In the past several months, I’ve heard the marina referred to as “the neighborhood for snobby scum” (not my favorite), “post-grad Greek Row”, “the place where everyone just moved here two weeks ago”, frat mason, and the toolbox. I’ve met some awesome people who live in the marina, and I’ve also met some jerks. There is no doubt people are flooding into this area in their twenties and thirties, commissioned by a start-up or tech company or something of the equivalent, but I suppose this neighborhood is no poorer a reflection on my generation than any other neighborhood.
Nevertheless, just like I am often torn between “treat yo self” and “I wanna look good naked” (as the Fat Jewish would say), I am also often torn in my identity as a San Franciscan. I’ve lived hear for over four years. In that time, I’ve identified as a student, an artist, a teacher, a sorority girl. In a city with such distinct neighborhood cultures, where do I fit in? Does looking for a place in the marina mean selling my soul and turning my back on my hippy artist friends? Will spending more time in the mission ultimately lead me to trade in my acaii bowls for burritos, my uber for a bike? (Just kidding, I take Lyft.)
This storm of thoughts brewed in my brain today as a result of learning about SF’s new luxury buses, Leap. Part of me thinks, “this is so cool! I want to join!” while the other part is saying “Really? A) more cars/buses on the road. B) I’m not a techie, nor can I actually afford this, so why does it matter, and C) What will happen to muni? Will SF Muni die out just like the cabs are?
As much as I struggle to remain optimistic that muni is actually more efficient, I like that is sort of shoves all SF walks of life together in one big, stinky bus for our morning and evening commutes. I can’t help but think that hopping on board another one of these new transportation methods will cause an even greater divide between the people of San Francisco. As much as you want to deny it, lets face it. White, wealthy, young people have yet another excuse to stick to their own, while the poor, disabled, mostly people of color, and people over sixty will be left on muni, stuck in traffic behind a Google bus, a Chariot shuttle, a dozen Ubers, and now a luxury Leap bus.
The personal and business benefits are obvious. But is the cost a more segregated San Francisco, a city that prides itself on diversity?