california

SF gentrification debate

I wade into this topic wearily, but I do love my new city, even in the moments where it drifts from critically self-aware to navel gazing. Ian S. Port’s July 17 review of the media coverage of the gentrification debate included this nugget discussing Ilan Greenberg’s angle on the topic:

[W]hat’s happening here isn’t gentrification at all, but merely middle-class residents using the word to conceal discomfort over richer people coming in and ruining their good time. Greenberg argued that neighborhoods like the Mission are already long gentrified, and that the Againsts are a simply bourgeois class with access to the media, who are ignoring the plight of the genuinely poor out of worry for themselves. “In San Francisco, anti-gentrification is a progressive cause to save financially viable people … from losing their lease on a rental property in an already gentrified neighborhood,” Greenberg wrote, with the emotional detachment of an outsider. “In the best of times, it’s hard to envision a lot of people shaking the rafters for this one.”

In a city that has long enjoyed significantly higher median household incomes than the rest of California and the nation, this has a ring of truth to it.

Office Cocktails

I like pretty much everything <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/inkvision/">Paula Wirth</a> puts up on Flickr, but this afternoon I could do well with a dive like Scolari's Office in <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=3936+30th+St.,+in+North+Park,+San+Diego,+CA&ll=32.749204,-117.130265&spn=0.019996,0.054073">San Diego</a>. But, that's probably because it mixes “office” and “cocktails” in the sort of way that has anonymous tipsters slipping photocopies of the alcohol policy from our HR handbook under my office door. Eh, here's to happy hour. » about 100 words

Barstow California

What didn’t work out because of our problems with the hotel was our drive to Barstow to see Sandee’s friend Joanne.

I don’t know much about the town, but Wikipedia told me to look out for the original Del Taco, Rainbow Basin Natural Area (site not loading now, try this instead), Calico Ghost Town, and the old Solar One solar energy generating experiment. Along the road, however, is the the World’s Tallest Thermometer, in Baker, California.

The Livermore Centennial Bulb

Treehugger alerted me to the rather surprising story of this light bulb, burning continuously since 1901. Yeah, at least that’s the story here, at the Centennial Light Bulb Committee’s website (a partnership of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, Livermore Heritage Guild, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, and Sandia National Laboratories). The bulb is said to have been […] » about 200 words

Braving Home

Jake Halpern’s Braving Home (also in softcover) easily took my interest. Here’s how John Moe described it for Amazon.com: As a cub reporter at The New Republic, Jake Halpern earned the unofficial job title of Bad Homes Correspondent. Braving Home tells his stories of places where people really ought not live and the people who […] » about 500 words