San Francisco Is Pure Hell

 

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.

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  1. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Seattle is hot on its heels. Same filth and homeless tents everywhere. 

    • #1
  2. American Abroad Thatcher
    American Abroad
    @AmericanAbroad

    To some degree, San Francisco and Seattle can afford to be stupid in a way that Detroit and Chicago cannot.  I can put up with a whole lot of wokeness and moderate amounts of street feces and discarded needles if I get amazing mountain vistas and classics like the Golden Gate Bridge.  Like San Francisco and Seattle, Chicago and Detroit are poorly governed, but that beautiful Midwestern weather is much less attractive than the west coast.  Unfortunately, I see San Francisco being attractive enough to support bad policies for a while.   

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    In spite of the state doing its best to destroy their business model, Uber and Lyft still remain in SF. Hundreds of tech companies maintain headquarters there. Go figure. 

    • #3
  4. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    I loved going to SF when I lived in Sacramento in the 90’s.

    I was the “tour guide” for all our friends who visited.  Would start by taking them to the Marin headland to Battery Baker so they could have a panoramic view of the Bay.  Then off to Ghirardelli square to  go to Alcatraz. Then catch the cable car there (important to do the tour uphill to downhill!)  Get off at near Lombard street.  Dimsum lunch in Chinatown.  Keep walking downhill to North Beach.  Coffee and cannoli or tiramisu .   Keep heading down to Fishermans Warf and Pier 39.  Dinner  at  The Stinking Rose. Back to Sacramento.

    And then.  We used to love to take the kids to SF for Christmas.  Would stay in Union Square.  We noticed it getting rougher and rougher.  Lots of homeless.  Filth. Aggressive panhandling.  Sometime around 1996 we were there and as we were leaving for breakfast when a homeless guy dropped a deuce in our hotel entrance.  That was it. We were done.  We moved back to the midwest a couple of years later.

    • #4
  5. Chris Williamson Member
    Chris Williamson
    @ChrisWilliamson

    I remember taking a walk in Golden Gate Park in the 90’s with a friend who lived outside the city. I was shocked at the tent city in the park. My friend told me that the mayor had invited the homeless to the city (https://www.city-journal.org/html/willie-brown-shows-how-not-run-city-11908.html). It’s been a long time coming.

    • #5
  6. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    In Austin, someone at the state level has a dig at Austin’s mayor.

    AUSTIN, Texas — On Monday, one Texas state representative filed a bill attacking Austin’s homelessness crisis–and the mayor–in a somewhat sarcastic way.

    Representative Bryan Slaton of House District 2 filed HB 2471 to rename I-35 in Austin between 4th street and 11th street the “Steve Adler Public Restroom Highway.

    Rep. Slaton also calls the same area “Tent City.”

    • #6
  7. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer
    @RetailLawyer

    A critical mass of San Francisco voters are not rooted in the City – they were not born or raised there, and don’t plan on staying there too long.  It has been a theme park for young adults for the last 30 years.  So they vote in policies that are experimental.  How bad could it be?  “I’m still having fun”, they say.  Then they age out and move.

    Now it is so bad it is loosing its status as a premier young adult theme park.  It is too dangerous, disgusting, and expensive to sustain the scene of just a few years ago.  The “Google Buses” taking workers from homes in the Mission District to the suburbs where they actually work will decline.  So at least San Francisco is somehow evolving.  

    It is awful for someone rooted in San Francisco to watch this play out.

    • #7
  8. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Chris Williamson (View Comment):

    I remember taking a walk in Golden Gate Park in the 90’s with a friend who lived outside the city. I was shocked at the tent city in the park. My friend told me that the mayor had invited the homeless to the city (https://www.city-journal.org/html/willie-brown-shows-how-not-run-city-11908.html). It’s been a long time coming.

    The following snippet from the piece you linked to perfectly describes the last 25 years…

    “…  the countercultural ideas that ravaged America’s cities—that one has a right to the state-subsidized “lifestyle” of one’s choice, that the homeless are victims of a cruel economy, that crime is society’s fault, that the purpose of education is to attack discrimination—still prevail, as if nothing has been learned about their destructive real-world effects.”

