I've tossed in my three or four cents about why the changes currently roiling our fine city aren't some kind of death knell — and I firmly believe that a city needs to change constantly in order to survive, and we can't always control these changes and we won't always like them. But Daisy Barringer, whom some of you may know for her Daisy Does the Niners column here, and others may know as the current editor of Thrillist, is a San Francisco native, and I have to yield the stage to her on this topic today. She's penned an essay about feeling "trapped" in the city she grew up in which she's finding more and more unrecognizable, and it's worth a read.

She is trapped, like many of us, knowing that unless she stays in the rent controlled apartment she has now, she'll probably have to leave town altogether. "I can either leave San Francisco permanently. Or I can stay until I die. There isn’t an in between. At least not in this housing market."

And this is happening just when she feels like she could take a break, maybe give herself "a little space" from the city in order to keep loving it, and hope that it regains some of its bohemian charm in the future.

I don’t want to be yet another person who complains about how the influx of tech start-ups has ruined San Francisco. First of all, it’s not as simple as that, and second, I’m not willing to take on that battle. At least not today. That being said, it’s irrefutable the start-ups and the people they’ve brought with them have transformed the city. ...
All I know is that the city I grew up in -- the city that as few as five years ago I said I would never leave -- feels broken. That, for the first time in a long time, suddenly I’m not sure it’s where I want to spend the rest of my life. That, at the very least, I need a break. Not forever... maybe just for a year or two in a place that’s more relaxed. Where the people aren’t always staring at their phones. Or thinking about IPOs. Or working so hard that they never leave their mini-mall offices to give back to the city. Just a few years in a place where people smile on the sidewalk and don’t worry about Instagramming every meal... a place where money and the next technological advance aren’t as important as simply enjoying the good things life has to offer.

She makes some good points! And you should read the whole thing.

But again, for those of us who will stay on, either because we can't think of anywhere else we'd rather be or because we're trapped knowing we can never come back, or both, you can't always control how the character of a place shifts. Money and real estate do have a way of doing that — and many longtime Manhattanites bemoan this all the time.

Also, just because we have 40,000 or 50,000 new people in town with different tastes and priorities doesn't mean that they've replaced or displaced that many people who made SF what it was before. The newcomers don't have to dominate this narrative, even though it feels like they do right now. That's what happens in any gold rush.

So, apart from patronizing the arts, trying to curb evictions, being ourselves, and renting rooms to more freaks, what can we do? The conversation doesn't stop here.