Better than ever

This is a comment by reader Lyle Lanley, left on yesterday’s post about gentrification. Enjoy!

I’ve been here since 1993. Nope, doesn’t make me an OG, but it’s a bit of time. Flew in, sight unseen. Stayed in an acquaintance’s basement for a few days, then pored over the Bay Guardian looking for an apartment (there was not only no craigslist, there was barely an internet). I found a room in a Guerrero two-bedroom for $330 a month.

This was when New Dawn occupied the Tokyo Go Go space, Elixir was part of the Jack’s empire, Casanova was an old Vietnam vet daytime bar, and a rice and bean burrito at La Cumbre cost $1.25. Laughing Hyenas at Kilowatt!

You’re probably expecting some things-were-better-then nostalgia to follow, but let me disappoint you. Things are better now. There are better drinks now. There is better coffee. There are breakfast/brunch choices that I wish we had (Boogaloo’s, New Dawn, and crepes used to be the only game in the neighborhood). The food is unbelievable. The only downside to the Mission today is that everything’s a little pricier than I want it to be, but that’s always true, isn’t it? No one has ever thought, “I live in a Golden Age of Prices.”

Something that I have heard weekly, daily, hourly in the past 20 years is howls about the gentrification that has just *ruined* the place. Yes, the folks worried about the Google buses on Guerrero, are not the first to worry about “losing the character of the neighborhood.” People bemoaned gentrification in the mid-90’s, they *really* got up in arms during the dot-com boom soon thereafter, and now, during the app boom (or whatever is driving the current rent increases), we’re hearing the cries again. But I’m not worried about it. Why? Two reasons. First, I don’t consider displacement of *businesses* gentrification. I’ll take a nice restaurant over a grimy donut shop any day, and there’s nothing crucial to the character of the neighborhood about having an “envio dinero” bulletproof plexi kiosk in every single storefront – every third one will be fine. So the economic development of the Mission – from artisanal cheese, to handmade clothing, to custom bikes, to fancy restaurants – doesn’t count as gentrification in my eyes. If it is, well, it’s the good kind.

What counts to me as gentrification is displacement of *people*. And that happens far, far less than the town criers suggest it does. It turns out that Prop. 13 (which caps property taxes) and rent control have done a spectacular job of keeping people in place. The family to the right of my apartment, the woman to my left, two entire buildings across the street – all are full of people who have been there for decades. If they’re renting, they’re renting at a rate they’ve been paying for years, and they can’t be evicted (yes, there are owner move-ins and Ellis Acts, but they are the rare exception, not the rule). If they own, they’re paying a few hundred a year in property tax, as opposed to some folks down the street paying over $10,000.

We have serious structural incentives in place to keep people in place, and they are working. So the folks out back who slaughter a couple chickens on the landing on special occasions aren’t going anywhere. The neighbors with thirty people in the backyard shouting at every punch thrown on the pay-per-view boxing match are settled in. The guy across the street who comes out of his family’s house drunk at 9 a.m., accosting passersby with, “I been here 40 years, born and raised,” will probably do that for another 40, unless his liver gives.

Are there problems with rent increases? Absolutely. Vacancy decontrol lets the apartments that become available shoot up to crazy levels. It’s going to be very difficult for people to come *into* the neighborhood unless they’re rich. I think I saw a $2700 one-bedroom down the street, and no kid fresh from college can rent that out and start working an entry-level job. But that’s true on the Lower East Side, too. The most desirable places are always going to be the most expensive. So there are barriers to entry, but nobody is being “pushed out.”

Demographically, the Mission today looks an awful lot like what it looked like 20 years ago. Economically, Farina employs a lot more people than the dormant bakery there before it (what was that place called?). It may be better than ever here.

Thanks, Lyle!

78 Responses to “Better than ever”

  1. mike says:

    fuck oakland!

  2. stella says:

    Anna’s Danish cookies. Now in San Bruno.

  3. Jacob says:

    By far the most coherent and well-put comment that I’ve ever seen on this blog (aside from the “on my ding-a-ling” comments, of course). Well put, Lyle Lanley.

  4. GG says:

    I stole that pic for, hope that’s OK!

