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In defence of San Francisco

Old Jul 27th, 2002, 06:54 PM
  #1  
kam
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In defence of San Francisco

We spent the day in SF, driving up from the Peninsula this morning. We visited the new exhibition at SFMOMA and parked our car on the street in front of the museum. We then went to a friend's housewarming in Noe Valley. To get there we drove around the new Union Square and then through the Castro. In Union Square, there were no panhandlers except for one old man in a wheelchair on Powell Street. In the Castro there were men walking holding hands with other men and women doing the same....hey, this is the Castro, if you don't want to acknowledge it stay away. We drove through the Mission District and stopped at our favorite Lucca deli at Valencia and 22nd street and then on to our friend's house on Castro in Noe Valley. The city looked great, there were no homeless harassing anyone or excrement in the streets. Those of you who want Disneyland, please stay away, but those of you who would like to visit a beautiful vibrant city, please come to SF. The weather was great 68 with a light wind and no humidity. What else do you guys want??? I really don't understand the SF bashing that goes on here.
 
Old Jul 27th, 2002, 07:01 PM
  #2  
x
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It is "defense".

You jump over "defence".
 
Old Jul 27th, 2002, 07:05 PM
  #3  
kam
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Yeah, x, and I apologize profusely. Just read the text of the message. I'm not paid for my typing skills.
 
Old Jul 27th, 2002, 07:20 PM
  #4  
George
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Thanks, Kam. Great report!
 
Old Jul 27th, 2002, 08:44 PM
  #5  
paul
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Actually it all depends on location. Since defence is the chiefly British variant of defense.
 
Old Jul 27th, 2002, 08:46 PM
  #6  
x
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We are on the United States board, so get with the friggin' program and spell like US is you post here. Stop the 'color' 'colour' bullshit. If I wanted to spell like that I would have went to Oxford.
 
Old Jul 28th, 2002, 12:40 AM
  #7  
Kristin
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Kam - I'm glad you had a great time, and I enjoyed the detailed report.

However, I have to say that I walk (along Valencia) past Lucca's every weekday evening on my way home from the BART station, and I strongly suspect that had you been walking instead of driving you would have noticed at least a few homeless people on that block and in the general vicinity. I've never seen them harass anyone, but they will ask for money, offer to sell you a copy of 'Street Sheet' (a local paper published and sold by homeless SF'cans), or just engage you in conversation. Along 24th St. (Noe Valley's main drag), you'll normally encounter the same thing.

Sometimes driving instead of walking and/or taking public transportation (and SF is not a city where any able-bodied person needs to drive) insulates us from the pieces of reality we'd like to ignore. SF DOES have a serious homelessness problem, including in the areas you visited. People on this board may be exaggerating it, but they're not making it up. It's not a reason to refrain from visiting the city (and the other things you described are all very good reasons to do so). But it is a part of the reality that visitors should take in if they are interested in a realistic view/experience of SF - and that all Americans should be actively concerned about resolving in a humanitarian manner.
 
Old Jul 28th, 2002, 04:42 AM
  #8  
JDay
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Kristen:

Well said!!!!
 
Old Jul 28th, 2002, 06:08 AM
  #9  
don
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I have been visiting San Francisco for the past 25 years, but haven't been the past coupleof years. As long as I can remember,I have alway seen homeless there, but never creating such a problem. Has it gotten really that much worst or are some just greatly exagerrating the problem? I know that certain people tend to tear down certain places for whatever their agenda might be. I don't tend to put much stock in these kind of people. I love San Francisco, has it really gone down that much?
 
Old Jul 28th, 2002, 06:16 AM
  #10  
Defenced?
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Is it really true they put a fence around SF, funmigated it, and flushed the streets?
 
Old Jul 28th, 2002, 10:37 AM
  #11  
kam
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Kristin, Maybe so, if I had been walking it would have been different, but we were stuck with the car coming from the Peninsula. Point is I was especially interested after reading all the terrible posts here generally. Actually the one old homeless man in winter coat, long hair and 3D type paper glasses was rather charming. I think there are a lot of people who just enjoy bashing SF. But, I do agree with your thoughts. If you go back and reread my post I didn't say I didn't see homeless people, what I said was that I didn't see them harassing people or urinating on the sidewalks. And, Kristin, did you know that we have homeless people in Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View----all along the Peninsula but they don't harm anybody.
 
