Customers at Haus watch as protest goes by. Photo by Andra Cernavskis

A thin piece of glass separated two worlds Saturday. Outside, hundreds of protesters marched to stop evictions in the neighborhood while inside at cafes and bookstores that line 24th Street, customers quietly worked on laptops or leafed through books. Some wondered what the protest would accomplish; others thought it was simply a waste of time.

For 23-year-old Eric Hartsukyer who works in the tech industry downtown and lives in the Sunset because it’s more affordable, the changes happening in the city are inevitable.

“There is a limited amount of space in the city, and if people want to live here, rent can get raised,” he said as he sat at Haus Coffee on 24th Street near Treat Avenue. “That may force out people who are making less money, but it’s not any one person’s fault, and it is the nature of capitalism. You see a lot of people complaining. I think it’s a bunch of whining, and I don’t really support the movement in general.”

That movement tried to get some traction on Saturday with a march that started at Hampshire and 24th streets at 2 p.m. with 300 to 400 protesters. Erick Arguello, the president and founder of the Lower 24th Street Merchants Association had said earlier that the protest would be a joint march with the Valencia Merchants Association. However, with some exceptions — Andy Blue, for example, from the successful campaign to keep Jack Spade off 16th Street who spoke to the crowd toward the end of the protest — it appeared to be mostly tenants or supporters from elsewhere in the city.

“I think a lot of Valencia merchants couldn’t go because it was being held during our busiest hours. Saturday Afternoon.” said Jefferson McCarley, general manager at Mission Bicycle located at 766 Valencia Street, in an email following the protest. “Most of us are stuck in the shop then.”

McCarley himself could not attend the protest because he was working.

By the time the march reached the corner of 24th and Mission streets at around 4:30 p.m., the Aztec dancers and the drummers of Loco Bloco appeared to make up a good portion of the protesters.

Nevertheless, speakers had much to say about tenant evictions, which rose by 26 percent between March 2012 and February 2013, according to the San Francisco Rent Board.

Many of these were Ellis Act evictions — up by 81 percent in the same time period —  in which the landlord decides to evict all of the tenants in a building and hold the apartments off the market for five years.

Although only 8.7 percent of the evictions since 2011 have occurred in the Mission, some recent ones have included high profile, long-time residents such as 71-year-old artist René Yañez, who is also ill, and the owner of Chile Lindo, Paula Tejeda. Both were at the march.

District 9 Supervisor David Campos said the divisions in San Francisco represented a tale of two cities. “We have a small amount who are doing very well, but then we have the vast majority of folks, the working class and middle class people who are being left out of the prosperity,” he said.

Unemployment reached a high of 10.1 percent in San Francisco in January of 2010 and has since dropped to 5.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On Saturday, it was rent, not jobs that the protesters focused on.

“I’m here because I feel like this movement that we are seeing right now is a struggle for justice,” said Sister Eaton Asp of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an activist organization which unanimously voted to officially endorse the march. “[We want] the people who live here, the artists, the people who work in restaurants or hospitals to afford to still live here, not pushed out of the community with the cultural legacy erased.”

The changes in the Mission District began during the last dot com boom of the late 1990s and nowadays, those who moved in then are considered old-timers who look at the recent arrivals as newcomers, techies, or “gentrifiers.”

Jon Fellman, a member of the board of directors at Adobe Books, and Chris Rolls, a manager there, witnessed the protest from inside their store. Both have lived in the neighborhood for more than 15 years. “It’s a tricky situation,” Fellman said. “You have people that are moving in and occupying houses without realizing that someone else had to be displaced for them to get it.”

Older residents also question what the newcomers bring.

“As far as the new breed of wealth moving in here, I’m not sure I have seen any positive changes to be totally honest,” Rolls added. “I’m not seeing a huge investment in the infrastructure of this city or a lot of interesting philanthropic movements. I just see a lot of entitlement and self-obsession.”

“It’s really saddening to see these kids moving in and be disrespectful of the history of the city and the people who have raised their families here for generations,” he continued, referring to the neighborhood’s Latin culture. It was unclear how the newcomers have expressed disrespect.

Rising rents forced Adobe Books, a cooperative and independent bookstore, to move from its home of 24 years on 16th Street to 24th Street. Their landlord wanted to rent the space to Jack Spade, but that opportunity ended on Friday when Jack Spade said that community opposition made it decide to look elsewhere.

