Posts Tagged ‘bay area’

Blaming the Suburbs: A CityLab Urbanist Parachutes into Frisco to Diagnose Our High Rents – Oh the Urbanity!

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Here it is:

The Biggest Problem With San Francisco’s Rent Crisis – The Suburbs, by Henry Grabar

This is in Slate, so it can’t be ignored, right? Read along with me, by the numbers.

1. “Crisis.” Well, our current sitch of high inflation of rents and property values is a crisis for some, but not for all. What if certain people, certain industries actually approve of this “crisis,” what then? Of course most renters in town pay slightly to substantially less than a market rate rent because most have the benefits of rent control. Is the author aware of this? We’ll see.

2. Photo. This one – I’ve seen it before. Since we’re toning down the words in Slate, let’s take the time to do the same to Slate’s illustrative photo illustrations. Here’s my stab at how things really looked in this part of Frisco, the ‘burbs of Frisco, if you will. Note the lack of nuclear yellow trees:

3. San Francisco “doesn’t deserve to be the poster child for inaction in the face of inequality?” Uh, why not? (One suspects author Hank has been talking with too many local urbanists.) Why doesn’t SF build more housing if it wants more housing? That’s what I’d ask myself before demanding other towns and counties to “do more.”

4. “The biggest problem with housing in San Francisco isn’t actually in San Francisco.” There’s your SlatePitch, there’s your everything-you-know-is-wrong. I’m not seeing any possibility of this article being useful at all. But let’s continue.

5. “‘The smaller communities, in my opinion, need to step up, and I don’t see that happening,’ San Francisco planning director John Rahaim says.” This sounds like a another pitch for regional government. I’ll agree – I too don’t see that happening. This is a big non-starter.

6. Prop 13. Yep. But are you going to get rid of Prop 13? IDTS. Hey, we’re halfway through.

7.  The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). Yep, there’s your regional government, your corrupt regional government what can’t understand how unpopular it is.

8. “For municipalities, Rentschler said, the offer is simple: Build more housing, get more money.” So this is the point – a promised $1.5 billion per year for transit from the MTC? I’m not seeing this as a game-changer.

9. “Naturally, some conservatives see Plan Bay Area as part of the broader, Soviet-style plot to urbanize America.” Whoah! Uh, the people who are against all that this Slate bit endorses mostly voted for Obama – they’re mostly big “D” Democrats, right? (This could be confusing to Slate’s readers, non?)

10. “Agenda 21?” Man, poll Bay Areans about “Agenda 21″ and less than 5% would have any idea what it means, just saying.

11. “Writing in National Review, Kurtz warned AFFH would ‘urbanize suburbs and Manhattanize cities.’” Uh, Dude, didn’t you have the same person making the very same point two just grafs above? Get me Rewrite!

12. “But a modern-day building boom in the inner suburbs wouldn’t repeat those mistakes—it would correct them. This time, it would do a city like San Francisco good.” Huh, so that’s it, huh?

Well, I don’t see a modern-day  building boom happening anytime soon in Frisco’s “inner suburbs,” so I guess that’s that. We’re talking Pie In The Sky here. JMO

And sorry, Newcomers. Everything’s stacked against you here in the 415.

Sorry.

Got nothing against a big town
Still hayseed enough to say
Look who’s in the big town
But my bed is in a small town
Oh, and that’s good enough for me

Jupiter Descending, Over a Benihana – Along with la Luna y Venus – Conjunction, What’s Your Function?

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Check it, it’s the moon together with Jupiter, the Gas Giant, up high and Venus, the Evening Star on the right, all converging, equilateral trianagularily, over a Benihana Japanese Steakhouse.

As seen during Summer Solstice 2015:

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Merry part.

How to Live Rent-Free in San Francisco: Get an RV and Then Park It In Front of a Church (and Not a House)

Friday, June 19th, 2015

‘Cause if you sleep in your RV in front of a house, its millionaire homeowners will, hackles raised, not rest until you are gone gone gone.

But churches are a different story – you’re less likely to have to deal with complaints to the SFPD / SFMTA. (You might trigger an internal debate about why-do-we-even-have-this-congregation-in-the-first-place, you very well might do that.)

Simply, church-goers are much, much less likely to call out the popo on you.

As here:

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I’ll tell you, the same RVs I saw ten years ago parked on Post and Geary and Fell and Oak at night are now, after recently being chased away by new legislation, parked on Masonic and Presidio and Hayes, as here.

On It Goes…

Old People, They’re Just Like Us! – Taking the 21 Hayes to a Safeway in the Inner Richmond Near Golden Gate Park – In 1938

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Here it is, a crop from your Western Neighborhoods Project, the OutsideLands.Org

“21 Hayes line streetcar on Fulton Street at 5th Avenue, with Safeway grocery in 1938.
Courtesy of Jack Tillmany link to this image…

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Of course, the Safeway is now a Lifestyle Store, and it’s moved a few blocks out, and the 21 Hayes is a bus line now, and the 21H doesn’t make it all the way out to 6th Avenue no mo, but even so, this is pretty close, IMO.

How We Live Now: Parked Cars at the Dreary Geary-Divisadero Hospital-Medical District

Friday, June 19th, 2015

As seen from Geary – look, it’s a parking lot game like what you can play on your iPhone

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A normal town would deal with this, but Frisco don’t, oh well. (If you’d like to make a go of putting back to use the very unused building at the northeast corner of Geary Divis, be my guest – a Honey Baked Ham sto’ was its last use, years and years ago.)