    • #8
  9. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I have not been to SF in almost 50 years.  I arrived in springtime on a perfect day, those crazy hills with a view of the bay, wondrous restaurants, the most beautiful city I had ever seen.  What a tragedy.

    I hope they recover by 2161–the United Federation of Planets is supposed to have its major headquarters there.

    • #9
  10. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    I cannot picture it as it is today.  We visited the place in about 1976, walked all over, did all the touristy things and had a great time.

    How the mighty are fallen.

    • #10
  11. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I have not been to SF in almost 50 years. I arrived in springtime on a perfect day, those crazy hills with a view of the bay, wondrous restaurants, the most beautiful city I had ever seen. What a tragedy.

    I hope they recover by 2161–the United Federation of Planets is supposed to have its major headquarters there.

    Exactly.  I was there in January of 1966 on the way to my first trip over the pond.  Even in January, the climate was absolutely fantastic.  How they could ruin a beautiful city like this is beyond me.

    There was a lengthy article in the Washington Examiner last month about the far left San Francisco United School District.  The head of it, Gabriela Lopez, has to be one of the dumbest people that I have ever heard of.  

    Typical quote coming out of the School Board, “We need to move away from ideas of ‘meritocracy’ and academic achievement…Those are racist systems.”

     

    • #11
  12. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    CACrabtree (View Comment):
    Typical quote coming out of the School Board, “We need to move away from ideas of ‘meritocracy’ and academic achievement…Those are racist systems.”

    Question: Is that a Lopez statement?  

    • #12
  13. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Chuck (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):
    Typical quote coming out of the School Board, “We need to move away from ideas of ‘meritocracy’ and academic achievement…Those are racist systems.”

    Question: Is that a Lopez statement?

    Answer:  Lopez’s vice president: Alison Collins.

    • #13
  14. GeezerBob Coolidge
    GeezerBob
    @GeezerBob

    As a native San Franciscan (1941, if you must know), when I return to The City, I walk around downtown and hear all the less than competent street musicians and see the pan handlers (one memorable guy kept it simple. he had a sign that said, “F*** You! Gimme a buck.) and the homeless and derelicts and just plain strange people, I want to grab them by the collar -assuming they have one- and say, “Who the hell are you and what have you done with my city?” I never do, and now I avoid the city like the plague…

    Oh, remind me to tell you about the occasion when a BART ride from Daly City to downtown, took longer than if we had driven. Not to mention the “homeless” person literally camping on the train…

    • #14
  15. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    GeezerBob (View Comment):

    As a native San Franciscan (1941, if you must know), when I return to The City, I walk around downtown and hear all the less than competent street musicians and see the pan handlers (one memorable guy kept it simple. he had a sign that said, “F*** You! Gimme a buck.) and the homeless and derelicts and just plain strange people, I want to grab them by the collar -assuming they have one- and say, “Who the hell are you and what have you done with my city?” I never do, and now I avoid the city like the plague…

    Oh, remind me to tell you about the occasion when a BART ride from Daly City to downtown, took longer than if we had driven. Not to mention the “homeless” person literally camping on the train…

    I watched that film San Francisco for the first time a couple of months ago. Sounds like an earthquake and a devastating fire would be an improvement.

    • #15
  16. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    I was there once, in the late 90s, on a work trip. Did a lot of touristy stuff in the late afternoon/evenings and noticed a few rather sketchy activities going on. No desire to ever go back.

    • #16
  17. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):
    earthquake and a devastating fire would be an improvement.

    It would be a catastrophe for other cities out of the earthquake zone. Just as Hurricane Katrina damned Houston to permanent leftist rule with the massive influx of long-term poor/ welfare refugees from New Orleans, Phoenix and Arizona would be permanently infected with leftism following a massive “compassionate” transfer of “homeless” from San Francisco.

    • #17
  18. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    We took the Hillsdale cruise to Hawaii round trip from SF in 2018. I noticed that the water in SF Bay is filthy too. 