Rolls said, “You could argue in some ways we are gentrifiers because we are bringing a business that was eight blocks away to this new area.”

He lamented that many lower-income families are being pushed out of the Mission, but he feels resigned to that happening.

“It’s like watching extinct animals walk down the street with a sign asking not to be burned while it’s undeniable that there will be massive upheaval and change in this neighborhood,” he said. “To conceive of this neighborhood without the Latin influence that has been here for the past 60 years is difficult and very saddening.”

Other recent newcomers to the street argued that the changes are more complicated. One of them is Ron Mullick, the owner of Haus Coffee, which opened in May 2009.

“I sort of resent this label of gentrification…..I’m just a small business,” he said. “We just have a nice, clean space for everybody. Why is that not part of the Mission? Why is that somehow you are supposed to have a grungy place and then it’ll be of the neighborhood?”

“It’s a Latino-oriented neighborhood, and it’ll always stay that way, which is great,” he continued. “Nobody is changing that. It’ll stay that way if the neighborhood is that way. This used to be, if you go back 100 years, an Irish neighborhood. Then it became a Latino neighborhood. Should the Irish come back and protest that?”

Candice Turchin, an acupuncturist who has lived in the Mission for 23 years in a rent-controlled apartment, overheard Mullick and jumped in.

“It’s a societal problem,” she argued. “What we really have going on here is this influx of Internet and high-tech, high-paid jobs — kids in their 20s and early 30s coming in and getting paid an exorbitant amount of money that is very out of balance with the rest of the United States. We are in a little bubble.”

Turchin said she would have to leave the Bay Area if she were to lose her rent-controlled apartment to eviction.

“Be that as it may, it’s just one of those things that is,” Mullick said. “It’s just the way things are.”

On Saturday, the protesters who had just walked by his coffee shop disagreed. They want policies that will protect long-time residents from evictions.

“We really need to look at statewide laws, but we also really need to look at local laws and take a stand,” said Leila Salazar-López, program director at Amazon Watch and a young mother of two who is currently facing eviction from her home located at 23rd and Florida streets. “The local government has to get involved and intervene. There has to be a moratorium on Ellis Act evictions and a moratorium on the speculation that’s happening in our community.”

All of the residents of her 10-unit building recently received Ellis Act eviction notices asking them to move within 120 days. All have refused and are asking for extensions.

The cries for a moratorium on Ellis Act evictions got some support from the political leaders who attended the march. “I support the effort to have direct action to stop evictions from happening,” said District 11 Supervisor John Avalos, who joined the other politicians at the protest. “We are here, literally putting our bodies on the line to keep people in this city, because we’re losing the best of what San Francisco is about.”

Additional reporting by Alexandra Garreton.

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Andra Cernavskis is a student at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. She is Canadian by birth but grew up in New Jersey and then San Francisco's Miraloma neighborhood. She has also spent time in Toronto, Buffalo, and Montreal. The Mission is one of her favorite neighborhoods, and she is thrilled to be back reporting in San Francisco.

Heather Mack, 30, has spent most of her life outdoors and often hangs out in the less-frequented parks of San Francisco to avoid the crowds of places like Dolores Park on a Saturday. She believes that everyone is happier when they are outdoors, even if they don’t. At Mission Local, Heather wants to explore what healthy living in the Mission looks like for all socioeconomic classes.

Lynne Shallcross was stressed and tired after walking three miles without finding an open community clinic. “Is this what it's like for Mission residents who work full-time?” she wondered. Having walked in their shoes, she feels compelled to write about accessible healthcare in the Mission.

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  1. “Quit whining.” Typical response from ignorant people of this nature who fit the profile. Young, involved in the tech industry, and making a ludicrous amount of income while adding nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to the city of San Francisco except inflation. Furthermore, when city officials are assisting property owners/landlords with the eviction of long time residents and ethnically rich arteries such as the Mission, what alternatives are left? The seeds are being planted for a high level of vigilante movements as there are clearly no limits to what is happening in the Mission and other areas. Can’t say I feel bad about that either. You displace people, you are technically killing their way of life. There are consequences for such selfish actions and getting a taste of your own medicine sounds like ideal justice.

