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Curbed SF: The Second Coming

Oh yes, we so went there. We totally did. Surprise, San Francisco! Welcome to the new Curbed SF. I’m your new Editor, Sarah Hromack, and while I am not an architect, agent, or planner, I am a cultural critic who is captivated by the ever-changing landscape of the city I call home. Philip Ferrato, our founding editor, hasn’t left the building; he now enjoys roaming about as Editor-at-Large. Change is nigh, and yet our obsessions remain constant.

Food, clothing, and shelter: these are the basic staples of human sustenance, and yet they are produced and consumed through an extraordinarily complicated process. The desire to own a home of one’s own forms the cornerstone of the quintessential “American dream.” That simple wish, however, has evolved (devolved?) in to a full-blown fantasy, a fantastic orgy of frantic home tours and finish fixations, neighborhood watch groups and city zoning boards. Craigslist. The MLS. Eichler. Permits, sustainability, and celebrity agents. Starchitecture! When did house hunting become so damn dramatic?

Architecture, real estate, and city living have launched their own cottage porn industry and we, dear readers, are unabashedly addicted. Admit it, pervs: so are you.

San Francisco is blowing up! The housing market has gone apeshit, and yet construction soldiers on. A wave—no, a tsunami—of green has washed over our city recently, as a stream of conferences, exhibitions, and lectures drenched us with buckets full of recycled water (with a few splinters of reclaimed driftwood thrown in—just to keep those hearts bleeding, you know?).

With change brings public speculation, dialogue, and even outrage. While we love a good rant about gentrification, we have elected to do away with the vagaries and instead expose these new developments for what they are: pure urban spectacle. Watch out developers, as we'll be operating guerilla style! Expect to read the facts—and the gossip, natch—as we hover around construction sites, honing in on the glitches and absurdities that muck up these best laid plans. Follow us as we stalk the city that we love the most, and who knows? The next time you find yourself bitching about the new box 'o condos on the block, you might actually sound like you know something!


— Sarah