Too much churn

In an essay titled San Francisco: Creep City, web celeb Mills Baker lays out an epiphany he’s had about what can make SF really tough:

Creeps are everywhere, but in San Francisco the variety of creeps makes it hard to have a settled method for dealing with them; they are not demographically uniform. In some cities, the natural segregation of social groups means that one infrequently encounters behavior that defies the conventions one favors; in SF, it is not some civic love of diversity that changes this but the fact that social groups are often so recently-composed. As a city of aspirational arrivals, SF has a populace that never shakes out the jerks; there’s too much churn for standards of normalcy to be achieved.

Too much churn! It’s true! You work real hard to forge friendships with the folks you like best, and suddenly they’re off to Brooklyn or LA or Oakland or Detroit and you have to start all over again, shakin’ out a whole new crop of jerks.

(Confidential to my friends: Are we in agreement about Jarid yet?)

[Migration map by Forbes]

27 Responses to “Too much churn”

  1. Just Saying says:

    Maybe the problem is too much whining and nitpicking. Churn or no churn, there’s never been a shortage of people opining about what’s wrong with San Francisco.

  2. trixare4kids says:

    too much wealth.

  3. Jarid says:


  4. Opliney the elder hath spokeneth.

  5. MrEricSir says:

    If you’re going to write an essay about creeps, you should probably take the time to explain what you mean by “creeps.”

    This is a city with a lot of different types of folks — one person’s idea of who’s a “creep” is likely to be very different than another’s.

    • Olu says:

      Did you read the essay? I think he laid out some examples of what he meant.

      “For every meth-addicted jerk-victim spraying spittle and salacious slurs at commuting women, there is an ostentatious startup scion hijacking a social situation and crashing it into the ground with his self-aggrandizing prattle. While the schizophrenic is defecating on the children’s playground, the high-flying narcissist at the bar waylays five adults with an unsought lecture on the intricacies of his moral hobbies.” (and then again later about “gafflers” etc…

      Point is he lays it all out.

      And in many respects he’s right. A place get its place-ness from people, and that takes generations not years. The churn is a real thing. But it’s not like there aren’t tons of assholes, excuse me, jerks in cities like Philly or NYC where people live down the street from their grandparents.

      But then he says this:

      “it’s just about how hard it is to go anywhere in San Francisco without having some creep slide up to you, your girlfriend, your buddy, your dog, your bag, your table, start in on whatever automated creeper script he runs on people:”

      Oh that’s your issue? You don’t know how to tell people to fuck off or otherwise leave you alone? And you think that this problem is better where? Maybe you’re not cut out for city living?

      • MrEricSir says:

        He does lay out some examples, but since he never bothers to explain what they have in common, it’s not clear what the connection is (or if one exists at all.)

        You’re right about the author though, this sounds like an awful lot of whining.

  6. Brillo says:

    When someone generalizes like this, the phrase “this city is” can usually be replaced with “my friends are”.

  7. Lindsey says:

    What is a Jarid?

    • scum says:

      Djerid (weapon)
      (also Jarid, Jered) A type of throwing spear about 3 ft. long, usually with a wooden haft and small steel head but sometimes all steel used for hunting and warfare.[1] Arab in origin, it was used in Asia Minor, India and Africa. Sometimes several weapons were carried in a quiver.

  8. Ariel Dovas says:

  9. Crass Backpatch says:

    The guy who wrote this wankerous screed is named Mills. ’Nuff said.

  10. george says:

    To be fair, the mission is the epicenter of churn. Around the Sunset, West Portal, and many others neighborhoods, you can meet lots of nice people who have lived here for as long as they remember (along with nice people and jerks who are just moving in/out).

  11. Timmy says:

    I’ve lived in this city for over 20 years. The constantly changing plot and cast are what I enjoy. Very few people lay their roots in SF.

  12. dave says:

    Can nice people afford the least affordable rents in the country?

    I agree that relatively rapid turnover has always been a key feature of SF’s vitality and character. But put simply: What kind of people can afford these market rents?

    Another longtime Mission household of friends is being evicted this year, and they are leaving California altogether when that happens.

    Their landlord isn’t doing it because he wants to bring fresh blood into the City, he’s doing it because he can sell the place for a small fortune to someone who will rent it out for another small fortune.

    For more and more of us, the Mission is a place associated with memories and nostalgia rather than something whose current state is what we appreciate about the place.

    It seems the best thing about it now is the new stuffing & cranberry sauce finger sandwiches some bistro is offering, or the new bacon-tinis at some happy hour on 2th St.

    Honestly, unless you’re a property owner, how can you be happy about this?

    • Sammy T says:

      True…this place is OVER.

    • Mark says:

      The trend on my block is that renters are being replaced by owners. They seem to be nice people, but are also super hardworking professionals with large incomes. Kids are starting to appear everywhere.

      • Teotwawki Jones says:

        Kids? Everywhere? So what you’re saying then is they’re fucking hard working professionals.

    • commentariatsays says:


  13. Blatant Localism JFA says:


    ….damn, too late.

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