    1. Mel this article exactly defines the reason for the spiraling housing prices in SF. Lack of supply. It’s the same people who complain about housing prices who have completely squashed almost all new housing projects in the Mission. The 1990’s-00’s Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition misguided efforts is 90% responsible for the lack of additional units in the Mission. They fought every new development despite that the projects met every SF regulation. Almost all new developments are focused in Mission Bay while the Mission gets almost no additional units added. Add a couple thousand units to the Mission and prices have no where to go but down.

      1. San Francisco is experience a building boom of new rental housing including the newly opened Vara development at 15th and Mission.

        Still, the rental market is experiencing hyperinflation.

        This situation is corresponding to the permanent reduction in reasonably priced rentals as speculators buy rent-controlled units in order to evict tenants and convert the apartments to TIC’s without creating any new units; no production, just displacement and community destruction.

        In other words, bottom feeding developers are seeking profits without actually developing any housing at the expense of tenants who face no-fault evictions with little or no legal protections.

  2. If one more I-can’t-be-bothered-to-care white guy says, “that’s just the way things are,” I think my head will explode. You know what ended up not being “just the way things are” after a whole lot of hard work stemming from a sense of responsibility toward others? Oh, I don’t know, let me think. Child labor laws? Segregation? A woman’s right to vote? Occupational health and safety laws? The minimum wage? This guy’s right to breathe clean (as in not filled with noxious pollutants) air? About a thousand other rights and protections?

  3. San Francisco cannot sustain itself as a place solely for the young employees of tech companies. I lived in SF for over 10 years, made a decent living, worked very hard and still could not afford to live in the city. The last apartment I look at was a studio for over $2000 a month for rent. How does a city in an earthquake prone part of the country expect to survive by forcing out first responders, teachers, nurses and hospital worker? Who will teach your children? Who will ring up your groceries? Who will serve you five dollar lattes? I am tired of hearing “Just go live in Daly City or the East Bay if you can’t afford to live here!” WTH, a city without children, without older people, disabled people and middle income families!?! What is this Logan’s Run? Google doesn’t have a pap-smear app. Apple isn’t going to dispense your meds or change your sheets at the hospital if you get sick or injured. There is no app for garbage collection. These are the REAL people being displaced by Ellis Act Evictions and rising rents. Just because you CAN travel 3 HOURS on a bus or train to work doesn’t mean you SHOULD. And yes Virginia it does take people that long to get to SF to give you what you want and need to survive. When the big quake hits what will Apple, Google or Twitter do to help the people of SF maintain order, keep services going, and help injured citizens. NOTHING. Good luck with that whole “pay up or get out” attitude San Francisco, you’re gonna need it.

    1. Yes, we need to support development of much more new housing, both “affordable’ and market rate. This is the only answer IMO.

    2. Who do you think is paying those nurses, cops (both of who actually average close to $100k in Bay Area), baristas, artists, museums, teachers and city workers? It’s not the low income.
      Every thriving city in the US has a segment of the population that’s high income and driven by a particular industry (defense in San Diego, Hollywood in LA, federal gov in DC, finance in NY). Without the tech workers we’d be in the hole.

    3. Everyone knows that SF is a city for rich people, and it’s true. But I totally agree that it doesn’t mean all people are VERY rich there! How can we say such phrases
      “There is a limited amount of space in the city, and if people want to live here, rent can get raised,” he said as he sat at Haus Coffee on 24th Street near Treat Avenue. “That may force out people who are making less money, but it’s not any one person’s fault, and it is the nature of capitalism.

      Everyone work and prices should meet the salary!

  4. The educated, white collar professionals are the cause of why District 9 is finally improving. They buy their homes, make an investment, stay for the long run. The Ellis Act & turning the units into TICs are pretty much the only way someone can still afford to stay in SF, There is nothing wrong with that! It definitely upgrades the neighborhood. If it was up to Campos, the Mission would remain a crime infested, crime ridden slum.

    1. Yes, it is great to see all the positive changes in the neighborhood, which have happened in spite of Campos and his cronies.

    2. So educated folks of other backgrounds have not pitched in?

      SLUM? Crime ridden?.. Hilarious. HYSTERIA

      Show of hands from those who have been a victim of a violent crime in the Mission…..I didn’t think so.