    • #18
  19. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    San Francisco was truly the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen.  And the culture.  The Symphony! The artists: Menuhin, Stern, Perlman, Rostropovich! The Opera House!  Then Davies Hall!  The food!  Tadich Grill was my favorite.  Other than that, too many even to try to mention.  Golden Gate Park, the zoo, the aquarium, the arboretum, The Presidio, Golden Gate Bridge.  The Palace of the Legion of Honor, Coit Tower, the Balclutha, Fishermen’s Wharf, the Maritime Museum . . .  Oh, yeah.  The Giants, the 49’ers . . .

    Mrs. QuietPI lived in The City in the 50’s and 60’s, before we met.  They had a tradition of visiting The City during Christmas Season.  After we met, I became a regular guest.  Then it was Magic.  The Lights, the display windows in the downtown, especially around Union Square.  The stores themselves were wonders to behold.  But the giant Christmas tree in the City of Paris was the star.  The special stores:  Podesta-Baldocchi.  The Marina.  The Nutcracker like no other at the Opera House.  The day was always concluded with a hot fudge sundae, first at a restaurant on Union Square.  Then when it closed, we moved the celebration to Ghiradelli Square.  No more.  

    I had to go there on business a few years ago.  Avoiding the filth and the needles the best we could, we couldn’t avoid the adult male on the other side of the street, wearing a miniskirt, flashing men as they walked past.  Just another day in the neighborhood.

    • #19
  20. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Retail Lawyer is right.  When the Navy sent me to SF in 1973 I thought I was in heaven. Now more like purgatory and trending south.  Just hope the real estate values stay high for a year or two before I can make my escape.  But the restaurants did open today for the first time; limited seating naturally.  Slivers of hope: recall election of Gov. French Laundry and a likely recall of the Soros D.A.  But likely not enough to turn things around. 

    • #20
  21. Ammo.com Member
    Ammo.com
    @ammodotcom

    American Abroad (View Comment):

    To some degree, San Francisco and Seattle can afford to be stupid in a way that Detroit and Chicago cannot. I can put up with a whole lot of wokeness and moderate amounts of street feces and discarded needles if I get amazing mountain vistas and classics like the Golden Gate Bridge. Like San Francisco and Seattle, Chicago and Detroit are poorly governed, but that beautiful Midwestern weather is much less attractive than the west coast. Unfortunately, I see San Francisco being attractive enough to support bad policies for a while.

    I agree with this. It’ll bottom out at the point when literally anyone who is able to pay property taxes is too terrified of getting murdered, but that’ll take a while longer.

    • #21
  22. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Thanks to the Covid pandemic, I have not stepped foot in Seattle for over a year.  It’s bad enough watching the riots on TV, and reading all the stories of mayhem and destruction.  But the people of Seattle got the government they elected, and people are not abandoning the city in droves yet.

    There is a story in the news today that the synagogue my sister attends in Bellevue will be hosting Tent City IV, a big homeless encampment, on their lawn for three months.  Yes, they have been invited.  I hope she likes the new sights from the sanctuary.

    • #22
  23. Michael Powell Inactive
    Michael Powell
    @Michael Powell

    American Abroad (View Comment):

    To some degree, San Francisco and Seattle can afford to be stupid in a way that Detroit and Chicago cannot. I can put up with a whole lot of wokeness and moderate amounts of street feces and discarded needles if I get amazing mountain vistas and classics like the Golden Gate Bridge. Like San Francisco and Seattle, Chicago and Detroit are poorly governed, but that beautiful Midwestern weather is much less attractive than the west coast. Unfortunately, I see San Francisco being attractive enough to support bad policies for a while.

    What if everyone else has left though? That’s what has made it so jarring.

    • #23
  24. Michael Powell Inactive
    Michael Powell
    @Michael Powell

    Retail Lawyer (View Comment):

    A critical mass of San Francisco voters are not rooted in the City – they were not born or raised there, and don’t plan on staying there too long. It has been a theme park for young adults for the last 30 years. So they vote in policies that are experimental. How bad could it be? “I’m still having fun”, they say. Then they age out and move.

