Who Is Gentrifying the Mission?

Curbed SF ran a piece on Friday possibly crediting young tech types from Facebook and Google with the gentrification of the Mission, and then an anonymous commenter suggested otherwise:

the vast majority of the folks gentrifying the mission are hipster artist/musician/bartenders who are supported by their baby boomer parents. ever stop by a cafe on valencia around noon? probably not the tech workers hanging out idle in the cafes…

So is it the group up top or the pair below? WHO IS GENTRIFYING THE MISSION?

Top by starglows; bottom by Thumbsterz.


Who Is Gentrifying Baghdad?

41 Responses to “Who Is Gentrifying the Mission?”

  1. Chris says:

    If you wanted to pick a time when people are not supposed to be idling, noon was probably not the best choice

  2. Kevin says:

    The people who read this blog are gentrifying the mission.


  3. Birnbaum says:

    The Mission is being gentrified by a blog calling itself Mission Mission, and not having one photo of Carnaval, the biggest celebration of the diversity of life in the Mission.

    • one says:

      THAT’S a FACT.

      • Cranky Old Mission Guy says:

        Actually, it’s just an unverified assertion, followed-up by your apparently enthusiastic appreciation. Well, yay for you and your idol, Birnbaum. Where does that leave the rest of us who live in the real world?

      • one says:

        huh comg? it’s a fact…there’s no stinkin’ carnaval photos BRO.

  4. Concerned Guajolote says:

    Kevin Montgomery.

    Hipsters complaining about gentrification is like closeted republican congressmen complaining about gays while they fuck their pages. Self-hatred meets paranoia meets delusional fantasies about a pure imaginary past.

  5. bozo says:

    Yeah, where’s the Carnaval, you Mission Mission?

  6. BRO CHAT says:

    There is only one answer…


    • chauncy o'doul says:

      Isn’t it funny how no one asks who first turned the Mission into a filthy crime-ridden slum?

      • white guy says:

        Yes, you are correct. It’s very “funny” how no one asks who first turned the Mission into what you call a “filthy crime-ridden slum”. In no particular order, white politicians let working class jobs disappear overseas. The previous immigrant group, white Irish, fearing people of color, fled to the Sunset. White owners and landlords let their properties fall in to disrepair. White cops treated any person of color with disrespect. White people like you don’t understand the recent history.

      • Cranky Old Mission Guy says:

        “white guy”, eh?

        Looky, KKKatie’s out of jail and here to educate all us ignorant saps with her special blend of radical racism! I guess one kind of bigotry is as good as another to you performance artists, right?

  7. Cranky Old Mission Guy says:

    Main Entry: gen·tri·fi·ca·tion
    Pronunciation: \ˌjen-trə-fə-ˈkā-shən\
    Function: noun
    Date: 1964

    : the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents

    How much ‘renewing and rebuilding’ did you do today, kid?

    • mcas says:

      COMG: Yes– and the Conquistador’s were spreading knowledge and Christianity to the natives– not mass slaughter. Colonizers/gentrifiers can define what they do, since they hold the power.

      As for who is gentrifying who… arguing ‘hispters’ in SF 2010 is like arguing whether or not God exists or talking about ‘love’ with someone you don’t know well– using an amorphous and undefinable word (therefore personal and interpretable in near-infinite ways) in an argument is like trying to build a house without a blueprint and not knowing how many rooms you need. Define before the dialogue, or you’re not participating in real conversation.

      Hell– as far as I can tell, we can’t even decide which *kind* of bike (All..? None…?) makes someone ‘hip’ in 2010…

      • Cranky Old Mission Guy says:

        Whoah — that’s a sad little straw-man argument you have there! First of all, we’re talking about current events, not ancient history. If you want to be an Indian, be my guest; throw a brick though the computer you’re writing on, rip off most of your clothing, build a house of mud and tule, and eat only berries, fish and stone-ground acorns. Second, furthermore, this is not about genocide; it’s about displacement. Third, the displacement is not even all that bad. Face it — The Mission is STILL a fucking slum. It’s a different-flavored fucking slum, but it’s still a slum. It’s still full of drug-cartel-owned-and-operated, money-lawnderating, smoke-shop operating fucking scumbags.

    • youyouyouwhy says:

      affluent people= definitely do not see artists or musicians getting paid….

  8. [...] May ends with this query on gentrification from Mission Mission. [...]

  9. afroblanco says:

    I’m gentrifying the Mission.

    Tech worker, SF-based, not Silicon Valley.

    Um, what is there to say? I moved to the Mission because it reminded me of the parts of NYC that I liked.

    Is that so wrong?

  10. henry says:

    seriously, ya’ll are a big bunch of pussies.

  11. afroblanco says:

    Anyway, most talk about gentrification is filled with a lot of blah-blah-blah. I mean, look at a neighborhood like the Lower East Side of NYC. First it was those “damn filthy Irish,” followed by “those damn filthy Jews,” and then “those damn filthy Puerto Ricans / Dominicans,” and now of course “those damn filthy hipsters.” Nobody owns a neighborhood in a real city. Not for very long, anyway.

    Just be glad there hasn’t been much of a move to bulldoze the old Victorians to make way for crass, ugly highrises. That was the only part of Lower East Side gentrification that really pissed me off.

  12. Cat says:

    Does it matter? These are fruitless questions those that have lived here for 5 years like to think they’re experts on (I’m halfway in this category myself). What has changed? Seriously, I’m 29, but spent of a lot time in the Mission when I was in high school (10+ years ago) and it hardly seems that different to me, but perhaps it was already “gentrified” then? Perhaps there are a few more swankier restaurants (Delfina), but 16th and Mission is largely the same and ellicts the same feeling of creeper central in me as it did then.

