"For decades, this coruscating city of hills, bordered by water on three sides, was a beloved haven for reinvention, a refuge for immigrants, bohemians, artists and outcasts. It was the great American romantic city, the Paris of the West.
No longer. In a time of scarce consensus, everyone agrees that something has rotted in San Francisco.
Conservatives have long loathed it as the axis of liberal politics and political correctness, but now progressives are carping, too. They mourn it for what has been lost, a city that long welcomed everyone and has been altered by an earthquake of wealth. It is a place that people disparage constantly, especially residents.
Real estate is the nation’s costliest. Listings read like typos, a median $1.6 million for a single-family home and $3,700 monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment.
“This is unregulated capitalism, unbridled capitalism, capitalism run amok. There are no guardrails,” says Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff, a fourth-generation San Franciscan who in a TV interview branded his city “a train wreck.”"
“What I wanted was this flow of humanity and culture,” says editor and former nonprofit executive Julie Levak-Madding, who manages the VanishingSF page on Facebook, documenting the “hyper-gentrifiction” of her city. “It’s so devastating to a huge amount of the population.”
To many inhabitants, San Francisco has become unrecognizable in a decade, as though it had gone on a cosmetic surgery bender.
“I can’t tell you the number of friends who tell me how much they hate San Francisco,” says former city supervisor Jane Kim. Which is something given that she ran for mayor in the 2018 special election. (Kim came in third.) “They say it’s too homogenous.”
Too homogenous. Too expensive. Too tech. Too millennial. Too white. Too elite. Too bro."
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