      1. The dog walker at Garfield Park Pamela Delrio who lives at 2854 Harrison St wants the building a cross from the park Ellis Acted and she calls the tenants “trash”

  5. Ellis acting a 10 unit building (mentioned in article) seems weird. What’s the gain? To sell as TICs? Can you even get 10 people on a loan. Or can that happen with fractional loans?

  6. “As far as the new breed of wealth moving in here, I’m not sure I have seen any positive changes to be totally honest,” Rolls added. “I’m not seeing a huge investment in the infrastructure of this city or a lot of interesting philanthropic movements. I just see a lot of entitlement and self-obsession.”

    24th Street
    Mission Street
    Valencia Street
    Folsom Street
    Cesar Chavez Street
    S Van Ness Avenue

    All have been repaved, and many have gotten reduced traffic lanes.

    24th St BART Plaza
    Bartlett St Market – In progress or in development.

    Mission Pool – Renovated.

    Do you think all recent improvements are coincidence?

    1. South Van Ness got a partial repaving. 16th St to Division is a pothole. The street is a raceway and has gotten worse as the other streets were calmed. There has not been any effort to calm South Van Ness Ave.

  7. Let’s not forget that many Latinos who bought many years ago during a time of more reasonable prices are making an absolute killing in their property sales right now. Out of curiosity, where is the outrage about Latinos who are becoming wealthy at the expense of their fellow Latino/as?

    1. These are the worst slumlords; they do nothing to improve their blighted properties; they are almost as disgusting as SROs. It is very surprising that they have not been shut down.

  8. Endangered species- no offense but your perspectives are warped. You think the current rent control system is fair to both tenants and landlords? You think the allowable rent increases are fair? 0.6%, 1.2%, etc per year? And you complain about speculators profiting from Ellis acting and then reselling buildings. How about all the money you personally save by not paying market rent? Plus you think it’s okay to rip on tech workers, as if they don’t belong in the mission. But Latinos have a god given right to the mission. What about the wealthy Latinos who own real estate in the mission? Or the lower level tech worker struggling to pay rent? It’s not as black and white as you wish it to be.

  9. I’m a lowly renter as well, and am decades away from owning property, but I’m starting to feel bad for landlords. The city does not have the right to tell someone what they can and cannot do with *THEIR PROPERTY*. The Ellis Act is already highly in favor of tenants, who get huge cash buy-outs and plenty of warning, and against the owners, who have to keep the property unoccupied for 5 years. What more can you possibly want? A moratorium on Ellis Acts?! Does that mean that once you rent an apartment, you essentially own it?

    I’m seeing a bunch of entitled renters who think they’re somehow exempt from capitalism just because they’ve lived somewhere for a long time.

    1. If somebody wants pure capitalism, he can buy a house in the burbs. Better yet, a walled compound. Then, he/she has a fully owned and controlled universe. Nothing wrong with that.

      But once somebody DECIDES (nobody forces him) to be a landlord in a city, different rules apply. Human lives are on the line.

      The vast majority of landlords, including my own, are good people who want to strike a fair deal with tenants: a reasonable profit in exchange for a secure place to live.

      Unfortunately, the current overheated situation, fueled by tech companies bussing employees to the Mission, is putting landlords in an awkward situation: where they can get rich by throwing their longstanding tenants under the (deluxe) bus.

      The solution, to me, is simple: Google, Facebook and the other mega-rich internet companies should make the south bay a better place to live. That would take the heat off the SF rental market. With tens of billions in cash, they sure can afford it (out of petty cash).

      Google’s brainpower and cash could build hip enclaves in Mountain View for their employees, complete with fancy ethnic restaurants, arts venues, and LED-lit robotic fountains. The employees wouldn’t be required to live there, but if done well, many would choose to.

      I predict that if Google got into the “hip enclave” business, this would eventually become their most profitable division. You’re welcome, no charge for the idea.

      1. And if somebody wants cheap rent, they can move to Daly City or Oakland. Nothing wrong with that either.

        1. I’m not asking for “cheap rent” or a handout.

          I object to MASSIVE PROFITEERING on housing, a basic human need.

          What’s next? Spending ones life’s savings for a few days in the hospital? Oops, that’s already a reality.

          A scam-based economy is not going to bring us a happy future. People are beginning to get that.

          1. Yeah, a little funny that rich people are shouting “Gut social services for the homeless, we’re paying them to do NOTHING!” while landlords are all over the place getting paid just to be owning-class.

