I started down Valencia Street around 8:30 last Thursday morning, trying to get to Mission and Embarcadero for a 9 a.m. radio show, and I caught up with two other bicyclists at a red light around 23rd Street. None of us said anything, but we rode more or less together for a couple more blocks, then picked up a few more riders here and a few more there, and by the time we hit Market Street, there were probably 15 of us, riding along in some sort of impromptu Critical Mass–style convoy. We (carefully) ran lights together, rode around cars together, and somehow, I think, psychically watched each other's backs. I was on Market Street during rush hour, and I actually felt almost safe.
It was a San Francisco moment, one of those instances of accidental community that make you remember why this is the world's best city. And while the greedheads keep trying to ruin it, we can still dream of making it better.
That's what this Best of the Bay issue is dedicated to: a celebration of all that is wonderful in San Francisco and the Bay Area — and a vision of what it could be, maybe even might be, if we can wrest control of the future from the people who brought us the high-rise boom, the war against fun, dot-com development, Gavin Newsom, and the $2,000 studio apartment.
It could be, it can be, and sometimes it is — the city of the future. SFBG