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Old 08-13-2011, 10:38 AM
 
Location: The Bay
6,915 posts, read 13,175,002 times
Reputation: 3072

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Note to C-D: The next 4 pargraph blurb is something I wrote for a different site (skysraperpage) but I decided to repost it for those who are unfamiliar with the Mission. I'm aware most of you are familiar with the neighborhood and don't need the info lol.

This is focusing on the Mission District, the premiere latino neighborhood in San Francisco. As many of you know, the Mission District can be economically split into two distinct sides: West of Mission Street and East of Mission Street. In recent years, West of Mission has become increasingly gentrified, particularly between Valencia St. and Dolores St. This half of the mission has become a local favorite, particularly among the younger crowd. However, it has also become so to the dismay of many working class latino families who have been forced to leave their neighborhood due to its ever-rising cost. Many claim that the largely younger non-hispanic crowd who is moving in did not really understand the neighborhood they had moved into and still don't; given San Francisco's tendency to attract transients, many of the new residents likely will not stick around and as a result are not going to put much new stock into the existing community.

East of Mission is has not been touched nearly as much by gentrification, which for the residents is something of a blessing and a curse. The area is most widely known to be a haven for both outstanding and authentic latino cuisine and cultural offerings but also for gang violence; it has one of the highest crime rates of any neighborhood in the city. Similarly to East San Jose, though, it is also known as one of the prime centers for Mexicans in Northern California; the countless murals detailing the exploits of Mexican freedom crusaders such as Cesar Chavez - and interestingly, non-latino contemporaries such as Huey P. Newton and Malcolm X - are testament to that.

However, the numerous dedication murals to those who have succumbed to the streets of the Mission act as another sort of testament; the challenges Mexican youth continue to face growing up in the Mission can be lethal. They can also be self-defeating; many have coped by forming a mental shell of sorts, too jaded to entertain the idea that they'll ever have a chance to keep pace with the Joneses by the time they're teenagers, having witnessed and compartmentalized pain and suffering that they are reminded of every time they close their front door behind them and realize that the Mission ultimately does not differentiate between them and the deceased. Every time one of their neighbors - or worse, their family - is struck down, it only suggests that their card is next to be pulled.

The Mission, much like San Francisco itself, has become a tale of two cities, each with two distinct futures; one holds the promise of continued prosperity and the other holds the encroaching realization that its community issues will simply be moved to another community. That, however, is the nature of change; eventually, change will replace those who currently change the face of the Mission. As it stands now, though, The Mission is one of the most complex neighborhoods in San Francisco that perfectly captures what is happening throughout San Francisco on a smaller scale.

This thread shows both sides of the Mission.


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Old 08-13-2011, 04:30 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,003,332 times
Reputation: 2952
Great pics, really captures the flavor of the area. I've always wondered why nobody makes a distinction between the areas west of Mission Street and those east of it, they're totally different neighborhoods as you say. The western area is a lot more like the Castro or Noe Valley, I'd call it Dolores Park if we were able to give it its own name.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:41 PM
 
64 posts, read 213,850 times
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Yeah, great photos!!
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
2,406 posts, read 7,272,511 times
Reputation: 1857
Beautiful pics!
I agree, there really is a blurry line between Castro/West Mission/Dolores Park area.
I need some tips on where to go eat out there, the markets are great though!
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:29 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
330 posts, read 683,303 times
Reputation: 321
I think you were fair in how you portrayed the gentrification issue west of Mission St. I feel for anyone that is forced out of the neighborhood they grew up in because of rising rents caused by an influx of newcomers.

But I guess my question is, it worth trying to stop this kind of gentrification? Or do we accept the fact that neighborhoods change over time? The Castro wasn't always the gay neighborhood, the Haight wasn't always flowery and awash with hippies, and North Beach wasn't always the Italian neighborhood (and honestly isn't very "Italian" anymore other than the restaurants and cafes). Is it a bad thing if a neighborhood changes?

And if you think gentrification of the Mission is a bad thing, what's the solution? I've yet to hear any good ideas on how to solve this issue. I don't think rent control is an effective solution as it carries with it a lot of negative side effects.