      2. It seems like they’re doing exactly that, just to be met with a bunch of hateful comments about dystopian futures anyway. I guess you can’t win.

        Just like the landlords could choose to buy in the suburbs, you can choose to move to a cheaper area. No one is forcing you to stay in San Francisco. Feeling entitled to live in one of the most high-demand cities in the entire world for less than $1000/month is not a human rights issue, sorry.

        1. Thanks for the link

          That project is a meek baby-step in the right direction, but is little more than an apartment building.

          What’s needed is master-planned town. Sort of a live-in Disneyland/Burning Man for code monkeys. It would be designed and built with the best Hollywood set design talent, and embody the (data based) desirable qualities of existing high demand real estate. One part could look like Valencia street, and around the corner would be a faux Tuscan hill town (but with top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances) overlooking the Alderaan village stocked with scantily clad hippy chicks and R2 units.

          With such an awesome option, San Francisco would soon be forgotten by the tech elite, and her residents could live out their low income weirdo bohemian lives in peace.

          1. Are you kidding? If that were to take off in the peninsula, someone would surely try something similar in the City. Money talks!

      3. Bravo, endangered species, you nailed it. I often wonder why these tech workers are willing to be bused around so much when living near where you work — walking distance preferably — should be the ideal. Downtown Mountain View, for instance — at least the parts of it I’ve seen going to the theatre there — seems pretty cool. There’s a great used book store and many other nice shops and restaurants within walking distance. If I worked in Mountain View or Cupertino, I’d want to just live there. San Francisco is a state of mind.

      4. Find me any place for sale in San Francisco that the owner can buy and rent for more than the cost of the mortgage, interest and property taxes. They don’t exist. If someone is going to put a couple hundred thousand down for a down payment on a house, shouldn’t the rent at least cover the cost of owning plus some profit? Otherwise, how would housing get built in the first place?

    2. “Starting to feel bad for landlords…???” Only in America, where more people believe in angels than in the theory of evolution.

      The solution is that a combative wage earning class should impose its will — our will — on the situation.

  10. Don’t forget the many properties that are completely empty in the Mission and could be great housing for it’s people.
    And many units are being sold to people that are living abroad, such as Chinese investors, and the Europeans that bought the building on Harrison almost 25th…
    With the recently new commers the type of crime changed: now there are robberies with assault weapon taking money and smart phones from the new residents. So, there is tension, lots of it.
    I don’t mind new comers that actually make an honest effort to connect with the long term residents. I used to walked down the streets and say hi to EVERYONE… Now most people makes a clear move to avoid acknowledging that another human being is walking right by them, as if we were invisible…
    THAT is the change in the neighborhood that I am not happy about!

    1. If you were a building owner, you would do the math and would keep your units empty, too. Please don’t just start typing out a reply yet, just read for one minute..
      Here are the allowed rental increases per year:
      Here is inflation:
      Rental increases do not keep up with inflation, as you can see.

      Then, on top of that, if your tenant stops paying rent, brings in additional tenants and illegally sublets, damages the unit, or does anything that requires you go to the rent board, the tenant gets a free attorney but you have to pay for yours.

      If you have to fix the roof, repoint the masonry, replace shingles, fix the steps, do electrical work, etc, you pay for that yourself and cannot pass that to the tenants, no matter how much it costs. Only “capital improvements” (like a brand-new roof) can be passed on, and only by increasing rent by less than 5% a year. Imagine trying to replace a roof (which costs about 100K) when your tenants pay $400/mo per unit. That is why you see a lot of rent-controlled places in bad repair, sadly.

      And you still have to pay property taxes. And if you have a mortgage, you have to pay that, plus interest on the mortgage, plus insurance (which is more when you have tenants). And when the city passes bond measures, only half of that gets passed on to tenants.

      If you do a good job and keep your property in good repair, it’s still hard to sell it for what you put into it because buyers don’t want houses with rent controlled tenants. They know they will never be able to pay for the property’s upkeep with the rentals they receive.

      Can you really tell me this would not dissuade you from becoming a landlord?

      1. Rent control is not vacancy control. Unless a landlord purchased a building within the past 3 years the price of which was not constrained by rent control tenants, then current market rents ensure that the landlord would not hit a point where revenues could not cover costs for quite some time. The notion that a long term tenant would cause a landlord to not rent out a unit likewise belies comprehension.

