(Originally published on the David Prowler Blog on May 16, 2018)
It’s in a bourgeois neighborhood that’s well off the tourist path. It’s small; I’m guessing about 200’ by 500’, ringed by a hodgepodge of stores and dotted with street furniture. Nothing fancy at all, really modest. The Perfect Place
David Prowler just returned from a trip to Japan. He wrote about his impressions, accompanied by photos, in his blog. As those of you have previously read David’s musings know, he is a keen observer who notices things that many of us don’t. His writing is always enjoyable and informative. This post, originally published as Souvenirs of Japan in David’s personal blog, is no different* –
It’s natural to be unsettled by change, but residents of San Francisco take resistance to change to absurd levels. In 1958, Gavin Elster—the shipping magnate played by Tom Helmore in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo—expressed San Francisco’s deeply engrained ambivalence to change well: “The things that spell San Francisco to me are disappearing fast.” A recent letter to the editor in the San Francisco Chronicle shared the typical modern lament: “Has San Francisco’s economic growth truly made it a more interesting place to live? Or just a place with more shiny but soulless places to spend money?” San Francisco: The Status Quo City
On a short walk in my neighborhood this morning, I must have passed hundreds of poles: Light poles, utility poles, sign poles.
They do their jobs of holding up stuff but I noticed that they can do a lot more.
Here in just a few blocks, some upgrades:
The street I live on is only two blocks long, lined with Victorian houses. It’s in about the geographic center of San Francisco, There are street trees and front yards (unusual for San Francisco) and in the spring it smells of Jasmine. The neighbors are a mix of old-timers and gentry, gay and not, with lots of kids. Across the street, three households have joined their backyards so the kids have more play space. The Street I Live On
You can tell a lot about a place by its layout. How the streets are arranged tells the history of a city. Stories of slow growth of cramped medieval forts to booming modern cities. Or from farmland or prairie to grid.
There are the medieval European cities with their high walls and twisty narrow streets. You can tell they just grew organically, the buildings huddled together, defended by the ramparts. They were designed by fear.
The study “Nonprofits at Risk: The Space and Occupancy Crisis Facing San Francisco’s Nonprofit Community,” by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services found that 58% of sites rented by nonprofits are at risk of displacement within the next 15 months. 65% of nonprofits that don’t provide direct services are thinking of leaving the City. From the study, this quote: “This lack of price sensitivity on the part of internet entrepreneurs has had a predictable result. Commercial rents in San Francisco have reached staggering heights.”