Tag Archives: SF

I’m Giving Up on San Francisco

Conor_Crockford

Conor Crockford

I am leaving San Francisco when I graduate in 2014; by doing so, I acknowledge that I am giving up. I am giving up on a city mutated into a playground for the privileged and frankly boring, with no room for the weird or the sidewalk chess tables. No room for the poor either, considering that according to Al Jazeera, housing prices increased 26 percent in 2013 and the average rent is now over $1900 per month.

I am no longer comfortable here, as I am uncomfortable with luxury gourmet, “artisanal” organic consumer pap (give me dirty basements and ratty clothes; there is honesty in them). And I am not comfortable with a city government that is desperate for the handshakes of the wealthy and affluent and has no connection to its people (not that government ever has much of one), that is desperately trying to sweep its poor, its homeless, its oddities under the rug in favor of luxury merchant shops (“small business!”), techie capitalists, and Whole Foods.

Mayor Ed Lee claimed in a Time Magazine interview that people have got to go “beyond the blame game” in dealing with gentrification. This is because Lee is a sweating politician who does not care much about the residents of the city he supposedly serves save the tech company executives who have slightly bigger wallets than everybody else. The man continues to spew his devotion to the people of the city even after sending riot cops to trash their tents in Justin Herman Plaza in 2012 over and over and over.

The worst aspect of it is that the startup employees (some of whom I have personally met) are not evil monsters, but are often naïve about their impact on others and deeply sheltered (not coincidentally, the vast majority of tech workers and venture capitalists are white and male, according to recent New Yorker statistics) and have no concept of why their residency would be negative; the city has changed so massively that it has become a bubble of hip, decadent consumerism, built specifically for their pleasures – no wonder the CEO of AngelFire rants about the homeless. How can one even see people with dirty fingers, inside the clean windowless convenience of the Google Bus?

Google is moving into the Mission. Mark Zuckerberg has a home there. The sidewalk chess boards on Market Street by the Warfield have left. So will the punks, so will the anarchists, so will the writers and artists – they will decamp to Oakland (already undergoing gentrification in and of itself) and to the East Bay or, following former San Francisco musicians Ty Segall and John Dwyer, to Los Angeles. Personally, I head back to New England, feeling like Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, exhausted by excess and the search for a good time. And either San Francisco will continue to be overrun with Dolores Park hollow men while bohemians hide in the Excelsior for the next decade or so, or the dot-com boom will bust, just as it did in the 1990s, and the new structures built by the city will seem curiously abandoned, a ghost town of Trader Joe’s and thrift stores.

I hope to find somewhere like the San Francisco promised to USF students. A place diverse and eclectic, a city on a hill where bohemia was possible. Where I saw chess boards on the sidewalk and felt routine pleasures in their lack of regulation. A city for exiled people, a city for anyone. A city that was free. This is not that city anymore —“free enterprise” made sure of that. And it will make San Francisco into a warning, not a promise, for anyone looking for something beyond bland, terrifying comfort.

P. Ladies

SF Architecture: Where Modern Meets the Past

1198 Fulton shows a multi-textured facade that is typically seen on corner lots of SF. (Photo: Danielle Maingot)

1198 Fulton shows a multi-textured facade that is typically seen on corner lots of SF.
(Photo: Danielle Maingot)

Thousands of homes were built in San Francisco thanks to the abundance of coastal redwoods that contributed to the mass production of timber. These homes were built cheaper due to the local wood supply, but strong, as the redwood was ideal in resisting rot and termites and is an easy material to use.  Following the 1906 earthquake, however, many homes were lost in the Great Fire except for the homes surrounding the Haight District – some of which include original homes dating back to the Victorian era (1825 – 1901).

During the reign of Britain’s Queen Victoria, many architectural styles were popularized in the United States. In turn, what evolved was an architectural style loosely based on medieval styles with multi-textured or multi-colored walls, steeply-pitched roofs and asymmetrical facades. The combination of several other architectural styles such as Stick-Eastlake and Queen Anne collectively make up what is now known as “Victorian.” The inspiration in building these beautiful homes came from nature, history, geometry, and of course, one’s personal preference. It wasn’t until after the Civil War that the style became more elaborate due to the influence of the Industrial
Revolution.

Hayes

The Stick-Easlake style can be seen on 1382 Hayes. (Photo: Danielle Maingot)

1382  Hayes

The Stick-Eastlake houses are known for the long, thin pieces of wood called ‘sticks’ placed on the surface of the home. These ‘sticks’ are meant to be decorative and expressive of the wood frame structure. The style was primarily ornamental and applied to the already well-established row house prototype. The façade is usually dominated with the two story rectilinear bay window with detailed rooflines that have truss work.

‘Painted Ladies’  & 1198 Fulton 

The Queen Anne style was well-suited to large lots and was very popular in semi-rural areas, however, San Francisco took to the style quickly implementing it to the standard 25’ wide urban lot. The Queen Anne is principally about asymmetry, picturesque massing, variety of color, multi-textured façades, steeply pitched roofs with cutaway bay windows and stained glass. Despite the cramped conditions of San Francisco this style took over the corner lots that generally doubled in width.

