Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This is a Dirty Little Neighborhood, Stranger -- And We Like It That Way!

I spent the last three years of the 80's living in the San Francisco neighborhood known as The Tenderloin. No, I wasn't down and out; that's where both my law school (Hastings) and the school housing were located. (It was also adjacent to Van Ness, with the War Memorial Opera House, City Hall, the California Supreme Court, etc. -- and a short walk in another direction would take you to the majestic Ninth Circuit federal building, near the Greyhound station. A walk toward the Embarcadero would bring you to Union Square and the Financial District. Downtown SF is tiny.) Those three years were enough to embitter me against ever living in the foggy city by the bay. Besides the weather (which I did not prefer to sunny SoCal), I had quite enough of a neighborhood of prostitutes, drug dealers, petty criminals, passed-out drunks, singing drunks (loud enough that I could hear them up on the 12th floor -- at 3 a.m.), public urination, aggressive panhandlers who followed people around yelling at them, and mentally ill folks walking around with their equipment exposed. (And that was just near the school!)

Now it turns out that a Tenderloin resident is trying to beautify the area a bit by planting trees -- and angry residents are protesting. Turns out they like the neighborhood seedy. One went so far as to put up "wanted" posters of the would-be beautifier.

I guess even people in Hell can enjoy the dancing flames.

No comments: