I know there are a number of writers who are getting these messages and now I need some help from you.
The big story is how Beaux Arts was one of the first cultural institutions to be shut down. Your shutdown came about early but the damage and the shutdown of arts and culture is now universal. San Francisco culture is pretty much on life support. More on that later.
I have my theories on why Beaux Arts was one of the first, but, you who stayed there should be better qualified to answer that question. How do you explain a city that kills the independent artists at Beaux Arts and embraces the international fame of Dali? Or did I just answer my own question? Is it all about embracing money and fame?
Maybe someone has already written this story. If so let me know. Our concerns about the culture are much broader than just art and creative endeavors.
What spurred this request is my concern that San Francisco’s fresh produce stands in the Mission District and most of our ethnic neighborhoods are at risk due to the extreme anti-car policies that are making it difficult to deliver fresh produce.
I was shocked by the lack of fresh produce stands that were left in St. Petersburg the last time I was there. Does anyone know how they disappeared? I would like to know if any of the issues that killed yours are at play in San Francisco. We are literally looking at a fresh food deprivation situation that is being exacerbated by the anti-car mania at City Hall. Eliminating produce shops in San Francisco will kill the small farms that are providing the produce to them. This also applies to the cafes and restaurants serving local food that San Francisco is famous for. Killing our traditional food sources would usher in a new wave of formula retail that many neighborhoods are fighting against.
For anyone who is not aware, the Interior Department threw out a huge Oyster Farm that reportedly supplied 40% of California’s fresh oysters, claiming that the farm was an environmental hazard to the area. Oysters clean the water. They do not soil it. Now the state is considering how to “develop” the area. Across the street from the Oyster farm there is an organic beef farm. Wait till they close that. Less organic beef will drive the costs of beef up. During a drought, the ocean side grass grows because of the fog. No need to irrigate. Perfect place to produce food. This is why many people around the area are up in arms with the government.
I am working with SF merchant groups to warn people and we are hoping to turn that around during the next election. Many of us feel this is the last stand. In November we either win or lose the heart and soul of San Francisco.
We have many examples and sites about the vestiges of our fading San Francisco culture, and the fight to salvage it, but the following video by a New Yorker explains our situation really well:
Just watch a few of the first minutes of this video if you don’t have time to watch any more. He goes into a lot of economic theories etc. later in the tape if you are interested and have the time.
Douglas Rushkoff Deconstructs the Digital Economy
New Yorker writer who used to come to San Francisco for respite from the Wall Street rat race comments on how tech has sucked the soul out of San Francisco.
Douglas Rushkoof : 92Y (video) part of the transcript below…
In my early writing days I would go to SF to find out what‚s happening next and get this sort of spiritual, deeply humanistic recharge and then come to New York and argue why all these great things are going to happen and how human potential is gonna∑ and I would be arguing against publishers who would just laugh me out of the room.
I remember my first book on San Francisco internet culture, it got canceled in 1992 because the publisher thought the internet would be over by 1993 when the book would come out. And they saw those crazy San Francisco people and their peace and love stuff.
And I was out there for a week, and there was really not a vestige of that sensibility. If anything it felt to me, this New Yorker was going to San Francisco to remind them of the humanity underneath these technologies and the possibility for peer to peer interaction and all that. And it is strange.
And now I come back to New York and you would think, oh here it‚s this New York thing and we are in the Bloomberg Bubble and all, and∑ it‚s very relaxing for me. It‚s a strange sort of homecoming. And you would think, this is Wall Street, that this would be the more severe place. And it‚s actually the opposite. And I don‚t know quite how I‚m going to deal with that.
I guess I should be glad I didn‚t move out. I stayed and you know if you wait long enough, you end up in the human place∑
What‚s going on there, it‚s in the title of the book. it was really crystallized by my twitter stream when I saw that people were laying in front of the buses that Google was using to transport its workers from San Francisco to the Google place down in Mountain View… (more)
– Douglas Rushkoof
More later. Just need some help figuring this out. What are root causes are to fight the cultures we love. All Theories welcome.