  5. Greg Gaston says:

    Nice post. I moved into a rundown flat on Guerrero, next door to the Valencia Gardens, in 1988. Rent was $250.00 per month for a two bedroom and the crack epidemic was peaking. Gunshots were routine, as were late night and early morning muggings. I renovated the whole flat on my own dime because my rent was so cheap. I never had too much trouble and there was a lot of great stuff going on in the Mission. I remember when the first restaurant opened at 16th & Guerrero that had valet parking and I thought… here comes trouble. People didn’t have to engage with the neighborhood in order to dine there — just drive in and drive out for a brief whiff of urban life. I watched in 2000 as people started getting moved out of the apartments and by 2005 they came for me. I took a buyout from the new owner and he gutted the six units and put each on the market for about $450k. Last year one unit was being sold for 329k, but those prices will probably rise again soon. I loved my 18 years in the Mission and knew everybody within a couple of square miles. I’ve been in Oakland for two and a half years and am loving it, as well.

  6. Kang and Kodos says:

    Mixology for some. Bombed walls for others.

  7. Bart says:

    Owner move-ins and Ellis Act evictions are certain to increase again now that the local economy is improving. This a natural reaction to a very flawed rent control regime in dire need of reform (start by introducing Means Testing!). Small time, private landlords can not be expected to perpetually subsidize other private citizens. And considering the demand for ownership as opposed to renting, there will come a day when almost all 6 unit and below buildings will be either condos or TICs.

    • SFdoggy says:

      I actually think it is unlikely that all 6 unit and below buildings will be either condos or TICs, even if restrictions on condo conversions were removed. Certainly that is not the case in any other city in the U.S.

      But, why would we care? For some reason there is a fixation in SF politics on the City being a city of renters? I have never been able to figure out why that is desirable.

      Not surprisingly, the effect of limiting the availability of ownership opportunities has resulted in fewer families in the City. People who can’t afford to buy a SFR, move out.

      Also the notion that keeping the same people in the City at subsidized prices is good seems odd to me. Not only do the subsidies support people who don’t need them, but also it is not clear why the City thinks those people are more important or more vital than potential newcomers. Yeah, people can invoke tedious stereotypes of newcomers, but shallow, prejudiced arguments really aren’t convincing..

      For all its talk of being progressive and open minded, San Francisco can be surprisingly reactionary and intolerant.

    • Russ says:

      “Small time, private landlords” are no more subsidizing their rent-controlled tenants than banks are subsidizing small-time private landlords who locked in low 30-year interest rates on their mortgages. In both cases all parties agreed, from the outset, on a fare price and what the rules would be. Neither landlords nor banks has cause to cry about subsidizing the other when prices, or interest rates, increase.

      Also, I’d say the “demand for ownership” is a culturally based phenomenon, like the desire for SUVs, and is continuing to evolve. I don’t believe it’s safe to assume that people will continue to prefer ownership to renting in the future. They may but that’s not safe to assume any longer. Particularly if the home mortgage interest deduction goes away; which is being talked about.

  8. john brannon says:

    +1 for the Laughing Hyenas mention.

  9. Chort says:

    Pretty sure there was a craigslist back then, but it was a dial up bbs, and there was a bulletin board at Rainbow that was just as good.

  10. Matthew says:

    I’ve lived in this street for nearly fifteen years
    Lived here with my hopes, lived here with my fears
    Paid my taxes, paid my bills
    Watched my money vanished in the council tills
    Alone come these scruffs with their education
    Their grand ideas, talk of corruption
    My rent keeps rising, my job gets boring
    If things gets worse then I’m gonna have to join them

  11. Jeremy says:

    It’s an interesting post, but a few things:

    1. Prop 13 only helps people who bought their homes before 1978.

    2. A good number of old timers may be staying, but damn straight a lot of people are getting pushed out as well. If you outgrow your place (because of marriage or kids or you get sick of a small shitty place you rented when you were poor), you have to give up your rent control.

    3. The demographics have changed. Look at the 2010 census:
    “In 1990, Hispanics made up 52 percent of the (Mission) population, but today it is 41 percent. Meanwhile, white people increased from 52 to 57 percent.

    Even these numbers don’t provide the whole picture because we’re counting some people twice. Many Hispanics are white, and we don’t have a count of non-Hispanic white people for the neighborhood in 2010.

    In 1990, non-Hispanic whites made up 30 percent of the Mission’s population; in 2000, it was nearly 40 percent. Suffice it to say, it’s likely to be way up in 2010 again.”

