How they're sitting - Page 5

44TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE: The kids on Haight Street aren't exactly like the stereotype you've been told about

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Haight Street travelers Smiley and Half Peach "spange" for drugs -- anti-nausea medicine for their carsick dog
PHOTO BY LUKE THOMAS/FOGCITYJOURNAL.COM

Smiley has a year-old behemoth black mutt with droopy eyes. He obliges her as she leans into him holding her spanging sign, which tells the world the pup needs Benadryl for an upcoming van ride to Southern California. "He's carsick," she tells me sheepishly. She admits that the dog can limit her mobility on public transportation, but his benefits outweigh his cost. He keeps her warm at night — and, more important for a young woman who is often on her own, he protects her. For a moment breaking out of tough girl mode, she tell me, "oh yeah, I don't have to worry about anything when he's around."

We talk about the perceived threat of dogs on Haight Street. "They want us to leash them, which I guess I understand — but look at that!" A well-dressed woman in her 40s has her Chihuahua off its leash and it has run into the busy street, with her in hot pursuit. "That dog's out of control," Smiley smiles.

PISS

Sitting against a mural on a wall where Haight meets Clayton, I watch Piss, an outgoing, gangly guy in his early 20s with a curly blonde mohawk in a growing-out stage. I ask him where he got his unusual moniker. "I like to get drunk and piss on things," he says.

Well. Originally from Billings, Mont., Piss has been traveling since his mid-teens. "Let's just say me and my family don't get along," he tells me.

His answers to my questions about why he's on the streets follow a path I see with many of the younger homeless youth: they insist that the lure of the open road was too hard to ignore, but eventually reveal that their parents kicked them out or were unable to care for them at a young age. Many, like Juju, another small-time weed dealer I met, bounced from family member to family member until frictions with them and their significant others left no recourse but the street.

Piss says he's been to every state in the country, plus Canada and Mexico. With so many years on the road, he is, as they say, letting his freak flag fly. Piss has a blue, vaguely tribal tattoo that curls around his right eye. He's wearing white tube socks on the dirty pavement. At first glance, he could be crazy — and maybe he is. Whatever his motivation for travel, it's not to blend in with the locals.

Piss is also actively spanging passersby in a manner that oscillates between off-putting and charming. "You got some money for some crack and ice cream?" he inquires of a passing trio of young women. They shake their head, but before they're gone completely he continues "I'm just kidding! I don't like ice cream! Hey miss, you have a nice ass ... day!"

Over the course of the hour that I watch him a stand up routine emerges. Beneath the grime, he's a charismatic kid with an enviable sense of comedic timing.

As he ranges up and down a 20-foot stretch of sidewalk, belly laughs are elicited from a few targets, dollars surfacing here and there. One man carrying an accordion and wearing an expensive-looking pair of leather Chaco sandals donates a handful of strawberries to Piss and to those of us acting as his entourage.

But Piss' play is a little rough — like a big puppy — and he's alienating the people who don't crack up over crack. A couple of people walk away quickly from his petitions shaking their heads over one of the zingers, their suspicions confirmed about those rowdy Haight Street kids.

He's not doing anything more than what young travelers do all over the world. Thousands of families bid see you later to young adults en route to Prague, Peru, and Perth each year, where they lug their dirty backpacks through the world's most wondrous towns.

Comments

What about the questions I've asked you many, many times? How about an answer. I don't need to read articles about more and more wealthy people (like Ms Brooks who's living back in the 1950s....the woman needs an time capsule update), nor do I need to read code words from the former president of the 49ers essentially saying that if we don't sweep the homeless (and all that includes) away then the 49ers won't stay in the City. Good. Let them go. Bye, bye. Who needs that garbage anyway? A bunch of men bumping heads over a ball and getting well paid for it. Talk about "bums." Arthur "dear," please give us the answer on where you propose to put the homeless after they are rounded up and how do you propose to pay for Prop L that you are extremely aroused over. Also, will it be illegal to be homeless in the City upon the passage of the wealthy's sit-lie Prop L? (I must say, I can't stand most wealthy people and their elitist attitude).

