San Francisco is the uber-chic place to stop over on your way back from your Hawaiian honeymoon. That is the cliché thing for middle to upper class Easterners to suggest the moment you mention a Hawaiian vacation. "You just got to stop there, Martha and I loved it. The food was fantastic", that is roughly every one-liner suggestion I've heard since 2003. Younger folks usually rave about the really awesome, laid back vibe of the city. It's expensive because of the tech money there, but it's worth it. Seeing a couple of news items pop up, it seems San Francisco is fantastic at perception management and sanitizes the information released from the Bay Area.
Shakedown in San Fran. It is amazing what Google's search algorithm yields when searching for completely unrelated topics. The press release is that the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce is calling for a boycott of San Francisco's tourism and hospitality industries. Huffpo is on it in its Blackvoices section (just below is a slideshow of "Racist Moments: 2013 Edition"). The boycott press release is a great display in selective hate fact statistic use. The SFAACC cites a bunch of staitstics that are "disturbing facts", showing how the city has let the black community down. It is boilerplate grievance industry language and demands. No accountability on the community, and the post's comments supporting the boycott's aims are hysterical. No causation discussion, just tourism and hospitality are causes for the poor situation of San Francisco's blacks (and their disappearance). The demands are really for some of the government money devoted to tourism and hospitality spending as well as job training and advocacy programs (graft, hush money, patronage). Most tourism and hospitality jobs do not need training as much as a willingness to show up on time, work the shift and maybe pass a drug test. The boycott begins tomorrow, so be alert.
No more public nudity... except at parades and fairs that received licenses. The video is older, but there was another protest in November. They lose their heads and clothes in the chambers. It was rather interesting to hear a council member mention the slippery slope idea of is this just a start and piercings or tattoos are next in the same year that GAY MARRIAGE WAS JUST IMPOSED by the Supreme Court. The line from the mayor at the end was simple and true. Calling this freedom of speech is a bold stretch. The problem that caused this change is noted in a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle. Naked gay men walking around Castro street, greeting everyone and anyone (including children) to the Bay.
While blacks can't find tourism and hospitality jobs, the cab drivers of San Francisco must be Muslim enough in numbers to get washing and praying stations at the Airport. Does the airport have a Christian space? No. They have an interfaith reflection room tucked away in the International terminal. The airport does have a yoga room. Maybe the blacks should be against immigration so that they can get the cabdriver jobs back and protest the lack of Christian space to give a pastor or two a job.
Bike lane expansion turf war! Money quote is the guy who takes his 20 month old son on the bike with him despite being hit three times, "My wife would not let me take Liam on Polk. It's too dangerous." Last I heard California was in a budget crunch, needing to cut back on a bunch of services. This bike lane expansion will cause some construction spending and hurt car traffic and congestion. Brilliant.
The coalition of interest groups is represented all over San Fran whether social or economic in nature. The firefighters of San Fran are many of the top earning city officials and workers. I can't imagine what causes municipalities in California to have budget issues when firefighters are taking home over $250,000. How many calls on average does a firefighter of 2013 respond to compared to 1962? My guess is far fewer in number today compared to days of old with better electrical wiring and construction, not to mention the earthquake codes.
As the defense of gentrification pointed out, Oakland is undergoing a transformation and possible San Franciscanification, so the naked gay guys, bike lanes and overpaid firefighters can crowd out blacks who were exiled from San Fran to Oakland and will now have to go elsewhere. There was a recent column about there being two Americas and the accepting, enlightened one was clearly the better America. San Francisco is one of the crown jewels of the better America. Must help to bury all weird news. Go for the laid back vibe, the architecture and food.