    Now it is so bad it is loosing its status as a premier young adult theme park. It is too dangerous, disgusting, and expensive to sustain the scene of just a few years ago. The “Google Buses” taking workers from homes in the Mission District to the suburbs where they actually work will decline. So at least San Francisco is somehow evolving.

    It is awful for someone rooted in San Francisco to watch this play out.

    This is one of the best explanations I’ve ever heard. I knew a lot of people who lived there in their early 20s … temporarily. They all moved on to somewhere else. If you told them at the time that they’d grew up and move on from everything they were talking at the time, they’d have told to F off though.

    • #24
  25. Cosmik Phred Member
    Cosmik Phred
    @CosmikPhred

    I lived in Oakland for 25+ years and worked in The City – as it is known – for 20.  Homelessness, pan handling, general skeevy-ness had always been an issue, but really accelerated after Occupy happened.  All around the Bay Area, the demographics of the off ramp/stop light panhandlers changed to strung out white folks.  The tent encampments multiplied in SF, Oaktown, Berkeley and our so-called leaders “compassionately” enabled them.

    Year after year we paid our property taxes, saw our streets crumble, the “sidewalk community” squalor got worse, crime increased, watched parking disappear in our shopping districts for Go-Bikes, and road diets in a growing city – Yay! Bike lanes! Parcel tax initiatives would pass to fully staff the police and then…Bueller?  Bueller?

    Year after year I’d see politicians chasing the latest city planning fads, ignore basic services and livability.  Eventually, you learn obeying the rules is for chumps and you’re just a source of revenue.

    And if you can no longer enjoy your neighborhood restaurants and shops due to COVID…you bail.  Unfortunately, our departure didn’t punish the city or county.  They get to enjoy the 25 years of property appreciation with the new assessment. Oh well.

    • #25
  26. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Cosmik Phred (View Comment):

    I lived in Oakland for 25+ years and worked in The City – as it is known – for 20. Homelessness, pan handling, general skeevy-ness had always been an issue, but really accelerated after Occupy happened. All around the Bay Area, the demographics of the off ramp/stop light panhandlers changed to strung out white folks. The tent encampments multiplied in SF, Oaktown, Berkeley and our so-called leaders “compassionately” enabled them.

    Year after year we paid our property taxes, saw our streets crumble, the “sidewalk community” squalor got worse, crime increased, watched parking disappear in our shopping districts for Go-Bikes, and road diets in a growing city – Yay! Bike lanes! Parcel tax initiatives would pass to fully staff the police and then…Bueller? Bueller?

    Year after year I’d see politicians chasing the latest city planning fads, ignore basic services and livability. Eventually, you learn obeying the rules is for chumps and you’re just a source of revenue.

    And if you can no longer enjoy your neighborhood restaurants and shops due to COVID…you bail. Unfortunately, our departure didn’t punish the city or county. They get to enjoy the 25 years of property appreciation with the new assessment. Oh well.

    So where you off to Cosmik? Also looking for alternatives.  Oregon and Washington too close to Portland and Seattle.  Nevada too hot. Will await your suggestions. 

    • #26
  27. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Cosmik Phred (View Comment):

    I lived in Oakland for 25+ years and worked in The City – as it is known – for 20. Homelessness, pan handling, general skeevy-ness had always been an issue, but really accelerated after Occupy happened. All around the Bay Area, the demographics of the off ramp/stop light panhandlers changed to strung out white folks. The tent encampments multiplied in SF, Oaktown, Berkeley and our so-called leaders “compassionately” enabled them.

    Year after year we paid our property taxes, saw our streets crumble, the “sidewalk community” squalor got worse, crime increased, watched parking disappear in our shopping districts for Go-Bikes, and road diets in a growing city – Yay! Bike lanes! Parcel tax initiatives would pass to fully staff the police and then…Bueller? Bueller?

    Year after year I’d see politicians chasing the latest city planning fads, ignore basic services and livability. Eventually, you learn obeying the rules is for chumps and you’re just a source of revenue.

