Some Real Journalism

Mission Loc@l had the bright idea to send a reporter out into the community to see what people are really saying about American Apparel. Julie Johnson is the reporter, and she came back with some great stuff:

A few doors north from the public notice announcing American Apparel’s application to open shop in a vacant storefront, Roger Ryan is surrounded by orange tags halving prices, and red signs that read, “Going out of business sale.” Ryan, who owns two storefronts along the business corridor, will close the doors of his flagship Z-Barn Interiors shop on the 900 block of Valencia Street for good on Saturday.

“If I’d known American Apparel was opening a store here, I would have kept my doors open longer,” Ryan said. “Right now, this block is actually a dead block.”


“I have no idea why they need to claim more land,” said Courtland Donaldson, 24, who has worked at Shoe Biz for more than three years. “If anyone wants to shop there they have three other locations.” Shoe Biz also has another location in the Haight.


Further north on Valencia, Jeremy Tooker posted “Stop American Apparel” signs in the window of Four Barrel Coffee near 15th Street, which he opened last August. Wearing a grey sweatshirt he bought at American Apparel, Tooker echoed many people’s views when he emphasized that he likes the company but doesn’t believe it fits in the Mission’s culture.


Many neighbors have never heard of American Apparel, including Laura Hopper, director of Psychic Horizons, a few doors down from the proposed store.

“I would prefer not to have chains, but if I’ve never heard of it, it can’t be that big,” said Hopper, who’s been in business on Valencia Street for about 11 years. “It’s always better to have the space filled.”


“In certain areas, chain stores are helpful in growing neighborhoods. But in this particular case it’s not necessary,” [Michael O’Connor, president of the Small Business Commission] said. “It’s not like the space won’t get rented.”


5 Responses to “Some Real Journalism”

  1. SFDoggy says:

    I wonder why Michael O’Conner is so sure that space will get rented. It has sat vacant for years. And there are lots of other spaces along Valencia St. that have sat vacant for years. It would be nice to have some shops in those spaces.

  2. Frederick says:

    talked briefly with the guy tabling in front of ATA today. He said 90% of the people who stopped and talked with him had no idea who ATA was — never heard of the place! “So,” I asked, “wouldn’t a popular clothing store among the young art-inspired folks right next door boost this apparent lack of exposure?” “Hmm,” he said, “never thought about it like that, but the rent blahblahblah, prop G, blahblah.”

  3. zinzin says:

    dogma. rhetoric. spoon fed. opium of the masses. and the masses….are sheep.

    god i have been railing against this blow-hard “progressive” claptrap for a fucking year.

    it was one thing when it was MAC or David Campos.

    now the sheep believe the crap OWNERS OF TWEE BOUTIQUES feed them. these guys are the arbiters of what’s fair & just in the mission.

    the sheep, they believe that the folks responsible for – or benefiting from – gentrification in the mission are actually interested in anything other than their own self-advancement.

    my god it makes me fucking puke.

    and the sad part is…it’s easier to organize AGAINST something (in this case, the inevitable future), than it is to organize FOR something (in this case, business is better than blight). and most of the folks coming up as reasonable have jobs & other crap to worry about. so the anti-AA sheep will likely have a stronger showing.

    ah well. ah well. ah well.

  4. jimbeam says:

    I don’t think calling people sheep is an effective rhetorical strategy when trying to get one’s point across.

  5. zinzin says:

    maybe not, but you certainly know me well enough to surmise it’s not a “rhetorical strategy” i’m after….

    really, i’m after a reasonable facsimile of “the truth”.

    that said, i don’t think selfishly trying to limit business competition and / or preserving a white enclave in a latino neighborhood and calling it a “cause” is a legitimate way to start a community movement.

    in fact, i;d go so far as to say it’s a fucking sham and it makes me puke.

    how’s that for rhetoric?