Thursday, April 12, 2012

If not the Sunset maybe the Excelsior? (Vallejo?)

About my probably mistaken speculation the other day that a place might be found in San Francisco's Sunset District for the irregular and poor people driven out of downtown -- here's a further data point: a long SF Chron article not-so-kindly calling SoMa "a neighborhood gone to seed" (harrumph), and mainly emphasizing the concentration of marijuana dispensaries South of Market -- but then briefly noting that three pot clubs were just approved in the Excelsior District.

Hm. The Excelsior hills have been picking up some of the young semi-bohemian homebuyers who would buy in the Mission or Bernal Heights if they could afford either. But there's this whole tougher vibe along Mission Street out there near the city line...

[Added later: to be totally, totally clear, I'm not in favor of the city forcing people to live anywhere in particular, nor in favor of creating or maintaining containment/ghetto zones. I'm just fatalistically thinking that the way our city works, it might happen. Hoping not.]

We were talking about this last night.

J. says the "banlieueification" will drive poor people way the hell out, not just to the edges of the San Francisco map, but way out of town, banished to "failed cities" like Vallejo or even Stockton.

Except, I don't know, when we got to thinking about the futures of some specific people we know -- middle-aged people who have been living on the edge around the downtown area for years -- it got difficult to think why they would ever move to a place like Vallejo. Maybe if they happened to know someone already there, is all. People who don't have a lot to rely on in life can get really attached to the places they know well. For that matter San Franciscans in general don't tend to like to leave the city. This is home. I suppose what may happen is, as people age, they'll get on waiting lists for supportive or senior housing, and housing will open up in different neighborhoods, so they'll move where it's available. But probably that will all happen within the city.

Vallejo? It's another planet.

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