    • Lyle Lanley says:

      You’re mistaken about 1. Everyone who buys post-enactment is locked in to their assessed value, subject to a 2% per year increase. So if you bought in 1980, you’re paying that assessed value (plus adjustments). If you bought in 1992, you’re paying at that assessed value, and so on. That’s one reason Prop. 13 has never been repealed – every homebuyer has a vested interest in it.

      There’s much to say about Prop. 13. Pretty much anyone you talk to on the left will rightly bemoan its unfairness and its terrible impact on state government. But it *does* keep people in place, which we also value. What to do? Newer California residents should really check out this law. It’s . . . something.

      Regarding the rest, well, yes, things have changed some. But imagine how much more dramatic it would be in the 90% of the country with no Prop. 13 or rent control restrictions. The sky is just not falling, thanks to laws we have at the state (Prop. 13) and local (rent control) level.

      • anadromy says:

        Your post is well-written but it’s kind of Panglossian, if I may. Yes there are benefits to gentrification. (EG: better cheese, etc.) But it’s not all wine and sazerac. As a wiser man once declared, “The rents are too damn high!” And when the only young people who can afford to live in a place are, well, lame, it’s going to turn out to be, well, lame–even if the old folks still get to kill chickens for a little while longer. Maybe the kind of lame the mission is turning into is the kind of lame you like. That’s cool. You’ve only got more great changes to look forward to then. As you say, the same process took place on the Lower East Side and look how great it is there! (cringe.)

        • Lyle Lanley says:

          Truth be told, I’m an old. It’s just not important to me that a 21-year-old graduating with an au courant major from Reed be able to come here and put up his Thought Provoking Flyers on a piece of plywood covering some new construction on Valencia. If that young firebrand is priced out, I’ll survive.

          And boy, as someone who once walked over a corpse to get out of an L.E.S. apartment building in the early 80’s, and who remembers Bowery lined with mattresses, I’m not sure a little economic improvement is a bad thing. But as someone else has noted, that’s just my opinion.

        • The Tens says:

          I agree with this person even though they used the word Panglossian.

          To suggest that people aren’t going anywhere because we have structural incentives to keep them in place sounds great and I’m glad your neighbors have been able to stick around, but it ignores facts, such as the census figures mentioned above.

          As pointed out in the post, people can’t move here because rents are so high. The $330 paid for that room in 1993 is about $520 in today’s dollars, good luck finding a room anywhere in the city for that amount. But this doesn’t just stop people from out of town moving here, it stops people who already live here from finding an alternative should a landlord bring an Ellis Act eviction (which are not all that rare, and it is fairly common for an landlord to threaten an eviction and lowball a payout to the tenant), or should they be evicted for falling behind in rent, which contrary to popular opinion happens all the time (in an expedited civil process). People are being pushed out, disproportionately people of color.

          As far as Prop 13, any suggestion that it is stopping people from being displaced in the Mission is disingenuous. The vast, vast majority of San Franciscans are tenants, not homeowners. It does help residential and commercial landlords though.

          • anadromy says:

            And I agree with this guy even though he dissed the word Panglossian, which I try to use at least six times a day.

            It would be nice if a neighborhood could remain in the sweet spot between stepping-over-corpses squalor and coke-snorting-investment-banker douchebaggery. But that doesn’t seem to happen too often.

            I am longtime resident of the current coolest neighborhood in the city (with the Mission Mission-certified best vegetarian burrito around only steps away), and I can say that I do not miss the regular gun play and general skeeziness of yesteryear. But at the same time, it’s just not that cool or lively round these parts anymore.


            Jim Croce probably wrote a song about this emotion I am feeling right now. But I wouldn’t know. His music sucks.

        • ug says:

          Agreed. In addition to traditional families the Mission has also been home to Artists, Writers, Musicians, people employed in the non-profit sector, teachers and other community-based employees.

    • faceface says:


      You followed up Lyle’s wonderfully informed post with a heap of bullshit. Your comment about Prop 13 is absolutely false. Learn your legislation before you comment about things you obviously know nothing about.

  12. jomama says:

    Well that’s just your opinion, man.

  13. KH says:

    Love this. I totally agree. I’ve been in the Mission since 2001, at the tail-end of that first dot-com boom, and I think it’s better than ever.

