Sharing Economy | Sharing City Conference - April 24
- Land Use, Telescopes and Sacred Land in Paradise
- Tekle on Percent-for-Art Ordinances