As San Francisco faces endless criticism for its warp-speed gentrification, homelessness issues and other ways it is nothing like the city Tony Bennett left his heart in, a recent Reddit thread decided on a different approach for talking about the city and our region as a whole:
While there is no specific year tied to the “used to be” here, it seems that contributors are comparing the Bay Area to sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s; the days when downtown Oakland was much less of a destination area, the Clipper Card did not exist and the waters of San Francisco Bay were far more polluted.
Some of these positive changes are tough to argue with. For instance, the Embarcadero before the freeway came down was a far more dreary and desolate area. And Crissy Field before its restoration by the National Park Service was a place of decrepit buildings, broken asphalt and thousands of tons of hazardous waste.
But other changes cited by the Reddit contributors are sure to be more contentious. For instance, those thankful for the Mission’s safer streets can expect criticism from those who see this as just another sign of the area’s rampant takeover by techies.
And those happy about new leash and poop cleanup laws may meet get plenty of blowback from those who preferred the days when dogs could run wild just about anywhere.
While the thread had the goal of looking at the good stuff that’s happened, the need to interject a basic underlying reality of the Bay Area was too strong for some to resist. As one contributor said:
“The positives can’t entirely make up for one simple thing. I cannot reasonably afford a house within a 30-minute commute (which is not too much to ask of a developed country) of where I work without being at least upper middle class. It’s really sad that an entire generation has to accept that we will be paying rent for much of our lives instead of building equity. No amount of public transit or five star foodie places can make up for that. But honestly, I’ll likely never leave Northern California, cus this is home.”
In the above gallery, take a look at 30 of the ways Reddit contributors feel the Bay Area has become a better place. See if you agree, and then tell us some of the ways you think the Bay Area has (or has not) improved.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/30-ways-the-Bay-Area-has-improved-over-the-years-13739223.php.