SOMA Gentrification, 1984 Edition

The Center Of Strange In San Francisco

In City Hall, South-of-Market is spoken of in optimistic tones, as "improving." That means that alleys formerly fit only for truck deliveries and sleeping men are now inexplicably filled with people waiting in line. Rents are going up. Sculptor Aris Demetrios, who has kept a studio South-of-Market for 20 years, is watching the warehouse space in nearby buildings go for $1.50 a square foot--a jump straight up from 25 cents. [...]

The Ramrod is a headquarters for this riding-crop set. At Eighth and Folsom, it was formerly nestled comfortably between wholesale foam outlets and welding companies. Now that the neighborhood's gone Yuppie, the Ramrod shares the block with four new restaurants and a conceptual art gallery. [...] Inside it's homier than one might imagine, with a piano bar and a mural that looks like the weight room at the YMCA. The black-leather cowboys, still here though their numbers are diminishing, bar-hop on Folsom, looking fearsome and jingling their chains and spurs.

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2 Responses:

  1. Don Hopkins says:

    I'm totally going to try this at home:
    A local designer has a telling story about the Hotel Utah. She had heard that a guy was selling positive ionizers out of his room there, and she went up to buy one. In the room were hundreds of positive ionizers, all hooked up and turned on. The room was vivid with static electricity. Great blue sparks snapped at her; her hair frizzed as she stood there, pricing these things. The guy seemed equally charged, and she gave him the money and fled, clutching her new positive ionizer.