Concerned Citizen Wants City to Fix “Hipster Gentrification”

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The website SeeClickFix allows users to post and vote on issues like infrastructure, violence or troubled parts of the city. The idea is that the city or someone will take note and fix the problem. But who could possibly solve the problem posted by “Concerned citizen” yesterday?

“The Mission is over caffeinated and being taken over by hipster young adults who think they are fitting in with the community. YOU STAND OUT, you just think you fit in because there is so many of you.

“Rent is therefore going sky high and more latinos are being pushed out of their own communities to make way to these coffee shops, boutiques, high class pricey restaurants, and basically B.S. that does nothing to benefit or support any issues or non-issues of the community itself.

“The latin culture is still here but is being pushed out slowly because of GENTRIFICATION. 24th St,San Francisco,CA 94110,USA”

We should point out that the user put the complaint at 24th and Folsom, near Philz coffee.

So far, three other people want it fixed.

I wonder if the person genuinely wants the city to address the issue? How can they?

Annelies Gamble, an administrator at SeeClickFix, wants the poster to be more specific:

“Thank you for posting this issue on the SeeClickFix website. However, do you have any specific and constructive suggestions on what you would like improved within this area? As of now, this issue is fairly broad making it difficult for government officials to respond.

“Thank you!”

Note: You can also access SeeClickFix on Mission Loc@l’s homepage.



Update: Aside from this post, there is also an interesting debate going on at the See Click Fix posting.

“Concerned citizen” responds:

Okay, I get some points being made. Integration IS better than segregation BUT not when the people who have lived here for years are being forced out of their own neighborhood. It isn’t pleasant to see shops I grew up around becoming shops that do nothing to benefit the community. I’m just not into the idea of the Latino community being pushed out. I know this elder senior, she went from living comfortably in her home to living in her garage because of gentrification. Its sad.
San Francisco city government is attempting to completely warp this city into this classy upscale metropolitan city. It deserves a mix.
It happened to the Fillmore. It happened to SOMA. It’s happening in the Mission. And next is Hunter’s Point. These new developments and changes ARE NOT in the interest of the African-American or Latino communities.

I guess my animosity just had to point a finger. At hipsters, because they are all I see. Opening up their retarded coffee shops when there are 3 on one street alone.

What about the kids? Why is it only the community members themselves having to put their own money into setting up programs and resources for the youth!

As you can see, there are many issues. So…..

“renzomatic,” replies.

What do you mean, none of these coffee shops do anything for the community? If the neighborhood can support multiple identical businesses, then that is what the community wants apparently. As to ‘giving back’ to the community, there are jobs, taxes that are paid, fees that are paid. That means, people are working, money is going to fix potholes, provide essential services. The idea that some portion of the city, if not all of it, must remain static is naive at the least and ignorant at best, when looking at the history of the city.

As to rent control, I don’t even want to begin having that discussion…

32 Comments

  1. The “Hipster” arguement feels so 50s, like heard it on the Rad-io, Daddy-o. What, there are no Latino ‘Hipsters?’ Please. God forbid someone STANDS OUT instead of BLENDS IN. The Mission is a traditional immigrants’ neighborhood — and not one single group of immigrants either. Track down some Irish who grew up there. Hipsters are in a sense economic immigrants from looking for alternative economies to plug into. For a city as young as ours, too many have the idea that it’s all settled, said & done, when it’s actually brand new and in flux. Here’s a fix: Insert “Culturally-engaged” for “Hipster.”

  2. molly h

    This is strong, viable annoyance at the gentrification going on around 24th street. So clearly, the Latin community is disappearing slowly – older shops and homes destroyed – new condo-ville going in…please…this is not natural, this is just gross exploitation. When is the Urban Planning Commission and state of Cal going to get it together to stop gentrification so that everyone can live in cities and not just wealthy people, new, hip, arty, or not?

  3. STFU_

    What a joke. Why not write a story about how white people are mad that minorities move into “their” hoods while you are at it? It’s especially hilarious because I’M SURE many of the “hipster” complainers are GD illegal aliens themsevles. Pot Kettle Black

  4. mission_white_guy

    I’m a white guy who bought a place around 24th & mission. I don’t think anyone would consider me a hipster – I have no porn stache, and I couldn’t tell you what bands the kids are listening too – but I am in my early 30′s. So if you squint right, and by ‘hipster’ people really think ‘white dude’ … well, I’m sure someone would label me one.

