18 Comments

  1. Chris

    This is a recession. Why is the Mission still gentrified, and why are rents still so high? More people perceive that the Mission is becoming *less* upscale or safe than it was a few years ago, yet prices go up? Is that building owner going to find another tenant able to pay the same rent? Doing what sort of business? Is there an infinite capacity for more restaurants?

  2. Fred

    The Mission will continue to become more affluent. The combination of young (ex-sub)urban hipsters (Burning Man anyone?), extremely high rental rates in other parts of the city, conversion of apartments to TICs/condos, and the mass in-flux of the Silicon Valley “knowledge workers” is transforming the Mission for decades to come.

    Want to save the Mission and the rest of San Francisco as a place where all incomes are welcomed? Tell Google, Apple, Yahoo, and their worker bees to ship their jobs far away from here. These companies are extremely toxic to the area’s social fabric, pushing up salaries of the elites to the derimnt to the rest of us who either don’t have such advanced educations and/or the desire to work 60 hours a week.

    Let’s start by banning their buses from our streets, or at least taxing them $50 a day per passenger to compensate for the gentrification and displacement their workers create by wanting to live in “cool San Francisco.”

    Want to try to save San francisco? Boycott products and services of Apple, Google, HP and Yahoo as a start, and make sure anyone you know who works at these companies is responsible for high rents, evictions and the white-washing of a city that once prided itself on diversity, including income diversity.

  3. java uber alles

    chris, my guess – and this is realllly going out on a limb – is that it will be a cafe. Sure, there’s one right across the street, but I think they can capture the west-side-of-the-block market. Maybe it’ll be an “internet cafe,” or even a “non-internet cafe.”

    Either way, it’s sure to be a great addition to the neighborhood!

    In other news, commercial real estate will get pounded this year, and it will be interesting to see if the land pirates respond to reality, and lower their rents. I wouldn’t count on it, though. Government Sachs is sure to bail CRE noteholders out, and overpriced properties will be kept empty to avoid writing down their book values. Ain’t capitalism grand! Hope ‘n Change, my ass – Obama is GW’s third term.

    /rant

  4. Dr No

    I am happy to see yuppies, cot com hipsters, and homsexuals pushed out of the Mission. I do not want to see white suburban culture covering every square foot of the city.

  5. wammy

    damn that voice over on the video is scary! WTF!!!

  6. Very sad to see you do Scott. The Abandoned Planet was the most special place to go on Valencia St, it really was important to me. Many memories in my heart. I will be waiting for the next project. Best,

  7. Sorry to hear this. I’ll miss stopping to see Scott and his cats and the ghost of Jack Micheline.

  8. Will

    The reason this book store went out of business is simple: not having enough customers. Of all of you who complain about this “gentrification,” “Yuppies taking over,” , how many have actually bought something there?

  9. Blake

    I’m sorry to see a bookstore close, but that place was filthy. It smelled of cat hair.

  10. Bonnie

    It tears at my heart to see an independent bookstore close. Take care, Scott. I am grateful that I got to enjoy your wonderful shop while it lasted.

  11. Dan

    It’s interesting that the bookstore owner blamed gentrification, but the video says that the space is going to be used for a communist/socialist meeting place. Is that gentrification?

  12. Josef

    Will, if you watch the end of the video, it tells you why the store is closing: the owners want to do something else with the space, not a lack of customers. Dr No, since when is homosexuality “white suburban culture”?

  13. willbenn

    Yeah, well…I ran into Micheline once on Columbus. He was shocked that I knew who he was…. Bookstores are like thistle socks. Economists are like hooks made out of coathangers. Writers are like birds.

  14. Happy New Year Scott. I think it is a case of a New Year and a new start. It is sad to see ‘Abandoned Planet’ chewed up by the American rat race but that’s life. I look forward to seeing you on your tour of Asia. I appreciate your friendship and wish you all the best for 2010. Onwards and upwards!

  15. willbenn

    Yeah…books. Or… who remembers the Coffee Gallery? Grant Street.The chess games, the poetry, the talk? You kids don’t really know anything. There WAS a world.Much better than this one.

  16. Good Luck

    Boycotting the services of Apple, HP, Google, etc.

    If millions of people of all incomes are using Google and buying iPods, those companies make lots of money, which allows them to hire more and more skilled workers, who use this money to buy housing in places that appeal to them. If this keeps going, it will change neighborhoods. But that’s the whole reality of living in a capitalist society. Neighborhoods WILL change. From Ohlones to Franciscans to rich Anglos to middle class Germans/Irish/Italians to lower class Latino immigrants now to “hipster/yuppies,” then who knows to what in 20-30 years. If we were in New York this most recent change would have happened in about 5 years, not the 20 or so it’s taken so far (look at the difference between Williamsburg and the Mission if you don’t believe me, in terms of rent control, building limits, community activism, etc.).

    Where do you want upper-income young people to live? Only in the Marina, with frat boys and bleached blondes? In the suburbs, contributing to unsustainable lifestyles, extreme lack of diversity (see Palo Alto)? In Oakland, pushing out a different type of tenant? In Berkeley, competing for apartments with rich undergrads, professors, and aging ex-hippies?

    It’s easy to point fingers and scream “gentrification” at every corner, but what does that really mean? What are the forces that really drive this? Which of them are good, and which bad?

    When Bi Rite Market reopened in 1997 and started selling gourmet food and products, the immediate neighborhood was overrun by drug dealers, prostitutes, and gangs. Now it’s a yuppie mecca. Which is “better”?

    W

  17. Lumbago Drysdale

    Let us not bury Scott, but praise him!

    The greatest source of Bukowskiana is being forced out by Commie-dinosaur red-diaper morons. Shame on the Stalinist chumps.

    Abandoned Planet was an institution of the people.

    May Scott relocate nearby!

    FOR BUKOWSKI!

  18. Hey Scott,
    Great books, hope future gives a fresh chapter. Where to now ? Say hello to the cats.

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