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 20, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

@Arthur Evans....Since you enjoy providing links, could you please provide a link to the page where you have answered these unanswered questions....Where you and other right-wing supporters of draconian sit-lie propose to put the homeless (and all that includes) after they are rounded up? How do you propose to pay for Prop L that you are extremely aroused over? Also, will it be illegal to be homeless in the City upon the passage of the wealthy's sit-lie Prop L? That's exactly what this is about...the wealthy because of their classism (prejudice and/or discrimination on the basis of social class) can't stand to see homeless and street people. That's it. Those three questions. Shouldn't take much time at all if you and other supporters have fully thought this through. Personally, I'm fully saturated with links to articles promoting the right-wing agenda of sit-lie which is being funded by the wealthy "elite" (especially the real estate and banking industry). So if you (Arthur Evans) would please provide a link to where you have answered those questions I've asked many times, I would appreciate it. Or, feel free to answer RIGHT HERE.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 20, 2010 @ 10:29 pm

artjirur evans wont answer the questions barbara because he can't so he keeps avoiding them. your questions are too intellectual for him. maybe if you dumbed them down for him he would understand them but he still wouldn't be capable of answering them because he doesn't care or want to know about any of that. he just wants this law no matter what the consequences of it are.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 12:20 am

It seems like you studied "False Choices" at the Fox school of journalism. It's possible to not want to wade through a sea of people occupying the sidewalks and demanding you support their lifestyle choice while still living someplace other than the Mall of America. BTW, exactly what "creative legacy" did Piss leave behind? Perhaps that's a simpler reason for people wanting to spray down their sidewalks.

Posted by Dave Moore on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 8:11 am

How'd you know I went to the Fox school of journalism? Hello investigative researcher!

Maybe when Piss owns an home and hose of his own he'll be able to point at the street kids of 2050 and lecture them about creative legacies. Or maybe he just needs a better agent.

Posted by caitlin on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 11:19 am

I don't think I was the one who brought up creative legacies first. You claimed that we have to choose between only two options:

"Do we want to capitalize and benefit from the accepting, messy, wildly creative legacy the 20th century endowed our streets, or do we want a clean, friendly, outdoor mall?"

Yet you failed to show anywhere that these kids are in some way responsible for that creative legacy. The only mention of any contribution was some guy playing a flute and a family selling bracelets.

So what justifies the extremes you suggest? Why can't we have something that is neither mall nor Calcutta?

Posted by Dave Moore on Oct. 26, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

usatoday
9:29 PM on October 18, 2010
This problem could be cured efficiently by a speeding jeep equipped with a snowplow blade. If the useless antisocials won't move off of the sidewalk, they will get moved off the sidewalk.

wisevoice
11:42 PM on October 18, 2010
I prefer a can of gasoline and a book of matches. Yes, the purity of the flames... ahhhhh.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/18/BA211FS90H.DTL

At least they're not "opponents of civility", right Arthur Evans?
And at least they're not "progressives!", right Matlock?

"Kent Uyehara, the proprietor of a skateboard shop in the Haight, has gotten into fistfights with vagrants"
http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_4_san-francisco-homeless.html

Prop L Campaign Sits on Sidewalk (Outside FTC) to Push For Law That Would Outlaw Similar Behavior:
http://uptownalmanac.com/2010/10/prop-l-campaign-sits-sidewalk-outside-f...

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

Most look at the people living on the street and judge them before they even look them in the eyes. And that people, that is what I feel this journalist is trying to say. You don't judge the hipster that sells you pot, so how is any different if he's homeless. They're just people, like you and me, except, honestly, they're nicer than you or I. These kids shared everything they had with this journalist. The life of a bum, is exactly that, they bum off of others, but then in turn share what they have when they have it.
They're not hurting anyone, they're just making all the clean cuts feel a little uncomfortable. Get over it.