    Here’s some of what I bring to the neighborhood:
    - I go to cafe la boheme – for snacks, breakfast, and world cup matches
    - I eat dinner at George’s bbq
    - I buy booze at Latino’s Liquor (say hi to VJ!)
    - I get groceries at Delano’s
    - I buy home needs from Cole’s on mission
    - I go to shows at mission dance

    And yes, I do go to Philz, and even Rosamunde occasionally, and I’m struck by the concentration of whites in those places. both of which I consider expensive, but within my means.

    I want to commission a mural on my back alley fence. Partly to ward off the taggers (fingers crossed), but also because its a cool aspect of the neighborhood that I want to participate in.

    As I see it, I bring a lot of hyperlocal dollars into the mission, and to the businesses that are there, thankyouverymuch.

    Hey Molly H – what would you suggest be done? How would the city stop the gentrification process? Rent control? Purchase control on new condo’s? I’m seriously curious.

  5. animal

    Hard to believe Latino culture can’t maintain its own identity. Is Latino culture really being compromised in the Mission? Do Latinos complain about this?

  6. I was a 23 year old gay latino when I moved here in 1976. Then the Mission was finishing its transition from an Irish, Italian, latino neighborhood to a predominantly latino neighborhood. The new generation of Irish and Italians just wanted to move to the burbs. Think Sunset, Daly City.
    I remember sitting in the Rialto Diner across from the New Mission Cinema and listening to the old Irish couple complain about the hood changing for the worst, “The KFC on Valencia is owned by latinos now.” “Serramonte Monte was like Little Manila Saturday.” I loved it sitting right at the counter browner than my burger’s bun.

    Anyway, East of Mission and 24th St. have changed very dramatically lately and not necessarily for the worst. The important thing is that institutions like La Galeria de la Raza, the Mission CUltural Center for Latino Arts, Precita Eyes be maintained to inform this ever transient neighborhood that there is a history and culture here that predates Gracias Madre.

  7. Interesting

    I like how the author of the article turned a quirky posting into an interesting article and conversation starter. Go Go MissionLocal.

  8. Anonymous

    I don’t know about the rest of 24th street but Phil of Philz Coffee has been in that neighbhorhood for decades. The man did not build an empire out of hipsters, he serves a really diverse community.

    Sad to see, two doors down, the Halaal meat market go out of business. Now you can blame that on gentrification…money talks.

  9. EH

    Well it seems they’re complaining about two problems, so it seems the easier one to solve would be to eliminate most of the coffee in the Mission. It’s tough but fair, and perfectly sane.

  10. aged-out hipster

    Most people are more than one thing, that’s what often makes these debates about “us vs them” so inaccurate. I moved the Mission as a white hipster 25 years ago. I’m too old to be hip anymore, but I still live here as a single mom with my 1/2 Latino kid.

    So….are we a white hipster family?…a Latino family…?

    I do find it ironic that as California’s Latino population increases (about 50% of the states K-12 students are Latino) that the number of Latinos in the Mission is decreasing (only about 50% these days).

    My “Latino” neighborhood is now simply as “Latino” as any school in the state. Hmm.

  11. ggoldblatt

    According to Wikipedia: “Slumming (derived from slum) originally referred to a practice, fashionable among certain segments of the middle class in many Western countries, whereby one deliberately patronizes areas or establishments which are populated by, or intended for, people well below one’s own socio-economic level, motivated by curiosity or a desire for adventure. Most often these establishments take the form of bars or restaurants in low-income areas [...] “Slumming” (also known as “class tourism”) has come to refer to many activities that involve interaction with the less fortunate, especially when motivated by curiosity, adventure, laziness, boredom, and even outright greed and miserliness. The term, and to some extent, the practice, have consequently acquired an unpleasant connotation,having become associated with condescension, exploitation, affectation, and bourgeois insensitivity.”

  12. Joe

    I dont understand why more people dont see the causation between SF’s extreme reluctance to build housing or increase density even modestly and increased gentrification. The people come – you cant stop that, but if you dont provide housing for them, then they compete for the existing stock – AND WIN.
    I get that people feel more people/housing will make SF unliveable. I fail to see how building almost no housing has made things better. At any rate, it wont ever change, and SF will continue to become more and more gentrified and theme parkish.

