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It is a bit of a cliché to say that San Francisco is a hellhole.
I remember reading in conservative blogs back in the mid-2000s about gay pride parades in the Castro district in which men would masturbate out of windows and on to passersby as part of the procession. When I moved down there in 2008 and worked for the Business section of the San Francisco Examiner, I remember walking through Van Ness and seeing a big, thick, and unmistakably human turd right there on the sidewalk.
Nevertheless, it was still a place that masked the hell … somewhat. Back in those days, you could get a sublet for $1,000. That was actually possible and I did it. I later worked the tech conventions in the downtown area from 2016 – 2018, and during that period, the insanity was masked by a much larger symphony of entrepreneurs meeting to discuss their fields.
Not so with Covid-19. San Francisco during Covid-19 is the worst I have ever seen any city or township. While working there, I have seen overdoses multiple times, walking past men lying face-first on the pavement. A large tent city is present right in the heart of Civic Center. The entire downtown area smells like urine and feces.
I remember San Francisco, years ago, as a very beautiful place. I remember going to Chinatown, the Sketchers retail store, and WonderCon and feeling like it was a great city. All of those things are now gone or shut down, and the San Francisco is so bad that it’s hard to see them coming back when all the lockdowns are finally over. Sheriffs, with their deputies, now regularly patrol the streets, walking past dirty and rough people like a scene from the Wild West (and what Big Tech did to this area is not too far off from what the Gold Rush did in the Old West).
The city might be done. Either done or at a point of self-destruction in which rebirth is absolutely necessary. Either way, the city that Tony Bennett left his heart in is a faded memory.Published in