As they sometimes do with towns they consider their curious backwater cousins, the New York Times has taken up the current state of San Francisco, macro-psychologically, today in yet another piece about the tensions surrounding the tech industry here specifically, how more and more non-tech-employed people are gleefully rooting for the bubble to burst. We have, of course, been talking about this on SFist for a while now, and we've arrived in a new year when it finally feels like the flow of venture capital has slowed, layoffs are becoming more common news, Zynga is selling that huge goddamn building they own, rents are anecdotally coming down a smidge, and maybe, just maybe, the madness is going to stop.
Certainly people who have faced eviction in the last couple of years or had their housing threatened have been dying for this to happen. But outside the media, is there evidence that a lot of San Franciscans are really gunning for an economic downturn? Like, what about restaurant workers and owners certainly they still want the seats filled or others dependent on the flow of boomtime dollars?
The Times notes that a December survey of Bay Area adults showed 39 percent saying things are "headed in the wrong direction," up from 29 percent a year earlier but easily a good number of those people could be tech folk tired of stepping over the homeless, or tech-employed liberals who think we need more affordable housing. (Also, the Times uses a photo of this same building on Duboce Park that we snapped a couple weeks ago, with those two renters advertising their eviction.)
They quote a number of residents, including a local teacher, who say that things feel like they've gotten out of hand. They speak to Delfina chef-owner Craig Stoll, too, who echoes things that he said to SFist last year about how he's grateful on the one hand for all the business, but frustrated all the same that his cooks can't afford to live here, and the competition for qualified kitchen staff has become so fierce as a result.
Just a quick informal poll:
Perhaps the most most democratically San Franciscan sentiment in the Times piece comes from a mother in the Mission who's tired of fighting for curb space with tech shuttles outside her child's Mission school. "If only there were some way to prevent the haves from having it all," she said.