  13. Philz Coffee might not necessarily be the best poster child for the gentrification that is both hurting and helping the 24th Street Corridor.

    Sushi Bistro and Wonderland Boutique might be better examples. But even those outfits rescued empty storefronts, so they are a mixed bag as well.

    At the end of the day what we need is more below-market housing in our neighborhood, and more housing dedicated to families and seniors. It can be dense, it can go without parking. But it has to be affordable and dignified.

  14. Andy

    Before WWI, an estimated 5,000 Maltese immigrants lived in the City, largely in the Mission (and some in San Bruno)… where are they now? Who knows, but neighborhoods change over the years, populations come and go, fancy areas go to hell and some crappy, filthy areas (Dogpatch, anyone) become popular and are cleaned up. If gentrification brings better eateries, bring it on!

  15. Michael

    @Joe: I’m all for building more housing and increasing density in SF, but I’m not sure this would solve our affordability crisis. It assumes there’s a fixed demand for housing in SF that we could ever come close to meeting, which I’m not sure is the case. See Manhattan as an example of an incredible city with great density that certainly hasn’t built its way to affordability.

  16. No one is getting pushed out — with rent control and tenants rights the way they are in sf that is simply not the case. what’s happening is that people are electing to leave, just like the Irish in the neighborhood before wanted to go out to Daly City for more space, better schools, etc. Then, other people make the decision to move to the neighborhood for other reasons, proximity to culture, nightlife, bars, etc. Unfortunately if those people can pay more in rent, since the supply is almost static, the higher demand makes the prices rise. However, that apt. wouldn’t be vacant unless someone decided to leave.

  17. Tired of Political Correctness

    @molly h:

    Is it now politically correct for Blacks and Hispanics to complain about White people moving in and ruining the neighborhood? Whats next? “I don’t mind living next to White people, I just don’t want one marrying my daughter”?

    If the Whites were objecting to Hispanics and Blacks moving into, say Noe Valley, we would have Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton protesting in the streets, sensitivity programs, media campaigns, etc.

  18. Eric

    People have been complaining about the Mission becoming gentrified for like, what, 25 years now? Anyone complaining about the Mission “becoming” gentrified hasn’t been here long enough to know what s/he is talking about.

  19. Flintoid

    Ah, the things San Franciscans get worked up about. Take a look at what’s happening in cities that have real problems http://www.slate.com/id/2260473/
    and suddenly this issue isn’t quite so important.

  20. sfmissionman

    Referring back to the title of the article, some clarification of terms may be useful for readers not familiar with the Mission or SF. “Gentrification” means virtually anything which in most areas would be considered positive: street trees, trash collection, removal of passed-out drunks, painting a building, fixing a sidewalk, vector control, improved school test scores, and so on. All are “bad” because they raise the cost of living, making the neighborhood less “affordable.” “Hipsters” are anybody whose first language is not one of the varieties of Latin American Spanish. The battle then, is about whether the Mission, which has been in a constant state of evolution since the days of Father Serra, will continue to evolve – as is happening all over SF and most US cities – or whether such evolution will be aborted in favor of the artificial retention of a 1960s flavored Latin ghetto, guided by the principles of Cesar Chavez, Che Guevara, and Daniel Ortega.

  21. Con Quistador

    I just spent my lunch break reading your very insightful comments (all of your comments relating to gentrification are very well presented, and supported – which is one reason to love SF, irrespective of where you fall on the debate). This debate will no doubt continue eternally. The maltese, the Irish, the Latinos, the dotcommers and now hipsters can all lay claim to ‘their’ turf.

    What strikes me is the ‘us vs. them’ self-righteous mentality that permeates every decision and debate in SF. As much attention as SF gets for being a kalaeidescopic bouquet of diversity, in reality we do not accept all humans (hipsters, dotcomers) and animals (pitbulls and flora (‘non-indigenous’ species).

    Is there such a thing as indigenous species? Those of you who point to your cherished vanishing culture and values are plagued by hypocrisy. Our bloodlines have ALL displaced cultures – your ancestors did it somewhere down the line, conquering land settled by the Ohlones, Miwoks or the Spaniards, or Mexicans that called once claimed SF as home; whether you are are European, Asian, Viking, Indian, or Luxembourgian… this is what humans do – move around, and bring into new areas their customs, art, fashion, dialects, diseases, cuisine, weapons, innovation and … change.

