We've been hearing mutterings of discontent about the grumpy little piece in the Economist online. Seems someone British wanted to visit San Francisco (the fifth and sixth words in the piece are interminable queue so yes, the unidentified author is British) and probably told someone they wanted to be in the middle of where it's happening and got dropped in The Mission on Valencia and 22nd Street in front of Boogaloo's. Which is so the epicenter of everything San Franciscan. Subtitled The strange half-recovery of California's prettiest city, the writer seems to think that the current economy should mimic the dot-com boom of ten years ago, citing 12% fewer jobs. Yes, but now you can actually find an apartment to rent. Lots of dot-commers who left did things like go to graduate school somewhere else; they were not natives, but young, intelligent and mobile, unlike the Detroit auto-industry worker they're compared to.
Like other big cities, it is being abandoned by blacksWe're not sure what that sweeping generalisation means exactly, but lots of blacks in the southern neighborhoods have taken advantage of high home prices to cash in and move to the suburbs- to much bigger houses and better schools.Talented people are not always rich, and San Francisco is in danger of losing those who are not to less fashionable places. Alameda County, which includes scruffy Oakland, attracted 40,000 people with bachelors degrees between 2000 and 2005, according to the census—three times as many as San FranciscoScruffy Oakland is just across the Bay, you twit. People can afford to live there and take BART. It's not like they've decamped to Boise. And yes. no one does much manufacturing here anymore. We've barely begun cleaning up the past 150 years worth. But what is alive and prospering are local sustainable food businesses. Yes, the hospitality business is "in fine fettle" in part because of the success of the food and wine enterprises that started in the 1970's, but that seems to be beneath the writer's notice. They're content to let San Francisco be compared to Monte Carlo, that haven for reprobate upper-class British sons, gamblers and tax exiles from all over. People don't go to Monte Carlo to eat. Which brings us back to the line at Boogaloo's. Some of the problems cited in the article sound like other places with good food: London, Paris, New York, Rome. Blame the cooks. Or get something to eat before sitting down to quote a special-interest group like the National Association of Home Builders.
· City in a Bottle [The Economist]