What's a gutter punk to do? Now that it's illegal to chill out, play the guitar, snort heroin, and pet your dog on Haight Street, many of the city's stalwart anti-establishment and drug-friendly teens and twentysomethings have picked up and relocated to public plazas, such as those around Castro and Market Streets. This has changed the mood around the lively Castro intersection, especially now that the nudists can't hold court, and Castro merchants and neighbors are dealing with it sort of poorly, basically by just taking away places to sit.
Last fall, the Castro Community Benefit District removed the benches that lined the upper edge of Harvey Milk Plaza, above the Muni station, for this very reason. Subsequently, and fairly predictably, the gutter punks just moved themselves, their animals, and all their dusty crap across the street to Jane Warner Plaza. The CBD has now, as of this week, removed the majority of tables and chairs from the plaza in the hope that this will send the gutter punks (whom they refer to, generically, as "homeless") packing. The Castro Biscuit confirmed the methodology with CBD Executive Director, Andrea Aiello, who calls the move "an experiment."
The SFPD has already issued citations to some of the camping youths in recent weeks, and the CBD removed the seating at their suggestion. The community has been calling and complaining, however, because they want the chairs back.
There's a meeting happening tonight, with Supervisor Scott Wiener and the CBD, to discuss the gutter punk issue. We'll update you as we learn more.