    Missionites – if you are going to point some fingers, go wag them at Spain. Didn’t Pizzaro destroy your ‘neighborhood’, obliterating your language and religion which were displaced by Spanish and Catholicism?

  22. Flompy

    The flaw I find in the argument is that in actuality no one is being ‘pushed out.’ San Francisco has rent control, which means that any current renters in The Mission can stay in their current apartments without incurring any drastic rent increases. Current homeowners actually benefit from rising property values as it builds equity and resale value. It is true that in the dot-com era, some folks were pushed out due to evictions, phony owner move-ins, TIC abuses, etc., but that is not the case presently.

    This wave of changes to the neighborhood also differs significantly from those during the dot-com era in that the coffee shops, restaurants, and stores going in now do actually benefit the community in that most of them focus on good products that are sustainable, organic, and produced under fair conditions. During the late ’90s, The Mission saw an influx of fancy restaurants with valet parking, oxygen bars, and shops striving to appear upscale — none of which ever really matched the flavor of San Francisco or added anything interesting to the neighborhood. This current wave of development is seeing businesses started by young, earnest, and idealistic folks whose ethics are at the center of what they do. Most of these places going in also aim to be more affordable and everyday — not martini bars and $60 entree places.

    If the idea is that current residents are being ‘pushed out’ because they don’t like the character or tone of the new businesses or residents, then that is merely prejudice and xenophobia dressed up as righteousness. Fair trade coffee and free range beef are hardly the stuff of scourge.

  23. Hey, change is inevitable.

  24. Lisa

    It’s too late. Bring it on.

  25. They aren’t hip. They are just dumb kids. Mostly white KIds. Today I was having caldo at La Quinta on Mission @ 20th. A purely blue collar mexican restaurant with great daily specials. Two young white guys were in there. One was with his Apple laptop whose only sin was ordering faux mexican (burrito mojado the size of a ten month old’s leg.) The other a scruffy sort with his own baby leg, He ate with his motorcycle helmut and filthy leather jacket on the table. Bad manners in any dive.
    They’re fine. They just need to be pulled around by the ear once in a while.

  26. Chips Handon

    Gentrification reduces urban blight and crime. Is this guy saying he would rather keep urban blight and crime in his neighborhood?

  27. Ian

    I don’t think its about keeping people out or people being displaced. I’ve been in this neighborhood over 45 years. Its about the new folks that treat the locals with disrespect, move into the neighborhood because they like it, then complain and want to change it.

  28. Not tired of Political Correctness

    Dan should stop exercising racial and class privilege by criticizing the behavior of others. Part of living in multicultural America is not criticizing behavior that one may, in their narrow-mindedness, disapprove of.

    Referring to people by their race is also a sign if narrow-mindedness.

    Being the majority group in an areas does NOT give you the right to criticize members of other racial and ethnic groups.

  29. SVN Rez

    Someone look into why the kids programs at the Parque de los Niños rec center (Treat @ 23rd St) have been cut, but still go on in other rec centers (e.g. Upper Noe Valley).

  30. zig

    Some interesting comments here. I didn’t grow up in the Mission but I have deep roots there on both sides and am Hispanic and Irish.

    A few things I find odd is people claiming that because there is rent control people are not being displaced. This is a point I often make about rent control, that it is most discriminatory against working class young natives who are unable to form new families.

    There is a large displacement going on unlike those of the past because it’s more class based and the 2010 census will be very telling as Hispanics will be virtually gone from west of Mission now and increasing being pushed out of Bernal and out of the Mission into the Excelsior and Daly City.

    I also personally feel there is nothing we can do about it but ensure housing in being built somewhere with good transit access because things are going to change

  31. zig

    And where did the Maltese go?

    Milbrae, Burlingame, San Bruno, Pacifica mostly.

    Some of the old ones still live in SF Excelsior and around San Bruno Ave but few are left now. Some are SFPD too

    Grew up with lots of them.

  32. Shmenkle

    “This is a point I often make about rent control, that it is most discriminatory against working class young natives who are unable to form new families.”

    How so?

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