Many of us have been strolling down a pleasant street, enjoying the twilight settling over Victorian facades in our charming city– only to turn a corner and suddenly feel in need of a Tazer. San Francisco is a changeling: Even in the same zip code, we can experience radically different neighborhoods, each with unique, and occasionally terrifying, personality.
Socio-economic stratification, drug use, sex trade: agreed, these are all unfortunate components of a modern metropolis. However, I’ve noticed it seems to be getting worse, rather than better, and I do not think this is something we should so willingly accept as “a sign of the times.” Riding my bike through Sharon Meadows on Sunday is like joining the cast of Night of the Living Dead. Things aren’t much better on Stanyan either; despite being an entrance to one of the city’s most revered attractions (for tourists and residents alike), this area of the Golden Gate Park is trashed: litter everywhere, dog crap, people lying around scaring the hell out of me…
It’s not just the park, not just the Haight. It’s also the Tenderloin, and slowly, steadily, more and more of the streets around it (an area San Francisco Citizen calls “The Flank”). It’s lots of SOMA, even though we hoped the new construction projects would change that. It’s parts of Bernal, parts of the Mission, parts of Western Addition, Glen Park, Potrero. Union Square’s pretty disgusting too, since stepping over urine soaked homeless does not make me feel too great about shopping at Macy’s.
So well known are these areas that pizza delivery services won’t visit them. Witness SF Eater’s article on Amici’s delivery map:
“You’ll note, of course, the conspicuous no-fly zone assigned to the Western Addition, but also the after-dark ban around the Tenderloin and SoMa (sorry Mint Plaza, you’re SOL post-sunset). So many questions here: When delivering from the Lombard branch to the Lower Haight, do they take Fillmore down? Must one order a pizza to the corner of Divis and Geary? And what led to the all-hours embargo of just the Western Addition?”
Well, geez. I dunno. Homicides, maybe? I just wonder what kind of “sign of the times” it really is when a pizza restaurant has to make its own kind of safety, a protection the city seems unable to offer.