  14. Marina Girl says:

    Oh Hell Yeah. What do the gays say to each other “it gets better”. Well it does! The Mission Rocks …hahahah like a climbing gym….hahahah . The Mission is getting more diverse every day! Blonds, dirty blonds, strawberry blonds, you name it we are getting it all! All my BFFs living in the Marina party here and we are all moving in next door! Kisses…see ya on the yoga mat…..

    • Old Mission Neighbor says:

      you and your marina girl friends are welcome at my place anytime.

      no, seriously. i love it.

      • Sweet T says:

        Just don’t fall in love with any of them. Their female friends are judgmental. Their male friends are prone to violence. They’ll never let you meet their parents. It always ends badly.

  15. No fish today says:

    New is always better.

  16. wizzer says:

    Marina girls are always barfing on our sidewalks in the Mission.

    You wanna barf, do it on Union St.

  17. oakey says:

    If you can’t see the problem, you are the problem.

  18. Jack Walker says:

    Still waiting, lo these last 22 years, for a real rain to come and wash all this scum off the streets.

  19. Ellen says:

    I moved here in 1983, so we mourned the gentrification of 1993! But it is better now: we didn’t have bike lanes or parklets, and no one hung out in Dolores Park. More people ride bikes these days, and yes, the coffee is better! Thanks for a thoughtful post.

  20. Trey Parker says:

    This is exactly the type of thing that inspired my episode about San Franciscans that sniff their own farts.

  21. Snake Plissken says:

    My next door neighbors have been there 40 years, as they like to point out. My place has been in regular rotation for decades.

  22. Susiefoo says:

    Oh, please remind me what Elixir used to be called?! It has been driving me crazy that I can’t remember!

  23. Like so much better now! says:

    OMG! Of course the Mission is much better. We have like 100 times more baby strollers and rich parents have moved back from the suburbs! That is classic evolution folks. Oh, and fuck you poor people move away ☺ Except the Latin nannies we need those to raise my kids while I am “kicking ass” at the office!

    • Jacob says:

      I believe the phrase you were looking for is “promoting synergy at the office.” See, all day you promote synergy at the office, then vibe out at night. Synergy -> Vibe -> Synergy -> Vibe. Lather, rinse, repeat. That’s how you crush it as a Jr. Broker, bro.

    • rod says:

      how is it that the same people complaining about families being pushed out also complain about families moving in?

      • Jacob says:

        This is MissionMission, the land of people that refuse to be held responsible for their beliefs or provide any sort of factual information about said beliefs.

        Logical fallacies get tossed around here like handjobs behind the bleachers at a high school football game.

    • aesthete and melancholic says:

      Please, it’s now known as “being a rock star” at the office.

  24. Chuck Berry says:

    Mah upstehs neighbohs moved out, aftah we comblained about deh playin’ basketbol an skatebode indohs. Mah sahdweyes neighbohs moved out, aftah we comblained about deh usin’ deh holl as uh boot’ fo’ deh cellies. Dey bot had too many chillun!

  25. hater says:

    I knew you were a fucking moron and now you’ve proven it.

  26. hater says:

    Allan seems to think more white people make for a better neighborhood.

    • Snake Plissken says:

      Allan seems to think he can get more hits when people think he seems to think more white people make for a better neighborhood. Allan has struck gold.

  27. Ben says:

    I went to an affordable public university, learned how to make useful things that other people will pay money for, and now I live in the Mission. Sometimes I go to fancy places but mostly I go to cheap places. Am I a gentrifying devil? Help me out here, mission mission!

    • Jacob says:

      I think that as long as the company you work for doesn’t have a bus service that picks you up, you’re in the clear. At least, that’s what I’ve been able to glean in my couple years of reading this blog.

      Oh, oh, and I almost forgot–you also have to be born and raised in the Mission. Because, you know, everybody that reads this blog is from here. And if you’re from the Midwest, you might as well just jump off the bridge. I think that sums it up, right?

      Collective eye roll in 3..2..1

      • Sergey B says:

        Wait. You’d rather all our employees DRIVE to work? It’s not our fault that BART doesn’t go south enough. It’s not some magic perk; it’s because the state makes us have a transit plan to get our staff out of their cars.

        • Tweety says:

          Maybe you should encourage your employees to live in Mountain View. It’s nice!

          • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

            The only thing nice about Mountain View is that it ha a convenient place to store my Zeppelin.