Posted by y2k on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

D8 candidates on sit-lie. (Personally, I found their responses to be lame). And Scott Wiener is still repeating the lies from the sit-lie supporters' group about the cops not having the tools they need. The Bay Citizen published an article titled What’s Wrong with the Sit/ Lie Campaign’s Story? In that article it says....

>>>Several police representatives have publicly stated that they are required to have a citizen complaint before they can take action and a new law is needed to enable them to act without a citizen complaint. But this argument also seems to be without merit. San Francisco law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP recently conducted a review of appropriate legal codes and concluded, “These laws can be enforced by police officers without requiring citizens to complain of violations prior to their enforcement.” SFPD’s argument is further weakened by an analysis of SFPD’s own computer aided dispatch system which shows that “In 2008 there were 15,529 calls for service on and around Haight Street, of which 4,462 were citizen-initiated and 11,067 were officer initiated.” The leading cause of officer-initiated calls was “suspicious people.” Not only are SFPD’s claims inconsistent with the letter of the law, but also their own internal data shows they already pursue law enforcement routinely without citizen complaints.

The legal analysis by O’Melveny & Myers LLP also refers to several other laws currently available to the San Francisco police including laws for obstruction of sidewalks, obstruction with belongings, loitering, aggressive pursuit, stalking and harassment, and for crowds to disperse on order of police officer. There are additional laws about drinking in public, camping in parks or cars, urinating in public, littering, theft of recyclables, maintaining a public nuisance, interfering with a business, and peddling without a permit. In total, the San Francisco Human Service Agency’s Quality of Life citation database shows nearly 12,000 citations were issued citywide in 2008 across six major categories of violations. I learned that just about anything a homeless person can do is already illegal! This punitive and legalistic approach towards homelessness earned San Francisco the dubious distinction of a spot on the list of Ten Meanest Cities in America compiled by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP) in their July 2009 report on the Criminalization of Homelessness.<<<

So why is Scott Wiener still misleading the public (like the other supporters of sit-lie)? Also he says that some people are monopolizing public spaces making it difficult for other people to use them. What other people? So "we" kick out the poor so that the wealthy can sit there? Who else but another street person or homeless person would be using a space where someone is sitting up against a building, for example? Wiener couldn't just stand in place like the others, he had to go walking away from the table as if he's giving a speech. Here's the link to the D8 candidates' statements....

District 8 Supervisor Forum - What is your position on Sit/Lie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGmHPwF58yg

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

Local small business is not creating the situation on Haight St and most likely neither are most of these kids. Local micro business or the disparaging term "boutiques" are the ones hiring local kids. We are giving young local artists opportunities to sell their wares so they can live here. We are contributing to a local economy and we are not getting rich, nor are we corporate.

These articles seem to suggest that my needs as a small business are not equal to the worth of the choices of street kids. (this article does state many times that it is a choice for many of the people interviewed) I chose to be independent in business, without any particular help from anyone. I worked hard to earn that choice. No one here is entitled to claim victim status. Stop pitting very small business against these kids. It’s just too easy and is a skewed perspective.

Posted by Guest Claire on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

Hi Claire,
Unless you have some guilty secret, I don't think this is about you.
However, some business owners on Haight Street have aggressively pitted themselves against the street kids.
Kent Uyehara, who owns FTC Skateboards and SFO Snowboards, has been attacking street people and waging a war against anyone who dares to sit on a public sidewalk since this began.
Here he is bragging about how he "has gotten into fistfights with vagrants"
http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_4_san-francisco-homeless.html

If anyone has pitted small business owners on Haight Street against the street kids, it is intolerant community "leaders" like Uyehara and Ted Loewenberg with the Haight Ashbury Improvement Association.
Many business owners have refused to tow their hateful line, but they aren't heard from too much.
Possibly they fear retaliation from Uyehara, Lowenberg and others in their neighborhood that have no patience for compromise.
Here is one:
http://www.baycitizen.org/blogs/citizen/whats-wrong-sit-lie-campaigns-st...

