Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Neighborhood - Urban Renewal


This is a picture of the "train" station that stops close by. For the uninitiated, San Francisco's public transportation system consists of buses and the subway/light rail run by MUNI. The subway trains tend to run faster than the buses. The city decided to build this Third Street light rail to connect the economically depressed southeast corner of the city to downtown. We don't even have a Starbucks on any corner in the 'hood. ;-) You know your neighborhood's been yuppified once the coffee chains start moving in. That's what we're all waiting for - yuppification so that the real estate values will increase. Slowly, we're seeing signs of it though.

This connection is supposed to revive the area and help the businesses in the area as well. While I'm not sure if the businesses have felt a positive impact since this subway line has been introduced, it does offer the residents in this neighborhood some more public transportation options. This is a good thing as Martha Stewart used to say.

Aside from the light rail, you also have the buses. This neighborhood is served by the number 9 bus, which is usually packed to the rafters with Chinese people trying to get to Chinatown to do their grocery shopping. There has been a shift in the demographics of the number 9 bus riders. Many moons ago, there were more African Americans on the bus. Now their numbers have dwindled. Either they are using the subway more, or many have left the neighborhood.

Although this area is very ethnically diverse, tensions between the groups is ever present. This is unavoidable, regardless of where you go in the City. It's just a given when so many people from different backgrounds co-habitate and share space with each other.

The 9

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