  28. dave says:

    “Better than ever”? Perhaps.

    Cooler than ever? No chance.

    Look what attributes people are mentioning in order to play up how much better the Mission is now: restaurants, number of cafes, parklets, and tons of bars that like totally have more than Jack’s Elixir used to have on tap.

    By these standards, Noe Valley and the Marina were better neighborhoods than the Mission and arguably still are.

    And for the market rents in the Mission, it had better be a better neighborhood.

    Unfortunately, the new Mission is better than ever in ways that Noe Valley and the Marina are better.

    • revenge of the nerds says:

      There are a lot more flavors of cool than “look how much I don’t a shit PUNK ROCK” and “look how much money I can spend MARINA”, you know.

      There are a lot of people in the Mission right now who are passionate as hell about what they do, have undertaken serious effort to actually get good at it, and figured out how to make a living doing it. Especially a time when it seems like hardly anybody in America is interested in actually making things.

      I’ll take hackers, makers, and doers over shitty punk shows and graffiti.

      • revenge of the nerds says:

        and for the record I don’t even have these vitriolic feelings normally, but goddamn am I tired of all this omg yuppies and tech workers are evil personified bullshit.

        Especially when it comes from people who had a privileged enough background that they could go to college, and then pissed away 4 years of time and money without ever considering whether it was actually going to help them or just sink them in a shitload of debt.

        Especially when they set up a false equivalency where they’re on the same page as working class families who are being displaced – fuck you, you had a chance to make something of yourself and spent it indulging in a luxury liberal arts education. It’s not even close to the same thing as somebody who never had opportunity to begin with.

      • dave says:

        I hear you, man. That’s why I like Palo Alto; a nice, beautiful, liveable city full of people who actually make a difference in the world.

        They’re too busy creating the miracles of tomorrow to care much about which bar has the most Belgian beers on tap or whether a bowling alley mixes a decent $10 dirty martini.

        Unfortunately, the Mission nerds are an entirely different kettle of fish. They’re the ones getting loud after their first designer martini and tweeting everyone about just how cool their new neighborhood is.

        There were plenty of old school, entrepreneurial nerds in the Mission in the punk rock days, btw. But times have changed. I’d imagine that most serious minded people take a look at the weekend crowds that now flock to Valencia, the party buses, and the neo-locals who will pay four figures to rent a room so they can stumble straight home after a sangria brunch, and say “not my cup of tea; I prefer something more mature and/or subdued.”

        You may hate punk rock and graffiti, but believe it or not, the reason the Mission was considered so hip 10-15 years ago for everyone to want to move there was precisely because of the punk rock and quasi-anarchist attitudes displayed by the then current denizens.

        BTW, dude, your rant sounds an awful lot like something sure you would hear in the Marina: “Dammit, people like me who work in the financial sector are the real heroes of the world; we work productively for a living and the market rewards us for our excellence and if you don’t like it, stfu commie.”

        As I’ve discussed elsewhere, SF used to be a special city because of its strong working class. Now it’s just another city with a symbolic streak of residual anti-authoritarianism, filling up with proud earners who want to flaunt their wealth and not be made to feel guilty about it.

        • wrybread says:

          You do realize, that if you’re looking for that pure Mission of yesteryear, you can just cross over Army Street and go a few more blocks, right?

          No matter how hard you try to jam that square peg into that round hole, the Mission (even at 16th & Valencia) is absolutely nothing like the Marina or Noe Valley. But if the “lots of bars means Marina!” is really insurmountable for you, just stay on that 19 bus a few more stops and everyone will be happier for it.

          • Marina Girl says:

            Yeah stop trying to say that the Mission is the new Marina. Not yet – we still have a few more brown people to move out before we can call it that. In the mean time just count the Land Rover’s I see more and more so we are making progress.

  29. mazzy says:

    Great post.
    In 1991 i bought my House in the Inner Mission , some thought I was crazy but I also loved the weather and had loved seeing bands in the 80s at the Deaf Club and other places around the neighborhood. And used to always go to the York Theater for retro films (now the Brava). It was a great place to have as a home. Great neighborhoods and very walkable.

    The first few years here, there was lots of drug action on Florida/Bryant @ 21st Street. My son was 6 months old but we love this area so much. The people around here really worked, planting trees and finally got the druggies to moved on. They people create their own environment. Atlas was a Latin Drug Bar and got closed down. I remember when the building was for sale of $165K.