Anyway, I think its an interesting debate and I don't necessarily have any answers myself.

Last edited by SunDevil1212; 08-15-2011 at 02:30 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:52 PM
 
Location: The Bay
6,915 posts, read 13,175,002 times
Reputation: 3072
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunDevil1212 View Post
I think you were fair in how you portrayed the gentrification issue west of Mission St. I feel for anyone that is forced out of the neighborhood they grew up in because of rising rents caused by an influx of newcomers.

But I guess my question is, it worth trying to stop this kind of gentrification? Or do we accept the fact that neighborhoods change over time? The Castro wasn't always the gay neighborhood, the Haight wasn't always flowery and awash with hippies, and North Beach wasn't always the Italian neighborhood (and honestly isn't very "Italian" anymore other than the restaurants and cafes). Is it a bad thing if a neighborhood changes?

And if you think gentrification of the Mission is a bad thing, what's the solution? I've yet to hear any good ideas on how to solve this issue. I don't think rent control is an effective solution as it carries with it a lot of negative side effects.

Anyway, I think its an interesting debate and I don't necessarily have any answers myself.

It's not so much that the neighborhood is changing that people take issue with so much as how the neighborhood is changing. Many people cite the Mission's previous Irish character as an example of the inevitability of change but the fact is that they were not pushed out but rather left because Latinos were coming in. Most Latinos in the Mission have no intention of leaving but are being forced to anyway. The irony of course is that many who are coming into the gentrified parts of the Mission came in because of the latino amenities (particularly the food) in the Mission, but are part of the exact same force that is pushing the very amenities they want out of SF.

What annoys me the most though is when you hear some of the folks who are part of the gentrification train refer to the prior residents as "those people" or decidedly see them as a "necessary evil" that needs to be suffered to enjoy the neighborhood. My question: What drew these people to the Mission in the first place? This same process is beginning to happen in Oakland (particularly North and West Oakland) so it's particularly annoying when you run into people who obviously think that they're being inconvenienced by the locals and not the other way around.

On the same token, I don't see anything wrong with people trying to save some money so long as they actually give a damn about trying to contribute and connect to the existing community. Too many people I see walking down Telegraph or 7th St. seem to want the exact opposite of that... they'd rather form their own little communities and laugh about the daily "inconveniences" of having to live next to those people.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:19 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,003,332 times
Reputation: 2952
Frankly anywhere West of Mission has already been pretty gentrified, it's not really an ongoing process anymore. If anything what you're seeing is people of any race who don't make a lot of money, like me, getting priced out of the neighborhood. I moved to SF about 7 years ago and the area west of Mission is pretty much the same as it was back then. The area East of Mission is what is changing, I lived there for a year back then from 2004 to 2005 and while it's still pretty similar, there are a lot of new trendy places for yuppies on or East of Mission that weren't there a few years ago. Mission Street is still pretty sketchy between 16th and 18th but it's not a constant parade of junkies and dealers and winos like it was back then. I still wouldn't want to live East of Mission though.

There's always a lot of restaurants and shops opening and closing around the Mission though you see that in other parts of SF, I think it's easy to chalk that up to gentrification but I think it's just the fast pace of the SF commercial real estate market. I'm really bummed by Ti Couz closing, it was one of my favorite restaurants of all time.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:35 PM
 
26 posts, read 52,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nineties Flava View Post
Too many people I see walking down Telegraph or 7th St. seem to want the exact opposite of that... they'd rather form their own little communities and laugh about the daily "inconveniences" of having to live next to those people.


Bingo
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:53 PM
 
12,824 posts, read 21,541,839 times
Reputation: 10961
You nailed it. Great job!
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:13 AM
 
26 posts, read 52,309 times
Reputation: 21
The part that gets me is these people that move in for their urban experience, they have no real context for the neighborhood, and they dont need one, because as you said they form their own communities full of people who are from no where near the area. Im really trying to control my anger over things like this but whenever I see construction projects in the neighborhoods I know their building those businesses, most of the time, not for the people who are living there, its for the people that will be living there 5-15 years from now
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