If you don't like the idea of being a pawn in someone else's culture war, maybe it's time to get together with Mr.Madan, who wrote the above linked article, and the other more reasonable, less hate fueled members of the Haight Street business community, to form a group that looks out for your interests as small business people and neighbors, without the whole "Let's destroy these disgusting people that don't belong here!" attitude that currently is getting all the press.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

"If you don't like the idea of being a pawn in someone else's culture war,"

Anyone not toeing the progressive line is a pawn.

also

"Let's destroy these disgusting people that don't belong here!"

For an example the left was all worked up that a tower might be built by the Transamerica pyramid that would house people of a class they "hate" and despise "that don't belong here."

Progressives are quite confused, but entertaining in their abilities to be incoherent.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 10:07 am

I havr been a resident of the upper haight for almost 10 years, and I voted no on sit-lie because it seems like an ineffective, token effort to solve a very complex problem. I don't care about people sitting, lying, painting, smoking weed, playing music, etc...
What I do care about is having to clean up human feces from my recycling area every week.
The confrontation that was the impetus for sit lie was totally glossed over in this article, it had a very nasty violent outcome on the part of the "peaceful" street kids.
We hose off our sidewalks because they are constantly covered with shit, vomit, piss and broken glass, not to "deter" the homeless. Tell me that wouldn't exhaust you and piss you off after awhile.(no pun intended)

These "travelers" who are so dependent, it seems, on the local economy for their "spange" so it would behoove them as communtity to have a little more respect for their neighbors and environment. There are plenty of young people from really shitty situations who work hard and don't use it as an excuse to do whatever they want.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

If we could force the city to provide public restrooms in the Haight (which is part of their responsibility to all of us- to provide and maintain public services), it would probably alleviate your problem.
Unfortunately, the lack of public bathrooms, water fountains, benches, etc. can all be traced back to the same spiteful attitude that is the engine of the sit-lie law.
Bitter people are willing to ruin public spaces for all people, as long as it somehow harms THEM. The bad guys. "The migratory addicts and alcoholics" to quote one of the most passionate and hate fueled advocates of this law.
These people have been working for years to cut the nose off the face of this beautiful city, as long as it harms or inconveniences those they hate and fear.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

I feel our golden bums pain about having a hard time to find a place to piss, when I try to use the public toilets there always seems to be some sort of illegal activity going on inside them. I doubt our travelers have much better luck than I have had with the public toilets. The one at Powell St after dark is always good for a laugh. I wonder what the tourists think when the doors open after ten minutes and they get a little rush from the crack smoke?

I do like that not agreeing with a liberal is "hate."

Posted by matlock on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 9:46 am

It's not dog feces? Some people can't tell the difference. If one reads the posts on the Chronicle's forum one would swear that every street and street corner in San Francisco is piled high with human feces and throw-up. Good lord, where do you people live? I live in the same area (roughly) and my streets and sidewalks are not covered with any of that stuff. They do have dog crap on them. Many people forget how many dogs there are in this City and they somehow confuse dog feces with human feces. I've lived here a long time and I can't recall ever seeing any human feces anywhere but in a toilet, let alone all over the sidewalk. Where do you people come from? What drugs are you on?
Can you make up any more stories? I'm sure someone will come up with having seen blood and gore all over the sidewalk before this is over. I think that's about the only thing that people haven't talked about YET.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

Thanks for clearing that up.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 9:50 am

of dog vs. human shit is really quite fascinating. Considering that most of what comes out of his mouth is verbal diarrhea I can't say I'm surprised.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

lucreatia TROLLop,

i would think that being free flowing with verbal diarrhea is a much better condition than being packed, afflicted and locked up with old conservative constipation. phew, i can smell it from here. phew!!!!!! smells like a 10 seat-er out house.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 4:26 pm

The opponents of civility are now arguing that Prop L is a right-wing plot. I kid you not. The Coalition on Homelessness is leading the pack in making this charge.