Old Jul 28th, 2002, 11:26 AM
  #12  
poorx
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"x" stated:
"so get with the friggin' program and spell like US is you post here."

Could you please interpret so we might know what you are trying to say ?

"Stop the 'color' 'colour' bullshit. If I wanted to spell like that I would have went to Oxford."

"I would have went to Oxford" -- sorry pal, with grammar like that you had better finish elementary school first.
 
Old Jul 28th, 2002, 11:53 AM
  #13  
baiter
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Thanks for taking the bloody obvious bait, poorx. It was only a ruse to rile a silly sod like you. Cheers!
 
Old Jul 28th, 2002, 02:58 PM
  #14  
Owen O'Neill
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quote from x - "If I wanted to spell like that I would have went to Oxford."

If you write and speak with such abysmal grammar, I submit that they might just have rejected your application.

Kam - thanks for a great report as usual. I think the SF bashers include many folks who've never been there, some who just caught a bad day and others who expect a Disneyfied city experience (which SF is definitely not). Having been there several months back I will readily acknowledge that the homeless/panhandle situation is worse than it may appear to be from a car but its not nearly as chronic as many folks would lead us to believe. I spent three days walking the city and using public transport and I have my on-going exposure to NYC (I am typically there three days each week) as a reference point. I'm a booster on this board for the glories of NYC but it too has problems in this area and they do appear to be abit worse than they were a year or two ago. Regardless, if one visits a large city it should be expected that a wide cross-section of life will be seen, some of which ain't so pretty. I'm grateful for the fact that I can be reminded of how fortunate so many of us are for the blessings we enjoy in our daily lives. Thanks for coninuing with the positive postings (wishing I could head to SF again soon but the Northwest beckons).
 
Old Jul 28th, 2002, 03:26 PM
  #15  
Bill
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Kam - yes it is bad. You didn't encounter any of the negativity because you were insulated in your car.

There were no homeless at Union Square because it was just reopened two days before your post - so it's spotless.

I'm curious - coming up in your car from the Penninsula you must have seen the panhandlers at the freeway exits (which should be illegal in my book).

If it weren't as big of a problem as it is - do you think the hotels would be shaming the city supervisors with their public billboard campaign (www.wewantchange.com)?
 
Old Jul 28th, 2002, 06:21 PM
  #16  
kam
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Would all you ignorant posters please read my post? I didn't say I didn't see homeless people!!! What I said was that I didn't see them peeing on the sidewalks or threatening the tourists. That's enough---it's not Disneyland, but it's a beautiful vibrant city and we love SF. If you can't deal with reality then just don't come here. It's not Disney and I am so tired of you whiners.
 
Old Jul 28th, 2002, 06:25 PM
  #17  
kam
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To all of you who find my spelling confusing, please know that I spent one year of my life (senior year of high school) in an English school in the Lake District, so yes I do frequently get confused. Is that a terrible sin?
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 08:10 AM
  #18  
J Correa
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I agree that SF isn't nearly as bad as some people make it out to be. I don't know if the people who bash SF have an agenda or if they were just expecting something different in SF and were surprised. Yes, there are homeless people in SF. There are homeless people everywhere. In some areas they just aren't as visible.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 09:26 AM
  #19  
Sammy
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SF's social problems with homelessness, prostitution, and drug use are way out of control, and I don;t feel that they have been at all exaggerated from what I have seen lately in SF. It is not a city that I would recommend anybody waste their time or money visiting until thay clean up their act as NYC did. Why should tourists be subjected to the odor of human waste as they step out of a 5 star hotel or restaurant and be constantly harassed for money at every other street corner? This is absolutely appalling.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 10:38 AM
  #20  
J Correa
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I've been to SF 4 times this year. I saw homeless people, and got panhandled a couple times, but was not harassed by anybody and it certainly wasn't on every street corner. I didn't step out of any 5 star hotels, so I can't say whether or not they smell like human excrement or not.

SF does have social problems - just like every other American city. SF needs to work on it's problems, no doubt about that, but it's not a terrible place for tourists. It's certainly not Disneyland. It's a real city and people who travel to cities should be prepared for everything that goes along with urban life. People who want squeeky clean should stick to amusment parks.

The fact remains that the country is in a recession, and the Bay Area has been hit pretty hard. Many people have been laid off and many companies have gone out of business. A combination of high rents, high unemployment, and an eroding tax base will always result in an increase in homelessness and other social problems.
 

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