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(Hey, was this one of the HBH stores what OJ Simpson had an interest in before The Real Killer stabbed OJ’s ex-wife and the stud who drove the white Ferrari (license plate L84AD8) that OJ paid for? I know not.)

And oh, there was a fire station here? News to me. Leaving you with the still-cited case of Quinn v. Rosenfeld, 15 Cal.2d 486 (1940):

“The plaintiff had been employed for about seven years at a firehouse located in a residential district on the northerly side of Geary Street between Scott Street on the east and Divisadero Street on the west. About 6:35 P. M. on September 29, 1937, the plaintiff stepped from the northerly curb in front of the firehouse, with the intention of crossing the street at that point for the purpose of going to a store on the southeast corner of Geary and Divisadero Streets. There was no crosswalk at the point of crossing selected by the plaintiff. There were established crosswalks and stop signs at both intersections. A pole with a lighted street lamp stood about two feet east of the point where the plaintiff entered the street, and the doors of the lighted firehouse remained open. The plaintiff wore a dark blue uniform. He stopped behind a parked car which was to the west of him. There were no parked cars to the east for a distance of about 75 feet. He looked to the east and at a distance of 135 to 150 feet observed the lights of the defendant’s car in the traffic lane on the north side of the car tracks approaching at a speed of about 20 to 25 miles an hour. He proceeded safely as far as the northerly rail of the westbound car tracks and stopped again to permit another westbound automobile, which had passed the defendant’s car and which was moving at a high rate of speed, to pass in front of him. Before proceeding he observed the defendant’s car again, and saw that it was swerving onto the westbound car tracks and coming directly towards him. He stepped back but before he could clear the defendant’s path he was struck by the right front fender of the vehicle.”

Vaunted “Box-Spring” Revealed to be the Scam That It Is

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

I’ve always wondered this, I’ve wondered of what use is a box spring.

People tell me, “It’s to support the mattress.” And I think, oh, the way the floor would?

Now for all I know, this Wiki entry has been hijacked by the North Carolina Box Spring Institute, but here we go:

The purpose of the box-spring is threefold:

  • to raise the mattress’ height, making it easier to get in and out of bed; [OH, OK, SO IT’S A BED HEIGHTENER – CHECK]
  • to absorb shock and reduce wear to the mattress; [THIS SOUNDS LIKE BS TO ME. HOW DOES THE MATTRESS KNOW THAT IT’S NOT SIMPLY ON THE FLOOR? DOES THE MATTRESS SAY TO ITSELF, ”
    OH, I’M NOT ON THE FLOOR SO I’LL CONSCIOUSLY MAKE THE EFFORT TO WEAR OUT SLOWER] and
  • to create a flat and firm structure for the mattress to lie upon. [OH, THE THE WAY THE FLOOR WOULD?]

Another dissatisfied customer, earlier taken in by the ongoing boxspring scam:

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Here we go, revised propaganda from this century:

  • You can put the mattress on the floor. This actually gives the mattress proper support, but it doesn’t look as nice, is more difficult to get in and out of bed, and isn’t as sanitary since you’re right on the floor.

Oh that’s right, sometimes the Norway rats make it past the encircling ring of traps around my bed and then spend the night sleeping on my face. Come to think of it, that’s not sanitary at all!

So that’s the answer – a boxspring is an overwrought platform to enheighten your mattress.

But I don’t see how a mattress platform could possibly “wear out.” And I don’t see why people pay thousands of dollars for them.

END OF LINE.

Studies in Advertising: If an Ad is Effective, Then 100 Identical Copies Placed Right After It Will Be 100 Times More Effective

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Oh, if only there were more light poles in the Parkside Fogbelt to hang ads from:

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If only…

The Doomed Houses of Westlake, Daly City, USA – A Legacy of Hank Doelger

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Down to the Sea Again – A Real Cliff-Hanger in Daly City

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“In the 1950s, however, when Henry Doelger was building Westlake Palisades, we knew little about coastal erosion, the ongoing Mussel Rock landslide, or the San Andreas Fault. Despite the futile efforts of the Ocean Shore Railroad to maintain a roadbed across the flowing cliffs and the repeated failure of Highway 1, the coastal view remained irresistible. Doelger learned a quick lesson about geologic processes when 11 of the homes he was building on the north side of Westline Drive, along the upper edges of the landslide, began to move downhill soon after construction. Doelger bought them back and moved them to inland lots.”

Passive-Aggressive Wayfinding for the Letter Carriers of Clayton Station: 1500 Page, 1500 Page, 1500 Page, 1500

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Sometimes in the 94117, your mail gets bounced for no good reason. The cure is to write a note to your letter carrier politely explaining that you do in fact live at your address. I’m srsly.

And to make things even simpler, you can be excessively redundant. Thusly:

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The Horrible Pedestrians of San Francisco, Chapter CXII: Special Richmond District Edition – The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Jaywalk

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

This person never looked. This person shouldn’t be jaywalking:

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But bygones, moving on, ever so slowly moving on…

…to this. Starting across Geary with a cane, waaaaaay too late:

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Assuming you start when it’s legal, then tout le monde need to wait for you. But if you start too late then you’re just another jaywalker.

I start late, sometimes. But I pay attention.

That’s the difference.