Gentrification as immigration

In a piece titled “Stop Complaining About Gentrification Unless You Know What It Is,” io9 editor Annalee Newitz looks a little deeper at the topic of the day:

Gentrification is a form of immigration, though almost nobody calls it that. People who gentrify are usually new transplants to a city, changing it to suit their particular cultural needs and whims. That’s why the criticism of gentrification often sounds like a distorted version of anti-immigrant sentiment: “They have changed our neighborhoods; their shops and homes are repulsive; we no longer feel welcome here.” The difference is that the people we call immigrants are usually not rich. Gentrifiers are.

She then looks at Istanbul and Paris, and obviously San Francisco, and eventually draws this conclusion:

When different immigrant groups struggle with each other to reshape the city, gentrification is one possible outcome. There are other possible outcomes, too. City planners can manage development so that there is enough room for neighborhoods to grow without kicking anyone out. A recent study revealed that creating income-segregated neighborhoods leads to less social mobility for everyone, cementing us into a rigidly class-divided society. More than anything, we need to prevent neighborhoods from becoming divided by class.

A first step would be to revise our attitude toward immigration in cities. Instead of seeing immigrants as aliens, we should welcome their fresh perspectives, their wealth of new cultural traditions — and yes, their cash infusions. As twentieth century cities swell into twenty-first century megacities, we must make room for all our immigrant populations, rich and poor alike. The only crime is in sacrificing one to make way for the other.

The only crime. Read on for lots more data and storytelling and relevant photos.

[Photo by Andrew Sarkarati]

Literally a sign of the times

Yeah, remember when this was Spanish-language beer ads for like ever? And oftentimes just blank?

Different times!

[Photo and title (and additional reporting) by Tanya Wheeler]

About that big hulking building that blocks out the sun at 25th and Capp

Reader Britta (who also a few weeks ago dug up all that info on the old police station on 17th) dug up all the info and made a LocalWiki article about it:

In a residential area at Capp and 25th in the Mission, there’s an oddly big office building that always has lights on at night. What is that? It’s the telco building at 3333 25th Street, owned by AT&T.

In other words, it’s a telephone exchange containing telephone switches and other pieces of equipment, called a “central office” in telecommunications company jargon.

Read on for lots more info and history. Thanks, Britta!

UPDATE: Oh doy! Commenter sfnola says, “This is where The Phone Booth at 25th/SVN gets its name.” Nice.

Young lovers in Dolores Park, May 1949

Reader Brigid H. recently came upon this shot of her grandparents from waaaay back in the day. (Back when Dolores Park was cool, jkjk.)

Different times!

Planet of the Burners

The African Outlet closed their doors; new location in the works

The normally jam packed African Outlet in Hayes Valley has completely emptied out, and according to their facebook page and IndieGoGo campaign, they are looking for help to relocate, possibly to the Bay View. They claim to be just looking for a larger space, but it seems like this has been in the works for a while, and they are in reality falling victim to the city-wide rent increases [via SFExaminer].

Anti-gentrification protest marches up Valencia and its brand-new condos

Displaying a bright “Class War 2.0″ banner, the group marched peacefully up Valencia and then turned on 22nd before stopping in front of Lolo Cevicheria for an impromptu rally.  The speaker made an interesting point regarding rent control that I had failed to previously consider.  Namely, that while families without the fortune of living in rent-controlled apartments are forced to move after their rent gets dramatically increased, people who do actually dwell in rent-controlled spots suffer from landlords who refuse to fix anything except for the most necessary (read: legally-required) repairs.

Many families are terrified of even asking their landlords to perform important maintenance within their apartments out of fear that they will notice some sort of technicality within their living space that would provide means for eviction.  Imagine dealing with that constant level of fear every day of your life, where any sort of misstep could be used against you.

Sadly, I just see this situation getting worse and worse.

Well this is a beautiful view

[via Dale Thorn]

Porchlight’s Summer Soul Celebration with music, comedy, storytelling and more!

Dang, this sounds like a good time:

What we got: Hosts Beth Lisick and Arline Klatte, a 20 piece version of Marc & The Casuals, a special opening set by soul gospel legends the West Coast Spiritual Corinthians. Comedy by Anna Seregina, Chis Colin & Rob Baedeker. Special Musical Guests Persephone’s Bees, Etienne de Rocher, Fredo Ortiz, Karina Denike, Meryl Press, Brigid Dawson, Bob Reed, Jason Morgan, & Virgil Shaw.

With summer stories from Porchlight and a summertime soul story and invocation from the Bishop Marc Andrus…
Show start promptly at 8:30 and won’t stop until everyone has danced and laughed and danced again.

Tix:http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/593133

Help Arizmendi fund their parklet!

It looks like Arizmendi got approval from the city to move ahead with their parklet plans on Valencia, and now they’ve started an Indiegogo campaign to help fund the project. In their words:

We, the worker-owners of Arizmendi Valencia care about providing delicious, affordable and unique baked goods to our neighborhood. As a diverse cooperative, we also value community dialogue among folks of varying backgrounds and experiences. In this spirit, we want to build a semi-circular parklet in front of our store to cultivate comfort and connection among our customers.

It also sounds like they’re planning on having the parklet host a rotating mural series, and that they’ve already received interest from neighbor and talented local artist Sirron Norris. As someone who enjoys both delicious baked goods and sunshine, I couldn’t be more excited about bringing these two things together.