sf natives

Bay Area Gothic

So I did it for reals:

  • The apartment upstairs is empty. Nobody ever rents it. You are grateful, you hate having people live above you. But every Sunday night the smells of cooking waft down from the upstairs kitchen, situated right above yours, and you can hear faint footsteps above your head. The scents of stir fry and curry are almost delicious, but are just a little bit…wrong. Too sharp. Too gamey. “Nobody lives up there, the power isn’t even on,” the landlady tells you, but she drops her eyes from yours as she says it.

  • Silicone Valley used to be known for its cherry trees, before the area became the playground for rich tech companies. Almost all the cherry trees are gone now, though, except for one small grove left in the heart of Sunnyvale. It’s marked with stern “No Trespassing” and “Don’t Pick the Cherries” signs, but every now and then someone ignores them and picks some cherries for themselves. And when they eat them, all sweet-tart and red and juicy, just like cherries should be, they find that nothing else ever tastes quite right again.

  • The alleys in Chinatown wind in strange angles around the neighborhood. Close to the streets they’re safe, but the further back in you go, the darker they get and the taller the buildings loom. If you keep pushing on they become damp and narrow and dark and all start to look the same. When you finally decide to backtrack you come to intersections you don’t remember passing through and turns you don’t remember taking. You speed up nervously, and start to hear snippets of noise from just around the corners: an argument in Chinese, the sound of burning, gunfire and shouts, music. The few electric lights grow dimmer and smaller and finally give way to lanterns and lamps, and the graffiti gives way to hand-posted bills that look like they date back to before 1800, but that’s not possible, is it? No, of course not. You keep pressing on, hoping to find a way out.

  • You can rent the old officers’ quarters on the Presidio now. They are extravagantly expensive and have a waiting list a mile long, but you can do it. They also have salt on all of the doorways and window sills to keep out the bloody ghosts that wander whispering and sobbing around the immaculately manicured grounds when the fog rolls in at night, silent and thick. Nobody leaves their expensive Presidio homes in the fog.

  • You can’t walk across the Golden Gate Bridge after dark. Not anymore. They close off the pedestrian and bike paths at dusk. Now nobody ever hears how the bridge sings at night, a low, soulful dirge that you only start to hear when you’re about halfway across, a song that burrows into your mind seeking your fears and when it finds them it squeezes

  • “Fisherman’s Wharf is a tourist trap,” any SF native will tell you with disdain. “I wouldn’t be caught dead there.” So who, you wonder, are the people who run the booths and stores and restaurants on the Wharf? Who are they, with such pale, mottled skin and dark eyes that never smile?

  • Fun Tourist Fact: You can smell the sea from everywhere along the peninsula! No need to even open your windows, the smell is always there, an undertone of dark salt and damp rocks. You can burn candles, you can spray air freshener, you can even burn your nose away with bleach and the smell will always be there. Always.

  • Some of the giant redwoods in the Muir Woods have large gaps in them, large enough for a person to stand in. They make great photo ops: look at me, I’m standing in a tree. In one of the trees, though, the one that’s fenced off, the gap is particularly large, and it looks like it goes back deeper than you’d think. It’s dark in there, and fragrant with the smell of redwood and earth and growing things, and as you walk further in you could swear you hear music–flutes? What is that?–from somewhere up ahead.
Gentrification has hurt native Oakland & SF residents for years and now it's boiling over.

The tragedy of the Ghost Ship fire is a continuation of the struggles for affordable housing and against the various kinds of violence that are destroying the city.
It’s not just a party gone wrong. Not stupid kids getting what’s coming to them.

Oakland isn’t the only city around here with a housing crisis. Alameda County has declared an official housing state of emergency. Many people in Oakland literally cannot afford to move because entire of the Bay Area is in crisis. Sometimes your only options are the car, the street, an actual closet, or an empty warehouse.

Oakland has a serious violence problem. And it’s not just the over-reported gun crime perpetrated by Black & Latino men. It’s White criminal violence. It’s the racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism that result in such high rates of homeless & abused people. It’s the capitalists’ complete lack of concern for workers’ safety and well-being. It’s the gentrification spreading through the Bay like a toxic mold.

I can’t really express the sadness and fear I’m feeling as updates continue to come in. My thoughts & prayers are with all those affected. I hope you can get some kind of peace.

Please keep this whole region in your hearts & minds, in addition to the victims. As winter and Trump’s inauguration comes closer, things will only get worse for those without housing security.


A friend of mine posted this kickstarter on Facebook and I have been MOVED. The “Last Black Man in San Francisco” is about gentrification and the black experience in San Francisco. Although I cannot speak on the black experience, the gentrification of SF has been a large part of my life and something I am constantly thinking about. I am beyond excited to see to see native San Franciscans using the media of film to express our culture and our obstacles! I am not involved in any way, shape, or form, I just really want this movie to be made so I can watch it every night and have a good cry. Is that too much to ask? 

Here’s the link to kickstarter:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joeandjimmie/last-black-man-in-san-francisco

give them some moneeeyyys!

anonymous asked:

SF Native here. :) How did you come to love the Giants?

Buster Posey saved my life when I fell off a tree a few years back, catching me with his strong catcher arms and amazing reflexes. I’ve been a Giants fan ever since.*

*JKJKJK. It was early 2010, I was already following a couple of teams, trying to figure out how baseball worked (I still don’t know how baseball works tbh lmao) when I saw a random game with the Giants playing. I fell in love with the team on the spot (I think I said something along the lines of ‘WOW, THEIR LOGO IS COOL. I THINK I SHOULD CHEER FOR THIS TEAM’ which is the dumbest reason ever to root for a team), didn’t realise these goofs were going to win the WS and I’ve been cheering/crying for them since.