A Brief History

The depression of gentrification is settling into my poor neighborhood. I don't know if any of you have ever spent time in the lower Haight, but it was a great neighborhood. It was primarily a real residential area, only a few tourists. Even when the tourists braved coming into the neighborhood, we always had Don's Different Ducks and the Midtown the two bars where no tourist dared to go.

About 8 months ago, Don's, was replaced with an uppity Irish Bar (An Bodhran). An Bodhran ended up being a nice place - even if it sells Bushmills, but it attracted an evil presence, that of tourists and Marinites (no... not people from Marin, but people from (shudder) the Marina). Don't get me wrong, I am happy that An Bodhran is there, but I wish it didn't attract so many out of towners/out of neighborhood people.

3 months ago, the Midtown, haven for residents escaping the pull of the tourists to the neighborhood, closed down. The owners of the building sold to the owners of the Albion (16/Valencia). These new owners then fired the staff without notice, changed the name to Molotov's, and started an aggressive campaign to attract (you guest it) Marinites looking for the "dive-bar experience". The residents revolted. 800 signatures were sent to the owners of Molotov's but it was for naught. Luckily, the owners of the other bars in the area have hired almost all of the original Midtown staff. Molotov's spent the first 2 months absolutely empty. The bar is starting to fill up on the weekends now... but it seems to be filled with college students and tourists.

Why am I ranting about this? Last Sunday, a freaking Pasta Pomodoro opened up on the corner of Haight and Steiner. The news is that a Jamba Juice will open up within a few months as well. The owners of the Toronado and Naked Eye have been approached to sell their spaces (or surrender their leases) for other tourist related enterprises.

Do you want to know what our neighborhood needs? We need a bank on Haight and Steiner. We need an improved bus shelter. We need ATMs. We need a small book store and maybe a medium size record shop.  We need artists workshops, and independent clothing boutiques like Fake and American Junkies. We need parking spaces for residents only. We don't need another bar that panders to tourists and people from outside the neighborhood. We don't need the same damn restaurants that you can find on every block in every other neighborhoods.

In short, we don't need those companies and shops that don't give a damn about the neighborhood.