 

710 Ashbury  

710 Ashbury is home to the band the ‘Grateful Dead’ (1966-1968). During this time was the famous drug bust in 1967 and of course, the Summer of Love.

USF Students Support Cancer Research Through Relay for Life

 

Put on your walking shoes and get to steppin’. Relay for Life is coming to USF this weekend. Relay teams raise funds for cancer research during a 24-hour campout, taking turns to walk or run on a local track or pathway. The concept is that, “cancer never sleeps,” according to the Relay for Life website.

The event is hosted by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and also uses the funds to provide free services to cancer patients, including transportation to medical treatment facilities, and cosmetology sessions for women whose appearances have been affected by cancer. ACS also provides information, counseling, and support groups for cancer patients and their families.

The USF Relay for Life will be held at the Negoesco Field from April 20 through April 21.

Relay for Life started in 1985 by Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon looking to raise money for his local ACS office in Tacoma, Washington. Dr. Klatt raised $27 thousand by circling the track at the University of Puget Sound for 24 hours and having friends and community members donate $25 to walk with him. Twenty-eight years and $4 billion later, RFL now spans across 20 countries.

In addition to the walk around the track, entertainment like music and movies are provided for participants. There are also ceremonies like the Luminara ceremony, which commemorates those who have lost their lives to cancer, and the first lap in which the survivors walk in celebration of their success in defeating cancer.

This Saturday marks the fourth year USF has hosted the event, and regardless of the immense, worldwide success of Relay, “it almost didn’t happen at our campus because of a lack of fundraising efforts and participation,” said leukemia survivor and student Forrest Brunson. Brunson, senior communications major, fought to bring Relay back to USF with his team. On planning the event, Brunson used his fighting attitude to pull through. “Cancer doesn’t sleep so neither do we,” he said. “That’s how I felt this entire semester planning it.”

ACS set a goal of $18,000 last year, with each team member required to make a minimum of $10 to participate. The event fell short and raised $14,000. “It’s sad because we’re such an affluent campus and they’re setting a goal for us that’s less than people’s tuition,” Brunson said.

For the planning committee and Brunson, who is the Relay team recruitment chair, their passion for raising awareness for cancer won over the ACS, who decided to give them another shot at it this year. “ACS isn’t going to invest their time and resources if the outcome isn’t going be worth it,” Brunson explained. “They basically told us, ‘If you’re going to do it you have to do a really good job’”.

Brunson’s passion for the event comes from his own battle with cancer. In February 2011, Brunson was diagnosed with leukemia during his sophomore year at USF. He had to take a year off school and return home to San Diego for treatment. “It all happened so fast,” Brunson said of his diagnosis. “I’d always tell people I had this feeling of being kidnapped.”

Brunson and his friends had planned on participating in Relay before his diagnosis. “It just so happened a couple of weeks after we started talking about participating, I was diagnosed,” he said. This uncanny coincidence brings the event closer to Brunson’s heart, and even though he couldn’t walk that year, his friends went ahead and kept him posted the entire time by texting him pictures. Their team was called, “Pretty Little Walkers.” “It was so encouraging and heartwarming to see my friends walking for me,” said Brunson, laughing. He added: “On all their shirts, they wrote ‘It’s for Forrest b****’ because I’m a huge Britney Spears fan.”

Brunson has been in remission for over two years now, and got his chance to participate at last year’s USF event, where he spoke to the crowd about his story. “It’s an outlet, a sense of community and belonging, especially with cancer. It’s kind of taboo to talk about it out in the open. RFL brings together people who have been involved with cancer from all different walks all coming together for a really good cause.”

With a total of 25 USF teams participating this year, Forrest and his committee are already up by 11 teams compared to last year’s 14.  Brunson feels optimistic about reaching their $18,000 goal this year. Many participants are members of sororities, fraternities, and clubs on campus. The number of teams and participants in a Relay event depend upon the team recruitment chair. Depending on the size of the event, there can be anywhere from hundreds to thousands of participants.

 

For more information on participating in Relay for Life or making a donation toward funding cancer research, visit www.relayforlife.org/getinvolved/index.

 

Improved Golden State Warriors will Relocate to SF

Ever since the May 21 announcement that the Golden State Warriors would be moving to San Francisco for the 2017-18 NBA season, local residents have been buzzing with excitement anticipating the relocation of the Bay Area’s beloved NBA team. The Warriors, who have played in Oakland’s Oracle Arena dating back to 1966, will finally return to the city that they first called home in 1971 after moving from Philadelphia. This transition plan, which San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee calls his “legacy project,” includes a $500 million dollar budget, 100,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, and a new arena that will be built under the Bay Bridge between the Ferry Building and AT&T Park.