        SInce the median lifespan of a tenancy is 5 years, landlords protesteth too much.

        1. I don’t understand what you are saying. Tenants in rent-controlled units seldom leave. They usually pass them down to family who live with them. If you buy a building today you have to keep all the tenants until they decide to leave. If they decide to pass the unit on to a cousin/uncle/sister the rent board usually allows it. So it’s often a permanent situation for owners, and buyers know that. You’ll need to clarity your other point because I did not understand what you meant.

          1. The median length of tenancy in San Francisco rent controlled apartments historically has been 5 years.

            If rent control were to be repealed, then what would happen if a double digit percentage of San Francisco families were displaced as the market found its new level in order to appease the deities of a “free market system” that has proven that it creates more harm for many than it generates wealth for the few.

  11. I’m so tired of the response to evictions being shrugged shoulders and a non-statement like, “That’s just the way it is”. That doesn’t have to be the way it is.

  12. It is not rising rents per se that are forcing people out, it is the speculators cannabilizing rent controlled housing via conversion to TIC and the inevitable owner move-in evictions.

    The Irish were not forced out of the Mission due to economic dislocation. As was typical of the day, white inner city residents, newly coalesced from disparate European descendants in the post-WWII era, decamped on their own volition to the suburbs, often to flee having to live with people of different ethnicities.

    That said, new San Franciscans are San Franciscans and any political movement has to figure out how to connect with them or it will perish.

    1. The new San Franciscans want to own their homes. They want the security and equity associated with ownership. TICs are often the most affordable ownership housing, so the demand for conversion from rentals is very strong. (fwiw, I live in a TIC.)

      How anyone can stop these trends?

      1. In a democracy, government is supposed to represent the interests of the voters, citizens and residents first, then corporations and newcomers.

        Public policy needs to raise the cost of using OMI to convert rent controlled apartments to TICs by requiring relocation costs equivalent to the Federal Uniform Relocation Act which provides relocation compensation equivalent to about 4 years of the delta between current rent and market rent.

        There are all sorts of market forces that public policy insulates the people. Housing has to be made one of them.

        1. Newcomers are not voters, citizens and residents, but are instead aligned with corporations? Corporations are not human. New people have lesser rights? How are newcomers drifferent than immigrants? Should immigrants have lesser rights?

          Slippery slope you’re building.

          1. Newcomers, or more precisely, those who would like to move to San Francisco, are not primary stakeholders in a democracy, just like corporations.

            Popular sovereignty still has meaning, right?

        2. There are a lot of people living in South San Francisco and Daly City who would love to live in the sunny Mission but cannot afford it. They work and pay $2000-3000 month for housing. How do you think they feel about people in the sunny Mission complaining that they are entitled to their low-rent units forever because they are Latinos in a Latino neighborhood and outsiders do not belong there?

          1. I agree with David Campos that this is a class issue not a race issue. People should have the right to remain in their homes, all things being equal, and government should act vigorously to protect them from the vicissitudes of the marketplace because it is the people, the voters, citizens and residents who make neighborhoods what they are.

        3. Punishing owners for moving into their own homes by raising the OMI costs that high will never fly.

          Certainly there are market forces that public policy tries to insulate people from. Their success varies widely. And, in some cases, the unintended consequences have produced paradoxical outcomes.

  13. There’s a dark energy in Haus, SugarLump, and a thousand cafes like them.

    These are strange worlds, with equal measures of pathetic and ominous, where people come together to be apart.

    When they arrive, they quickly deploy their portable televisions and don earphones. They then spend hours robotically staring at these TVs, only breaking the trance long enough to type something into their pocket TVs.

    Long rows of people watch customized TV shows about people they know, carefully avoiding interaction with the people sitting next to them. The only exception to this no-contact rule is when a TV watcher has to pee, and is worried somebody will steal his TV, so requests of an adjacent person to perform security duty (although some won’t even do that, and take the TV into the bathroom).

    I’ve been told that it’s not as bad as it looks and that these new TVs aren’t just mind rot like the old ones, that they allow one to DO things instead of just passively consuming content. And there’s some true to that: some are “liking” products, while some of the smarter ones are creating games and new kinds of surveillance for people in other cafes, maybe even getting rich in the process.

