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.

La Ultima Noche

Esta Noche’s last night has come. I lived across the street from the queer Latino bar for a number of years, in the same building of my good friend Marco. We had some fun times there together, but he had many more without me. I asked him to share some thoughts and stories of the bar. We’ve seen a lot of closures recently, but this one hits hard. It’s a rare safe space for a community that doesn’t have many. Sad to see it go. Anyway, I’ll get out of the way and share Marco’s piece:

Rie, llora
que a cada cual, le llega su hora
rie, llora
vive tu vida y gozala toda

laugh, cry
that to each of us our time comes
laugh, cry
live your life and enjoy it completely


[Photo by Nehemiah Lazo]

Soon after I arrived in San Francisco in 1993, directo from Sinaloa, a gang of immigrant locas, known to me as Las Latinillas, became mi familia in all senses. Meaning, they were supportive, caring and fun to be with but also complete bitches and a beautiful hot mess. Always in your face. They will snatch your new boyfriend, get you a green card and a job, trash your soul con canciones de Juanga and uplift your spirits ala Gloria Trevi, as they revere Selena y Los Dinos and eat pupusas revueltas at Balompie. All this, a la luz del sol.

And at night, we had Esta Noche. It was my friend Mario, well, I called him La Marieta, who took me there the first time. La Marieta was dying of AIDS at the time but as he put it, “Despues de la novela, vamos a esta noche mana, hoy canta La Ronnie Salazar.” You always knew you were at Esta Noche because of a huge self-portrait of a naked Joe Dallesandro with an eternal spotlight on his even larger penis and how can you miss the Esta Noche smell . . . a mix of tequila, piss, and Chanel N°5. Running into friends, making new friends and losing friends all happened at Esta Nasty. It was the place for new immigrants like myself to listen to our music, speak our language and just for a few hours not to feel inadequate. It was also the place for young Latinos, to come out at night and join the festivities of music, drag, stripers, and drinks. But las reynas de la noche were the drag queens!

(more…)

Anti-Gentrification Arts Market

This afternoon/evening from 4-7pm Prensa POBRE/POOR Magazine is hosting an event at 2940 16th Street to support locals who have been evicted, displaced or otherwise affected by the ongoing overvaluation of San Francisco property. The event will feature performances by a puppet theater, engaging activist Fly Benzo (a local rapper from Hunters Point, whom I have worked with before) and a reading from Born N’ Raised in Frisco, a book compiled and workshopped in part by Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia and Tony Robles. Art will be available to purchase, and there will be food offered at a sliding scale.

Check it out. Discuss, debate, plan and proceed.

[via The Bay Guardian]

Melissa Xides loves our gentrification

YouTube user Kyle Smeallie uploaded a video from Jack Spade’s hearing in front of the Board of Appeals where Melissa Xides, Vice President of Global Sales and Retail at Jack Spade, remarked not only that they fell in love with the gentrification of the Mission, but also the “uniqueness and character”, which they apparently now intend to help erode. Note the nice little remix at the end.

Urban Taco Fabricator

You can complain about how Tacolicious on Valencia Street is ruining the flavor of the hood and gentrifying the fuck out of the place all you want, but just be grateful that we don’t have an Urban Taco Fabricator like they do in LA.

Yet.

[Via Vice]

A new take on a familiar point of view

El Farolito now offering gentrified tortillas

It was nearly twelve years ago that a Mexican political activist declared, “I would shoot my son and daughter if they ever order a green burrito.” At long last, El Farolito has caved to the times and has started offering spinach and whole wheat tortillas.

[via Lindsey]

Homebuyers go home

[via lurk.skate.sf (love this guy today!)]

Mission Small Business Owners Talk Gentrification

Youtube user nico1001nico made a nice short documentary about Mission gentrification from the perspective of the small business owners. For the most part, they don’t really seem to mind the changes happening. There’s less crime, better business, and more diversity.

Micah from Black & Blue delivers the most scathing line, when asked what she’d like to see changed: “More low income housing, more services available to the poor, and less trust fund babies moving into the neighborhood.”

The most baffling quote comes from Connie, the Latina business owner, describing her dream of 24th becoming the next Noe Valley. For serious?

Previously:

Dregs One on Gentrification

Update: Video removed by the creator. Probably pissed off too many trust fund babies.

Update 2: Aaand it’s back. Not sure what’s changed:

Dregs One on Gentrification

SF native and hip hop artist Dregs One just started a series of videos called “The Wake Up Report“. The first subject? Mission and Fillmore gentrification. Oh boy, here we go again.

Nothing too new here: he drops the H-Bomb a couple of times, there is a cameo by the Bay Area Derailleurs, and some extremely awkward interviews with inarticulate folks in Dolores Park. He doesn’t get too nasty towards transplants, but it seems like his big beef is that the new folks don’t really make an effort to integrate into the community or learn it’s history. I assume opening your fancy restaurant on Valencia street doesn’t count as integrating and debating which Taqueria invented the Mission burrito doesn’t count as history.