Which is music to my ears, as a supporter of Prop L. Nothing could be better suited to turn off undecided middle voters than this sort of paranoia, and especially when voiced by the Coalition on Homelessness.

Keep it up, guys. I hope you get lots of media attention!

Posted by Arthur Evans on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 10:09 am

>>>Keep it up, guys.<<<............."GUYS?" There are females here, not just guys. Why are you being sexist? Aren't you the same Arthur Evans who goes on and on and on about sexism and feminism and chauvinism and that sort of thing? And what's with this outdated expression "by gum?" The only person I hear use that is my grandmother and she's nearly 100 years old. Also, I'm still waiting for an answer to the three questions I asked you, which you refuse to answer. They are.....where do you propose to put the human beings rounded up under Prop L? How do you propose to fund it since it's not going to be funded? Thirdly, will it be illegal to be homeless in the City upon the passage of Prop L? They are not difficult questions for "intellectual" who have given any thorough thought to this revolting law. No on Prop L. Yes on Prop M. Now, would you please answer my questions instead of going off on what the opponents are doing? I want to hear those questions answered by the right-wing proponents such as yourself (do you not remember that you gave a link to an article in support written by a writer (Ms MacDonald) who works at the right-wing Manhattan Institute?) Steven Jones and I pointed that out and that you were really revealing who you really are. Not that I've ever doubted that you are right-wing. Now, please answer my questions.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

Excellent article. Unlike certain other "journalists" who will go unnamed here, Caitlin Donohue took the time to show readers the world from the Haight's homeless youths' point-of-view. It's far less easy to demonize these youths when you have names and faces and stories to associate with them, instead of some anonymous Other.

For me, reading the article gave me a flashback to the classic Dennis Hopper film "Easy Rider." In that film, Jack Nicholson plays a lawyer who hitches a ride with the motorcycle riders played by Hopper and Peter Fonda. At one point, Nicholson's character tells the two hippies that they represent real and true freedom...which is why they're hated and loathed by the squares. I forget if Nicholson says that the presence of Billy and Wyatt (the Hopper and Fonda characters) remind the squares of their cowardice or discomfort in rejecting their own chance at freedom.

I may not take agree with the Haight street kids' way of seeking freedom. But I'll be damned if I'm going to side with those who want to crush their journey. Count me as a no on sit/lie.

Posted by Peter on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 10:10 am

I bet you also speak in 'song lyrics' and view disasters as 'war zones'.
Living life through cliche such as 'Jaaack's movie roles is part of the problem, and yours, Peter.
These kids live through some fantasy that their struggle and journey links them to a
romantic past and that 'fightin the man' actually gives them some higher purpose.
What a load of rot. Perhaps they should 'journey' to India or deep into Mexico or even Mississippi or Ethiopia and hang out therre on the streets and beg. Get connected with the struggle, man, it's cool, dude.

Posted by is it more hip to be round or square - who cares? on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 11:56 am

I bet you also speak in 'song lyrics' and view disasters as 'war zones'.
Living life through cliche such as 'Jaaack's movie roles is part of the problem, and yours, Peter.
These kids live through some fantasy that their struggle and journey links them to a
romantic past and that 'fightin the man' actually gives them some higher purpose.
What a load of rot. Perhaps they should 'journey' to India or deep into Mexico or even Mississippi or Ethiopia and hang out therre on the streets and beg. Get connected with the struggle, man, it's cool, dude.

Posted by is it more hip to be round or square - who cares? on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 11:56 am

It's darkly amusing to see what species of spectacularly misinformed and foolish troll gets drawn to the SFBG comments section.

To reiterate, Donohue makes a good case for the Haight's street kids as the modern day descendants of the hippies of the 1960s. If they don't speak of peace and love, at least to their credit the kids Donohue introduces to the reader don't see the purpose of life as a continual screwing over of one's fellow humans. Steven and Smiley, for example, come off as having a better sense of life than those (such as Square above) who would demonize them as nameless scum.

If somebody else who's interacted for more than a minute with these kids and gotten to know their stories can make a case why they should be treated as a scourge anyway, they have not yet come forward.

