Sunday, November 30, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO: A CHARDONNAY, SUSHI, AND BRIE KIND OF PLACE

Portsmouth Square didn't used to have speed freaks. Yet one afternoon recently I saw several tweaked out individuals, as well as two people exchanging white powder of a soluble rather than sniffable appearance.
Of course, the twitchy folks COULD have been jangly from too much Starbucks. Or not enough nicotine. And the powder changing hands MIGHT have been some much-needed laundry detergent.


I've remarked before that San Francisco has other priorities than the upkeep and maintenance of a neighborhood filled with poor folks who don't individually contribute much to re-election war chests.
But given that Chinatown is one of the main tourist draws in this whore of a city -- responsible, indirectly, for millions spent on food, lodging, and crappy souvenirs -- one might think that it would behoove the City Hall Mandarins to have more foot patrols and streetsweepers in the neighborhood.

Should I also mention that for want of a better place, or any place at all, little children play there? And that it would be a horrible public relations disaster if one of those crazies, dysfunctionals, or whacked-out street psychos interacted "badly" with a child?

What about if some little old granny gets beaten-up for her gin-rummy money by an unwashed alcoholic?

Yeah, I know that the authorities just love the fact that some of the worst of the unhoused hide out in Chinatown. Instead of Union Square, where they would fuel shopkeeper complaints. Or solidly middle-class areas, where the resident white folks would kick up a monumental fuss.
Poor immigrant Chinese are well-known for not acting up.
Or trying to get bureaucratic attention.

I should also point out that none of the crackheads, threatening thug-lumps, and psychopaths in Washington Square is Chinese. Several are white, a few are black, and one or two are Filipino or Mexican.
All of them treat the locals and the neighborhood with contempt.
They aren't the colourful Chinese the tourists expect to see.
Plus almost to a man (or woman) they smell bad.
And use the street as their toilet.


Perhaps its time that we looked after our own, instead of pandering to the tech-industry and the out-of-town interests.




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Several years ago I had a coworker down the peninsula who would leave work related voicemails on people's answering machines all weekend...