    I love how the Mission has evolved. Latin families haven’t been pushed out very much unless they wanted to in order to buy homes elsewhere.

    Remember that the Mission used to be Irish. The Fillmore used to be Jewish, Potrero Hill was Russian (my father came there when he was 10) and so on. Neighborhoods always evolve. SOMA was a bit scary but fun. Lots of open lots where south beach is now.

    There is only so much land here in San Francisco much like Manhattan. And the streets here are so much cleaner and more of a mixed neighborhood than ever.

    • dave says:

      Well, our downstairs neighbor was a Latino family, and they got kicked out along with the rest of us in what seems in hindsight to be a dubious owner eviction. In our places, you got a snooty yuppie couple. Just sayin’.

      That is a really nice story of finding a neighborhood when it was a place you could see punk bands, moving in, raising a kid, and making it nicer.

      But for anyone who wants to duplicate that experience, they have to start somewhere else outside of San Francisco.

      The three long term Mission residents who have posted their feelings on how the neighborhood is better now would not be able to afford to move in if they arrived in the Mission today. That is the point.

      The mazzys and lyle lanleys of 2012 are not coming to the Mission anymore.

      • wrybread says:

        > The mazzys and lyle lanleys of 2012 are not
        > coming to the Mission anymore.

        Sure they are. But they’re coming to the Outer Mission. Which looks a lot like the Inner Mission did in the 80s.

        And in 20 years, when the Outer Mission gets expensive, people will bemoan the world ending yet again, and the cycle will repeat itself.

        See what I’m sayin?

        • dave says:

          Good point about the Outer Mission. That really does feel more like the classic Mission used to. If I had to choose between outer and inner Mission, I’d choose outer. But still, even there the prices are too prohibitive, so the choice is merely academic.

          BTW, last time I was in Bernal Heights, I saw not one, but two German-brand SUVs with ski-racks on top driven by fratboys who appeared to live there now. No biggie, but it made me do a double-take because it was so novel.

          Even the East Bay isn’t particularly cheap, but it is a good place to run into anyone you knew from SF in the 90s. Most of the cool people seem to be going to Portland now. And the adventurous type who used to come to the Bay Area and live in converted warehouses now seem to be heading to places in the northeastern US: Detroit, Cleveland, any of those formerly great cities that now have dead city centers. That’s the new frontier.

          • wrybread says:

            Nah the Outer Mission is cheap. A friend just rented a whole house for $1500. They’re a couple, but they’re being extravagant and could easily have 4 people in that house. If they wanted to get super punk rock, could be 8.

            > Detroit, Cleveland, any of those formerly great
            > cities that now have dead city centers. That’s the
            > new frontier.

            And in 10 years, when they’ve done their work well and made those new places fun and beautiful, and the folks with the jobs start moving in, we’ll think its the end of the world yet again?

            For my part, I love the Mission so much that I find it amazing when someone fixates on the occasional Marina people or new condo. There’s still so much world class funky flavor that I feel like its just nit picking to obsess. And I always have to suspect that it’s a bit of that “it was better 10 years ago” phenomenon that exists pretty much everywhere.

            But then again I’m a newbie. Only been here 15 years, and am lucky enough to be able to run my own business and be paid well for it, so maybe the Mission looks alot different to me than it would have when I got here and lived in my car.

          • dave says:

            $1500/mo seems unreal for a house. I wonder how many people your friends had to beat out to get that lease, and how they did it.

            Anyway, it’ll probably take much longer than ten years before places like Cleveland and Detroit turn around, and it’ll probably never be to the extent of the Bay Area because there is a lot more land in those places and they also don’t have the pull factor of NYC or SF.

            Portland, OR could be on a ten year plan though. It really does seem like all the artist-type people who bail on SF and the Bay Area are heading there. The show “Portlandia” is basically an infomercial for the place as the new bohemia.

            A friend of mine shrewdly pointed out that most of the yuppies who came to SF with the dotcom boom were really only here for the jobs. They never liked the city and the city never liked them. When the jobs left, so did they.

            This new crowd is different. They like the SF lifestyle just like the old bohemians did. The key difference is the Mission is a high-rent district now.