  13. Again, if it weren’t for gentrification, I would starve to death.

  14. J. Beaman says:

    I’d like to just say that “hipster” “artist” “musician” are all very different from “bartender”. Being that bartenders have a job. I do a lot of idling during the day but when I’m cutting off assholes at 2am and cleaning up puke at 230 you’re idling away in your bed.

    • Andy says:

      Keep in mind guys, that a lot of people are just flat out UNEMPLOYED right now.

      I don’t have enough fingers to count how many people I know who’ve lost their jobs, are on max unemployment and are simply enjoying the recession.

      No jobs? on the dole for a year? what the fuck? might as well have some rec time to work on your interests.

      Also, keep in mind someone’s gotta work at all those fancy new restaurants, and they aren’t working at noon. Maybe those ‘hipster trust-funders’ you see at Ritual on a weekday at noon are simply getting ready to serve you food at Bar Tartine??

  15. Rod says:

    i’d say it’s a mix between rich art school kids and tech/startup workers. there’s a lot of us in the neighborhood who weren’t born on Mission st. but have lived here a long time and have everyday jobs and cringe when new, bougie restaurants and boutiques pop up and the affordable markets and restaurants shut down.

    • one says:

      What affordable restaurants and markets have been shut down? you’re full of shit. Try again.

      The Camera Shop that sold and developed b + w film? yeah, some freakin’ foo foo shop selling twee there now. That’s an example.

      Why was and is Valencia St. and Mission so decrepit?

      BART building and downtown redevelopment.

      Christ on a cracker. Look it up.

      • youyouyouwhy says:

        instead of doing research online i did field work instead. the camera shop for foo foo twee, NOT CUTE!I agree but when you walk on the mission blvd side its the opposite extreme…

        how many dollar stores do we need really?

        Most of that stuff is low quality junk not even worth a dollar, made in china and putting more trash that the land fields dont need!

  16. Neo Displacer says:

    I’m shaking my head in disbelief. Does the arrival of waves of 20 somethings every 8 to 10 years constitute gentrification? Unlikely. So I’m a member of the blank generation, before me were boomers, after me were gen x, gen y, and millennials. Each has done nothing to change the mission.

    The google bus is not changing the mission either. I and many folks I knew in the past worked in the Valley and lived here. Only difference was we drove our car, alone. (The google bus has more to do with wars for oil then gentrification)

    Hey did you see on the interweb that San Francisco has the most dense intellectuals? ooh sorry I mispoke. It has the highest density of college graduates. NY is #2. Damned LA is way down there. Yay we’re #1, we’re #1. (I suspect college graduates are responsible for gentrification, good thing too, I can now get a decent Sazarac at the local).

    • youyouyouwhy says:

      what a difference a block makes….
      When i walk down 18th street near delores park i get hit on by women.

      when crossing valencia i get ignored by americans
      when crossing mission blvd i getting exploited by my own people- mexicans, who call me a hipster because:

      I have skills, I can speak english but none them of them believe when I tell that i eat beans and rice everyday and many roll their eyes when i them that I dont own a degree SO ive learned to enjoy the beauty SF has to offer instead of letting myself get distracted with those I might or might not be able to relate to.

      I try not to make assumptions.

  17. gentrifier says:

    seriously? This debate is still going strong? I moved to SF and the Mission 15 years ago and “gentrification of the mission” was all there was to lament about then. I tried to feel bad for being part of it, but I appreciate this neighborhood in hundreds of ways so why should I feel bad for loving where I live? the big condos gross me out–but they did 10 years ago too. Good Vibrations (a worker owned co-op) got a huge new space because of that big ugly piece of shit on 17th and Valencia. I do know that I wouldn’t be able to afford to live in this neighborhood if not for my rent controlled apartment, but that’s the new millennium reality of San Francisco baby.

  18. idle says:

    “the vast majority of the folks gentrifying the mission are hipster artist/musician/bartenders who are supported by their baby boomer parents. ever stop by a cafe on valencia around noon? probably not the tech workers hanging out idle in the cafes”

    Right, every creative worker and everyone who works in cafes is being idle, instead of paying their own rent with self employment, and paying more taxes for their security-free big artist income than people with “regular jobs” do.

    If I was born here, would it be OK if I hang out on the stoop with a beer all morning? Can someone point me to the permission committee that decides who can live here, and what they can do, so they can distribute licenses to the deserving?

    • Native San FranciCAN says:

      Sure, I will give you permission with the following rules….

      You can sit on your stoop with a beer all morning as long as

      1. You don’t puke on the side walk
      2. You recycle your cans and bottles
      3. You don’t scream/yell at people that walk by
      4. You pay taxes
      5. You are not on welfare
      6. You vote
      7. You love
      8. You are loved

  19. youyouyouwhy says:

    my response in regards to the that classicist comment (number 5)

    Soon we will on me on some type of state or Federal “credit” at this rate…then what?

    then you could property omit number 5. from the list or your perception of what it means to be on welfare.

  20. youyouyouwhy says:


  21. J. Chingas says:

    Hipsters, yuppies, you’re all white to us. As far as I’m concerned, both of y’all are gentrifying the Mission.

    – A gentrified Chicano.

  22. Ken in Florida says:

    You know, I’m glad I left San Francisco! I never thought I would ever say that, but the City lost it’s heart long ago when the yuppies started taking over. Now it’s just a rich persons theme park. It’s not the San Francisco I lived in, and I wouldn’t want to live in what it is NOW!