'Am I in the bad part of town?' Tourists shocked by what they see on San Francisco streets
It's something many San Franciscans see on a daily basis, outside their homes or offices and during their commutes. For better or for worse, locals are used to walking by crime scenes, have seen open injection drug use, and have witnessed mental health episodes firsthand.Related:
But when a tourist lands at SFO, guidebook in hand, that reality can be shocking.
"Is this normal or am I in a 'bad part of town?' Just walked past numerous homeless off their faces, screaming and running all over the sidewalk near Twitter HQ and then a murder scene. Wife is scared to leave hotel now," wrote an Australian Reddit user Wednesday.
That person isn't alone. On Sunday, another tourist from Canada asked the San Francisco Reddit community, "Why is this city so terrifying?"
"I'd been there for probably less than a day, just wandering around the center, and already seen more than enough poverty and suffering to cause me wanting to leave desperately," wrote another visitor from London in 2017. "I saw many people talking to themselves, or to things that weren't there. Even in a Macy's, and there weren't any police officers to help them or do anything about it."
Anyone who has hosted friends or family from out of town may have had to field similar questions.
Just those three Reddit posts garnered more than 650 comments, many of which were helpful suggestions (other neighborhoods to explore, safety tips, and more).
But the city's own visitors' bureau is struggling to come up with a good explanation for horrified tourists....MORE
So, What's New In Silicon Valley?
From the San Francisco Chroicle
"Palo Alto pastor resigns after nasty tweets about city: 'An elitist sh-- den of hate"
Huh, same 'ol, same 'ol.
San Francisco: "UN expert decries homeless conditions in Bay Area as ‘cruel,’ ‘unacceptable’"
You may have seen the story.
The UN's special rapporteur on Adequate Housing has been jet-setting around, Mexico City, Mumbai, S.F., documenting what she sees:
“In Mexico City, I visited a low-income settlement that had been moved by the city onto empty land near a railway line,” [Farha] said. “They had no running water. They stole electricity.” The camp was noisy and dangerous. She noted that the camp in Mexico is virtually identical to those she visited in Oakland, including the Wood Street and 23rd Avenue encampments....The above snip is from the East Bay Express reprinted in Curbed San Francisco.
Curbed has had one of the most impressive series on the situation of any major media.
There's the January 22 piece we used for the headline which wraps up with:
After her trip to the Bay, Farha headed out to assess conditions in LA, an errand she told the East Bay Express she dreaded after observing encampments here.Additionally they had coverage a week later with "How SF tourism industry deals with the homeless crisis":
“I actually think it’s the worst it’s ever been”
February 12's "San Francisco backs new law to intervene with severe homeless population":
“This is a public health issue and needs to be treated as such”
February 19's "Some SF streets filthier than world’s poorest slums, says UC Berkeley professor"
So kudos to Curbed.
Someone else who's been pointing out various aspects of the culture that is San Francisco is Elaine Ou who we linked to last summer in: San Francisco's Dirty Little Secret
And again in November's "Elaine Would Prefer That Amazon Not Move to San Francisco (AMZN)".
As I noted the first time we linked to the Curbed headliner:
It's a deliberate policy decision by the municipal and county government. More on that point next month....Still not ready to do that but I thought we should update with the nod to Curbed. And earlier:
Bonhams Auctioneers Has Allegedly Installed Sprinklers To Douse Homeless Outside the Building
It seems they got the idea from the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
Now, the auctioneers may think they are offering the homeless a cool, refreshing shower but boy the optics are bad.
From Curbed San Francisco:
SF Luxury Auction House Allegedly Turns Sprinklers on Homeless [Update]
...Using a sprinkler system to remove homeless people from structures is not a new idea. In 2015, the San Francisco Roman Catholic Archdiocese got into hot water after it was discovered that they were using sprinklers to regularly douse people camping overnight in the doorways of St. Mary’s Cathedral....When youv'e lost the Catholics...