    This is the new San Francisco.

    1. Actually, these people are all working. That’s how they make the money to pay the big rents and live in the neighborhood, rather than sit around and complain about rising costs and whine about the people who can afford to live there.

      1. It’s just sad because it’s a much more complex situation then any of those simplifications. I make a decent salary managing a large social justice program, but I can’t afford to be in the city. I am moving out and I swallow that with a great amount of sadness. But I’m not sitting around and being lazy. I’m working my tail off to help people who haven’t gotten the kind of access and privilege. When you make four times the salary marked at the poverty line and still can’t make ends meet in the city, it’s a problem. Not just for me and for people who make less money but for everyone. You public school teachers, community workers, artists, bodega owners, and any number of professions won’t be able to afford to live in the city they work to upkeep. That puts the city at a great disadvantage. It will stop producing the kind of vibrancy that people are flooding to this area to be a part of. No one is flooding Mountain View and Palo Alto at this same rate for a reason. Everyone should be just as invested in creating some sustainable solutions for lots of economic situations to be able to live and operate as community in this city.

    2. I…*kinda* hear what you’re saying about “dark energy,” but that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I go to Haus a few times a week, not to work, but to have a coffee with a friend while we chill in the back patio. Haus has a more “serious” tone than, say, Ritual or Philz, which are bustling places with lots of energy. Whenever I walk into Haus, I always say “ah, back to Study Hall.” Just like Yakini-Q cafe in Japantown. Super serious, super focused.

      Like mission resident already stated: these people are working. I rarely see someone in there goofing off on Facebook.

    3. No need to hate on on people for working. If you want a social coffee place, go to Philz – it’s literally across the street.

      I get the “dark energy” vibe that you’re talking about, but i’d just characterize it as “serious.” Work – at least the kind of work that people in Haus engage in – is serious, and that’s OK.

    4. There’s a dark energy at the 16th and Mission BART, and a thousand places like them in the Mission.

      These are strange worlds, with equal measures of pathetic and ominous, where people come together when they really should be apart.

      When they arrive, they quickly deploy their urine, body odor, and drug of choice. They then spend hours robotically staring at hard working people on the street, only breaking the trance long enough to reload their drug of choice.

      Long rows of people watch people doing silly things like going to work, too keen on interaction with the people sitting next to them. The only exception to this too-much-contact rule is when a bum has to pee, and is worried somebody will steal his drugs, so just pees on the street.

      I’ve been told that it’s not as bad as it looks and that these things called jobs aren’t just mind rot like the old ones, that they allow one to DO things instead of just passively consuming drugs. And there’s some true to that: some are “liking” products, while some of the smarter ones are creating games and new kinds of surveillance for people in other cafes, maybe even getting rich in the process.

      This is the new San Francisco.

      1. The brain-damaged skanks in your story are the only thing keeping rents in the Mission from doubling yet again.

        So, in a twisted way, they are accidental allies of those who work for a living. And, of course, the enemies of the rent-extracting class.

    5. You’ve hit the nail on the head with this.

      The gentrification of the Mission is a political problem and it requires a political response, a sustained, public, mass collective effort to make the neighborhood an unprofitable place for various bourgeois interlopers to do business.

      ‘Haus’ is a toxic presence on 24th. Places like this are a testament to the fact that the internet and all its attendant pathologies shave a significant layer off of what is it to be a social being. And yes, they do help drive up the rents.

  14. Nice to see stickers all over the Mission about how “my ancestors battled (killed?) colonizers” or something like that.

    Way to turn this into a race-based issue and enticing violence and hate.

    1. Sorry, John Wayne, it’s actually “my heroes have always killed colonizers.” Enjoy turning this city into a violently homogenous wasteland of conformity…

      1. right, so “my heroes have always killed colonizers” is a real f_cking positive thing to be posting around the mission.

        good luck with that crusade.

      2. so violent, using words like “kill.” why so much hate? i don’t hate you. you’re my neighbor.


    2. If you’d been in the neighborhood more than 10 minutes, you’d know that this refers to “the Second Annual: “My HEROES Have Always Killed Colonizers: Stories of Global Indigenous REZistance” — a night of song, words, and resistance, a celebration of every global indigenous warrior . . .” In other words, *It’s Not About You* – why is narcissism such a mainstay of monoculture?