    And if you can no longer enjoy your neighborhood restaurants and shops due to COVID…you bail. Unfortunately, our departure didn’t punish the city or county. They get to enjoy the 25 years of property appreciation with the new assessment. Oh well.

    So where you off to Cosmik? Also looking for alternatives. Oregon and Washington too close to Portland and Seattle. Nevada too hot. Will await your suggestions.

    When we were looking to relocate, the only reason we didn’t do Wyoming was that our children were in Houston & Ft. Lauderdale – which is also where our grandkids were – and it’s just too much of a trip for the Floridians.

    • #27
  28. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Join the group “Conservative Migration” if you are relocating or contemplating it. Brian Watt did a great post with lots of links. 

    • #28
  29. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Chuck (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Cosmik Phred (View Comment):

    I lived in Oakland for 25+ years and worked in The City – as it is known – for 20. Homelessness, pan handling, general skeevy-ness had always been an issue, but really accelerated after Occupy happened. All around the Bay Area, the demographics of the off ramp/stop light panhandlers changed to strung out white folks. The tent encampments multiplied in SF, Oaktown, Berkeley and our so-called leaders “compassionately” enabled them.

    Year after year we paid our property taxes, saw our streets crumble, the “sidewalk community” squalor got worse, crime increased, watched parking disappear in our shopping districts for Go-Bikes, and road diets in a growing city – Yay! Bike lanes! Parcel tax initiatives would pass to fully staff the police and then…Bueller? Bueller?

    Year after year I’d see politicians chasing the latest city planning fads, ignore basic services and livability. Eventually, you learn obeying the rules is for chumps and you’re just a source of revenue.

    And if you can no longer enjoy your neighborhood restaurants and shops due to COVID…you bail. Unfortunately, our departure didn’t punish the city or county. They get to enjoy the 25 years of property appreciation with the new assessment. Oh well.

    So where you off to Cosmik? Also looking for alternatives. Oregon and Washington too close to Portland and Seattle. Nevada too hot. Will await your suggestions.

    When we were looking to relocate, the only reason we didn’t do Wyoming was that our children were in Houston & Ft. Lauderdale – which is also where our grandkids were – and it’s just too much of a trip for the Floridians.

    So one in SF, leaving  him behind; other two in Denver and Nashville.  Tough choices.  

    • #29
  30. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Cosmik Phred (View Comment):

    I lived in Oakland for 25+ years and worked in The City – as it is known – for 20. Homelessness, pan handling, general skeevy-ness had always been an issue, but really accelerated after Occupy happened. All around the Bay Area, the demographics of the off ramp/stop light panhandlers changed to strung out white folks. The tent encampments multiplied in SF, Oaktown, Berkeley and our so-called leaders “compassionately” enabled them.

    Year after year we paid our property taxes, saw our streets crumble, the “sidewalk community” squalor got worse, crime increased, watched parking disappear in our shopping districts for Go-Bikes, and road diets in a growing city – Yay! Bike lanes! Parcel tax initiatives would pass to fully staff the police and then…Bueller? Bueller?

    Year after year I’d see politicians chasing the latest city planning fads, ignore basic services and livability. Eventually, you learn obeying the rules is for chumps and you’re just a source of revenue.

    And if you can no longer enjoy your neighborhood restaurants and shops due to COVID…you bail. Unfortunately, our departure didn’t punish the city or county. They get to enjoy the 25 years of property appreciation with the new assessment. Oh well.

    So where you off to Cosmik? Also looking for alternatives. Oregon and Washington too close to Portland and Seattle. Nevada too hot. Will await your suggestions.

    When we were looking to relocate, the only reason we didn’t do Wyoming was that our children were in Houston & Ft. Lauderdale – which is also where our grandkids were – and it’s just too much of a trip for the Floridians.

    So one in SF, leaving him behind; other two in Denver and Nashville. Tough choices.

    Yes, they are.  (Not  that its what I’m predicting for you, but in our case when we moved we left one son behind:  He married, had a son – and moved up here right behind us. God is good.)

    • #30