Thursday, May 06, 2021
PMT: San Francisco
I realize this is strange coming from someone who spent most of his adult life in New Haven, Detroit and Waco, but I'm not crazy about San Francisco. Yes, it has a beautiful setting and some interesting corners, but as a whole it has seemed kind of dirty and unsettling for the last three decades or so that I have found myself there occasionally. Though some people make it sound like there is a sudden downturn in quality of life there-- which may well be true for some-- it always seemed like a place with a lot of rich people and a lot of poor people, and a significant number of both groups are kind of crazy and unpredictable, in their own way. Income inequality was always there, but seems to have gotten worse.
They are lucky to have Chesa Boudin as the new DA there. I don't think his policies will affect crime one way or another-- after watching that kind of thing carefully for years, I've come to see that in the absence of broad cultural changes or some unseen magic, the policies of a DA don't seem to have much impact on crime (though they do influence the tragedy created by over-reactions to crime-- and he will lessen that).
But places are special to people for often-mysterious reasons. I can certainly understand why a beautiful, mysterious and complicated (in the best way) place like San Francisco can be special to a lot of folks. I hope they can get a handle on some of these continuing problems-- and that the rest of us can get a handle on our own.