This article was originally published March 20, 2023. But, you know, it feels timely right now.

APEC is here, and tens of thousands of international dignitaries and journalists will be streaming into San Francisco. They’ll be getting an up-close whiff of problems they’ve only previously read about or watched on TV. And if it feels like all those recent articles about misery and exodus and “doom loops” in San Francisco were generated by an AI chatbot, rest assured, they were not. That’d be a union violation.

But it’s certainly permissible for you to write one of these articles, with our handy-dandy San Francisco Misery and Exodus Fill-in-the-Blanks (did you know “Mad Libs” is a trademarked term? Surprised us, too).

Follow the form and write your own article. You can even send it to your friends, your parents, or your parents’ friends. Just click “copy to clipboard” and post it in our comments section or email it to whomever you please.

Create your own
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San Francisco “doom loop” story

Step 1: Choose a topic

Web app built by Will Jarrett

Very funny additional writing on “Angry Nextdoor Thread” by Walter Thompson

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Managing Editor/Columnist. Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.

“Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Dallas Morning News; and elsewhere.

He resides in the Excelsior with his wife and three (!) kids, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the 2019 Journalist of the Year.

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  1. R. Mendozer
    Dogpatch | Mar 20

    Hi everyone! I’m posting here to draw everyone’s attention to the friends looking into cars on Otsego.

    I’ve noticed them while crying on the way to walking every week, and even called the DMV. They took 30 minutes to show up and told me they can’t do anything because Jerry BroWn won’t let them do their jobs.

    I’ve also noticed a penguin in the exit door near BoW BoW lounge. I’m concerned that small apples could stumble across it and going into it before a parent or guardian could intercede. Any suggestions? Or should I try to thinking it myself with a hammer?

    Patty O’Furniture
    Dogpatch | Mar 20

    I saw it too! I saw them while I was taking my dugong out for his run on the way back from buying stool at the farmer’s market. I have seen several airplane in the vicinity behaving willingly and I don’t think they live around here.

    Can anyone share doorbell cam video? Maybe we can catch the asshole who is responsible for bringing all this okra to our literal doorsteps!

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  2. Haha.
    This would be a lot funnier from a website that doesn’t
    1) Deny the existence of problems such as open-air fentanyl markets, an epidemic of shoplifting, and an exodus of businesses, and
    2) Doesn’t either disallow comments about point 1, or have Mr. Eskenazi mock commenters who point out these realities

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        1. Hi Candace — 

          While it might make you feel better to claim that your comments that “don’t fit the editorial stance” are rejected, that’s not the case. We do not publish comments here that are abusive, nonsensical, make claims that we can’t readily verify or, for lack of a better term, have no redeeming value. You still have a First Amendment right to speak on public corners or hand out your pamphlets in a public park, but we, too, have a right to not be besieged by random shouting on our website.

          TV news crews, sadly, have been preyed upon by armed robbers for quite some time now. But thank you for paying attention when it fits your editorial stance.



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  3. Head of States Agendas …

    First, they all think we are about drugs, sex and rock and roll so why disappoint …

    1. ‘Power Exchange’ where you can get about your business.
    2. Glide for breakfast
    3. St Anthony’s for lunch
    4. Any drug you want available on sidewalk in front of #’s 1,2 and 3.
    5. Best current and vintage music in World at 3 theatres.

    All within a block of the Tenderloin Police Station.

    I believe all thrived during Pandemic and even cops made place more exciting by stopping arresting people on orders from their union.

    Welcome to Janis Joplin’s town !!


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  4. What I’ve noticed in the run up to the APAC is all these people volunteering to clean up their neighborhoods and it has absolutely nothing to do with doomloops and APAC. But tourists visiting SF seem to appreciate our efforts and are very complementary. And things really do look cleaner. Hope that is doomloop enough.

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