Just in time to help you digest your lunch. It’s the Afternoon Report.
Juice and Justice
Several weeks ago, the benches on 21st and Valencia, next to Sidewalk Juice were removed to make room for garbage huts for Sidewalk Juice customers. People now use the chairs next door at Jay’s Cheeseteak or the tables across the street at the Valencia Whole Foods, said Jesus Perez who works at Sidewalk Juice.
I asked Perez why the benches were removed. He told me I wasn’t the first person to bug them about it and that his boss probably did it because people were using them to sleep on and because they “were getting kinda dirty.”
If you walk by, you’ll notice a smudged red tag saying “TCB Hates God. I’ll [expletive] you all up!” It’s appeared exactly where the benches were. Maybe the benches actually served a purpose. The tag appeared last Saturday of Friday and since it’s on the floor, it may take some time for DPW to notice.
Perez, 22, grew up in the neighborhood and is now studying Criminal Justice at SFSU. Perez mentioned he wants to be a police officer and then move up to a federal agency such as ICE.
“Since I’m Latino, immigration is a big thing,” he told me. When I asked him about how people react when he says he wants to be a police officer, he said people are either excited or confused, but to Perez the decision is pretty clear: “I just want justice.”
Perez was telling me that he likes all the murals in the neighborhood because of the colors and because “it makes you feel proud of where you come from”.
Fifty Percent Off, then Off to Canada
In my search for more afternoon going ons, I headed towards Mission Street. I came across the House of Jeans on 2641 Mission Street. Everything in the store is on sale. It’s a pretty good deal, merchandise is marked down 20 to 50 percent, which only means one thing: the business is closing.
Norm Kumar, the owner of the business, mentioned that the property tax on the building has gone up when the building sold for three times more than the asking price of 1.5 million. Now, his rent is too high for a business where he doesn’t make that much money.
When asked what he is going to do he replied that he will retire.
“I am 70-years-old and I have other investments,” said Kumar.
Kumar had originally leased the storefront in 1980 and resold it to one of his employees. In 2011, Kumar and his wife decided to buy back the lease because “this was the best store. I thought I could make it here again, but since I took over it’s been bad. I lost quite a bit”. Kumar declared bankruptcy and passed on his other two stores in the Mission to his children.
Kumar mentioned he and his wife plan to go back to Canada, where he was once a manager for Sears and where he still owns a house.
This has been your Afternoon Report—a new series we’re trying out in which we offer a quickie post-meridian rundown of some minor developments in the always-happening streets of the Mission District. Got ideas or suggestions? Let us know what you think by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.