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The newly forming Mission Creek neighborhood is just south of the ballpark, and the eastern waterfront is home to the decades old houseboats. They wear worn paint in pastels. Patio furniture adds originality and character to these homes and tall green plants live in an assortment of clay pots. The houseboats are an increasingly rare enclave of affordable housing. But now, new condo developments hover over these houseboats authoritatively, indicative of Mission Creek’s future.
Twitter calls the Tenderloin home since City Hall cemented its fate with a gift of a multi-million dollar tax break, just for relocating. Across the street is the intimidating NEMA condo development. This development reminds us on its window fronts to "Rent, don’t Vent". Be "Tech Savvy, Not Shabby."
Here you will find "Amenities, not Enemies." NEMA communicates to those passing by that we should make light of this supposed tension that exists in these spaces, regardless of what the newspapers say. Rent one of these units here and disregard the crisis surrounding the City’s limited housing stock; sites of eviction, harassment, bidding wars, fires, and the like.
Traveling down the eastern waterfront of the City leads you to the site of the Hunters Point Shipyard. Tall grasses, dry from the drought, muddle the shore and the surrounding rocks make it unappealing to get any closer to the Bay. The San Francisco skyline is just across the water from this largely African-American neighborhood. When you look at a map of San Francisco, this site sticks out, like fingers expanding from a fist.
The actual structures are old and decaying, but it’s easy to imagine this space in its heyday. Owned by the military, this land was once a large and productive naval shipyard. Picture thousands of shipyard employees walking from building to building working on the boats, eating in the cafeteria, or sitting outside enjoying the view on a hot day. These workers, came to San Francisco before or during World War II, fleeing the harsh Jim Crow South and looking for new opportunities.
The shipyard now welcomes new visitors with large banners. “Explorers Welcome” and “Welcome Visionaries”, they say. It has lost sight of its origins and rich history, it has forgotten that it’s already a space that been discovered and explored many times over, each corner has a story that can’t be erased. Another banner indicates that it is time for “A New Story: 150 Years in the Making”.
One night in 2015, I returned to the City to attend an Eviction Free SF meeting on a bustling corner of the Mission District. EFSF is a direct action group that began in the summer of 2013, when SF’s current manifestation of the eviction crisis could no longer be ignored. Although legislators were beginning to take note, many people felt that change wasn’t coming quickly enough and the eviction of vulnerable tenants was so detrimental, that civil disobedience was needed.
Moving Sucks // Twitter HQ
We made the move cross-country when I was five. This was 1991, only a couple years before the first dot com boom. Soon after our arrival, vast amounts of money poured in to the region. The Internet was new and families were relocating from all over the country to try their hand in Silicon Valley. My parents dragged us on road trips, in our attempt to travel around our new state. Since the days of Isuzu trunks and endless hills, my relationship with the City has grown intimate & strong.
Claudio & Valentino / eviction fighters
Benito Santiago / eviction fighter
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