In this week’s column for the S.F. Examiner, I pick up a family who’s exposed to San Francisco’s ugly side on 6th Street, AKA, the Dirty Six. Instead of letting them think the worst, I try to help them understand the consequences of the city’s epic income disparity.
As I wait for the light to change at Mission, a bedraggled woman on the corner is flailing her arms and bitching out the sky.
“Oh my god.” The lady behind me gasps. “What’s wrong with her?”
As I continue down, she points out the motley cast of characters hanging out on the sidewalks and expresses shock at the various displays of mental illness.
“How close are we to your neighborhood?” she asks her son. “I’m really not comfortable with you living around all this squalor.”
“It’s not my neighborhood,” he replies with obvious annoyance.
“It doesn’t look safe here at all,” she intones.
“Mom, I never even come down here!”
As they go back and forth on how much danger she thinks he’s being exposed to, despite his protestations, I feel the need to interrupt. Not that I’m feeling like much of a booster for San Francisco these days, but … someone has to do it.
Read the entire column here.
[photo by Douglas O’Connor]