Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Road trip Denver to San Francisco, The Last Post, San Francisco and a few outakes from along the way, By David Keegan
As a regular visitor to San Francisco over the last 20 years I had very mixed feeling upon my return this trip. Although there has always been evidence of a small number of people living on the streets of San Francisco, similar to all western cities, this seems to have increased now to almost epidemic proportions. It was virtually impossible to venture down any street without evidence of either homeless, or the mentally unwell, camped out and living on the streets. I was also reliably informed that many more are camped out in the inner reaches of Golden Gate Park. Driving along its fringes I also witnessed signs of people living in camper vans and some in cars. The problem is apparently in large part due to the influx of silicone valley types with very deeps pockets who have pushed up the value of real estate so significantly that rents are now at a level where long term renters, or the regularly employed, can no longer afford them.
As a further consequence you may have read recently about the problems with Air B&B in San Francisco. Basically renters have been letting out the flats they rent for anything up to 2 weeks of the month just so they can make the rent, and by so doing maintain their flat/home for the other 2 weeks of the month. The state is now looking to introduce legislation to make this practice illegal. Meanwhile due to generous schemes set up by local government in an effort to alleviate the problem, it instead seems to have made it worse by attracting the homeless from other states, where benefits and help is less generous. Coupled with this the shortage of homes is only exacerbating the problem, and although new condos are being built they will not arrive at a rate, or price, that will avoid disaster. The situation is about to get a lot uglier, and more complicated, and potentially will rip the heart out of what has always been an iconic and characterful city from it’s wild west heyday, through to its 60's free love, to the gay rights movement of the 70's. The danger, it instead will end up a soulless pastiche of its former self.
I sincerely hope not!
Scott, Carolyn & Abigail
Me and Scott and Abigail, my travel companion on the road trip and long time friend , the continental divide September 2015
Abigail posing, Utah Canyon-Lands
Abigail happy to be home!!
Me and Elsie in Jan's Beetle, i'm sure she thinking please let me out!!
This post its contents and pictures is the copyrighted property of David Keegan 2015 ©
All pictures taken large format 320 DPI Picture quality is reduced to preserve copyrights