            During weekdays, the Mission may actually be better than ever. But on weekends and nights, the crowds and the vibe are just too much sometimes.

            If you like a local band and see them play in clubs, then five years later when that band gets big and you have to see them in crowded theatres for 3X the price, you’re always gonna remember the old days as better–even if the band now has a tighter set list, a slicker light show, and a better sound system.
            That doesn’t mean that the people who started liking the band after they got big are having a diminished experience, but for you the new reality is always gonna be compromised.

            I spent a lot of time hanging out at the Zeitgeist during the first dotcom era, and the Zeitgeist held off the onslaught pretty well. Then, around 2003 or 04, it finally became too yuppified. I shrugged and moved on, satisfied that I got my money’s worth when I could. The last time I went in the Zeitgeist it was only to use their bathroom and smoke a bowl on the patio.

            You never really think about how cool it is that a neighborhood is largely undiscovered by outsiders until you see the first party bus pull up outside your favorite bar; only then do you realize what you have (or had).

            Such is the Mission to me now. It still has its good qualities, but you also know that certain times and places are best avoided.

          • gregory says:

            dave — yes. this is the rare missionmission comment i so totally agree with i could have written it myself. we should get a beer sometime.

  30. SRG says:

    Back to the prop 13 discussion- it should be noted that if the commercial properties were exempted from proposition 13, not retroactively but starting right now, we could get back to having some of the best schools in the nation.

    Keeping property taxes low for families=good.

    Keeping properties taxes low for businesses=questionable. Sometimes good, often times bad. Some will tell you that the tax structure in California keeps businesses away. Ask them why our economy is booming (hint: it isn’t because of anti-tax policies).


    Revisionist history=not so much

  31. dave says:

    BTW, let me reply to a couple of points in lyle’s fine OP.

    1. The coffee is better now than 93.

    There are more choices, yes. But in 93 you already had Muddy’s, Muddy Waters, and The Club. Tastes differ, but the archipelago of pintglass coffeehouses that already existed in the Mission in 93 was pretty top of the line.

    2. We never say, ‘gee, I live in the golden age of prices.’.

    That’s a good observation, but I remember going to taqueria San Jose #2 when it opened (just across the street from San Jose #1) and finding the 1/4 chicken plate meal: a 1/4 (small) chicken, five corn tortillas, beans, rice, cheese, and a baked potato plus condiments for $2.49 in the mid-90s.

    I remember thinking something quite along the lines of “this really is the golden age of prices.”

    And you could say the same for any of the standard burritos that were all under three bucks at the time.

    And I was pretty pleased with myself for discovering King’s Bakery, which I’m sure rates negative stars among today’s discriminating Mission foodies, but which served (and probably still does) piping hot, loaf-sized sweet french rolls out of the oven for 50 or 75 cents per loaf. Take one of those and dunk chunks of it in your $1.25 large Muddy’s coffee, and again, those prices felt pretty golden at the time.

    Lyle Lanley is one of the few renters who has managed to stay throughout all the waves of gentrification, and even he is one eviction away from being booted from SF.
    The couch-surfing Lyle Lanleys of 2012 are taking one look at market rents in SF and saying “screw this overpriced pleasure cruise, I’m going somewhere saner.”

  32. Dylan says:

    Yuppie apologist!!

  33. Erin says:

    Cities are evolving, changing places. It is detrimental for a city to be one big demographic monoculture, but San Francisco is still far from that.

    The gentrification cycle is as old as time: Violence/marginalized demographic -> cheap rent -> creative types looking for cheap rent and space -> creative businesses/fun! -> first-to-the-party-ers -> more fun businesses -> more money that demands more safety/cleanliness -> rich people -> high rents

    Then people decamp for the next neighborhood. Let’s all get over it.

  34. The list shows the rank, title, artist, peak position () and the year the record reached
    the peak position. You will need a list of their names, date of surgery, the name of surgeon, the surgical
    procedure performed. Use your computer or start calling and
    asking for the CEO’s phone number, fax number and email #.

  35. Some Laptop Pads incorporate fans in them to
    maximize the amount cooling to the bottom of the notebook computer.
    Though playing the ‘dawn patrol’ may be more convenient, it’s more likely to deliver more bogeys
    than birdies, while a late afternoon tee time is more productive for better scoring.
    Yes, breath control is a valuable tool in these events, and can help
    you calm down.