While the prospect of a new arena is certainly elating for fans, perhaps the most promising aspect of the Warriors’ eventual move to San Francisco is the team’s recent rise to relevance. At this point in the current NBA season, Golden State boasts a 26-17 record and is looking to reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season. This week, Warriors power forward David Lee was named to the All-Star game for the second time in his career, and in doing so became the first Golden State player to be elected as an All-Star since Latrell Sprewell in 1997. Along with Lee, the Warriors have a budding star in point guard Stephen Curry, a crop of promising young players such as Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes, and a solid bench unit highlighted by Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry. The success of this Warriors squad bodes well for its future tenure in San Francisco, and has many students at the University of San Francisco eagerly awaiting the team’s arrival.

“It’s exciting because every time a team moves into a new stadium, you really want them to be good,” USF freshman Tyler Lym said.
“For instance, take the Miami Marlins. They moved into a new ballpark, but they still suck, and they haven’t really brought any hope. So having a good team that can actually play well come here is a big bonus. It makes things a lot more entertaining.”

Despite the hopefulness and enthusiasm surrounding the Warriors’ relocation, it is rare that such a drastic change occurs seamlessly. While the time of the team’s move to San Francisco has been confirmed, there is still much debate and negotiation concerning the construction of the arena and the management of city space.

One issue is that it will be difficult to provide sufficient parking, due to the density of the city’s downtown and waterfront areas, and also because the stadiums that the 49ers and Giants call home cover a considerable amount of land. On top of the parking problem, the new arena will have to be much smaller than Oracle Arena, as the proposed capacity is 17,500 compared to the 19,596 that Oracle houses. As fans await the announcement of the architects that will be building the arena between piers 30 and 32, they have expressed concern over the amount of traffic, overcrowding, and lack of recreational space.
Although the means by which the arena will be built are far from set in stone, Warriors owner Joe Lacob has remained faithful and continues to advocate for his team’s relocation.
“We do believe that it’s the right thing to do for the Warriors,” Lacob told Sam Amick of USA Today Sports.
“It’s going to [change] the capabilities of our franchise in so many ways. It’s the right thing to do for the Bay Area. It’s the right thing to do for the city of San Francisco to have a facility like that that will be useful not only for basketball games but so many other events. The city doesn’t have that.”
As a whole, the Warriors fan base has echoed Lacob’s sentiments and has remained confident that the team will arrive in San Francisco without too many bumps on the road. Residents to the west of the Bay Bridge not only have a new basketball team and arena to look forward to, but also an area of entertainment that will likely host many events outside of basketball. This advantage, along with Golden State’s current success and the bright future that lies ahead of them, indicates that the Warriors will become a welcome addition to the diverse, decorated, and sports-crazy city of San Francisco.

“It’s definitely going to bring another aspect to San Francisco,” Lym said. “I mean, San Francisco is already fun enough as it is, but the stadium will bring more good restaurants and new shops, and it’ll make it even more fun to explore the city.”

Men’s Soccer Loses Second Straight Game

Green and Gold fans crowded Negoesco stadium to watch one of the biggest matches of the season against the No. 7 California Golden Bears (4-1-0) as part of the Bay Area Classic. Despite their efforts, the No. 18 Dons (2-2-0) suffered their second consecutive loss of the season.

The match started off with a bang for Cal as several players had scoring opportunities in the first five minutes of the match. Cal’s midfielder Davis Paul scored the first goal of the night in the 13th minute after a questionable non-offside call from the officials.

USF saw this goal as a chance to retaliate and executed a fantastic counterattack. USF’s junior forward, Bryan Burke, beat Cal’s tightly packed defense and attempted to score a goal. Burke shot from the corner of the box as USF fans stood to their feet to watch. He missed the goal by inches sending the ball too wide.

USF continued to struggle in the defensive and offensive areas while Cal’s units remained tight and organized. Due to a USF foul in the 21st minute inside the penalty area, Cal defender, A.J. Soares, was able to score another goal bringing Cal to a 2-0 lead into halftime.

Determined to score in the second half, the USF offense started strong only to lose possession quickly to Cal. In the 49th minute a Cal corner kick found its way to defender A.J. Soares who blasted a shot into the back of the net bringing the score to 3-0. Despite the three goals on Cal’s part, USF goalkeeper Brendan Roslund was able to save a record five shots for the match including a fantastic save in the 30th minute.

Senior Conor Chinn excited many USF fans in the 55th minute as he took a shot from the center of the box. The ball went wide and ended up in the side of the net, disappointing all who thought it was a sure goal.

Although USF was able to take 11 shots against Cal, none of them found the way to the back of the net. Senior forward Jonathon Levi paved the way for the Dons with 4 four shots with only one of them on target. Sophomore midfielder, Victor Wennberg added three to the total, while senior forward Conor Chinn and junior forward Bryan Burke added a shot apiece for USF.

After the match, Head Coach Erik Visser commented, “this is the best Cal team that I’ve seen in 10 years. They played with a lot of confidence and a lot of rhythm. Yes I’m disappointed but Cal was the better team tonight. Their execution was fantastic. I was pleased with the team that we continued to fight and did not give up. Hopefully we learn from our mistakes and prepare for our match at Stanford.”

The USF Dons will continue to play in the Bay Area Classic when they travel to Stanford Sunday night. The match is set for 7:00 PM at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.