The unoffical War on Fun, in which the city and the SFPD excessively try to crack down on street-fair drinking and curtail all nightlife, might be finally waning. Or at least that's what the Bay Area Reporter thinks this week. They cite some of the cajoling by Supervisor Scott Wiener, who's been pushing for an economic study to be done on the fiscal impact of street fairs on the city, just so that he has some ammunition the next time the SFPD tries to hobble one with too many rules. Also, he's pushing to get a full-time staffer in the Mayor's Office of Economic Development devoted to nightlife alone.
A recent report by the City Controller found that nightlife spending in 2010 was about $4.2 billion, and generated $55 million in tax revenue, so maybe that has something to do with the recent detente.
All of this does not mean that it's easy to open a new nightclub in this town, or that drinking in the street during the Union Street Festival will be allowed ever again. And the cops still seem intent on destroying everything that's great about Dolores Park by cracking down on the small-time pot-edibles vendors and the like. But perhaps these are steps in the right direction. Do we want a city here, people, or do we want a provincial backwater where everyone goes to bed at 10 p.m.?