Posted by Peter on Oct. 23, 2010 @ 9:50 am

In Friday's issue of the Chron, C.W. Nevius has a devastating article exposing the legal network that enables the addiction of the city's many sidewalk squatters.

The keystone of the enabling architecture is the network of high-powered legal firms that believe they are helping the nomadic addicts/alcoholics with pro bono work on their behalf.

In fact, these high-powered law firms help keep the addicts/alcoholics in a state of drug-dependency and also undermine neighborhood safety.

The article won't be available online until Sunday. But if you pick up Friday's Chron, you can read it.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

Personally, I don't give a damn about right-wing Nevius and his supposedly "devastating" article. I don't need to read any more fecal matter from that. I want an answer to the questions you and the other right-wing proponents refuse to answer......Where do you propose to put the people rounded up under Prop L? How do you propose to fund it since it's not going to be funded? Will it be illegal to be homeless in this City upon the passage of Prop L? Would you please answer these questions?

(Questions Arthur won't answer. Questions Arthur won't answer. Questions Arthur won't answer. Questions Arthur won't answer. Questions Arthur won't answer. Questions Arthur won't answer. Questions Arthur won't answer.)

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

Listen to the debate today of Paul Henderson Getting Crushed on Prop L! Please pass along to anyone who is undecided!

http://sidewalksareforpeople.org/prop-l-debate-on-kpfas-the-morning-show/

Posted by Nate Miller on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

Where do you propose to put the people rounded up under Prop L? How do you propose to fund sit-lie (Prop L) since it's not going to be funded? Will it be illegal to be homeless in this City upon the passage of Prop L? Would you please answer these questions? They are questions Arthur won't answer.

(Questions Arthur won't answer. Questions Arthur won't answer. Questions Arthur won't answer.)

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

Dear Caitlin,

While I respect your journalistic endeavors to shed light on what the “street kids” of the Haight are really like, I feel as though you only painted half of the picture. You may have spent a few days drinking beer and smoking weed with these people and learned about their lives, but I was actually born and raised in the Haight, where my family owns a business and where I have worked for ten years. While I may not know the witty nicknames (Piss? Because he likes to piss on things?) of the street kids, I interact with them almost everyday.
I will say that there are many travelers who come through the Haight with the best of intentions. They want to see the world, make art and be free from the constraints of society. I get it, I respect it and even envy their lack of limitations that most of us face everyday (work, rent, school, etc.) I have no problem with their life choices. I also have sympathy for those who had to escape difficult homes and families. But, you are idolizing their lifestyle and ignoring some serious problems that the residents and business owners of Haight Street face.
When I walk to work everyday I get the usual “Can you spare some change?” comments and I usually say no. I do not feel obligated to give a stranger money. While there is not always hostility, I have definitely been harassed by the street kids. “I’ll eat your pussy for a dollar!” one kid yelled to me one day while I was with my four-year-old son. Call me a prude, but I do not want to be sexually harassed, especially when I am with my child. Often when I ignore the street kids they say things like “What, you’re not even going to look at me? You think you’re better than me?” I have been called a capitalist bitch and a yuppie bitch for not handing over some change. You didn’t witness anything like that in your two or three day romp?
In my work it is even worse. I work at a food establishment on Haight, which I would prefer not to name. Street kids come in everyday and ask for free food. When I say no, they usually get upset. Some kids kick over chairs, bang on the windows and others call me a bitch. The girl on the cover of your paper this week once spit on me. I’ve had my tip jar stolen many times over the years and I’ve had street kids try to steal food. If I could give all of the street kids food everyday, I would, but I can’t. I have bills to pay and a child to feed and I just want to work, make a little money and spend time with my family. I am not against them, I am not a slave to the “capitalist machine”. I am just trying to support my family, plain and simple.
I understand the anger and the difficulty these kids face. They tout that they are so “free” and love living the life of a “traveler”, but I know it is probably very difficult when you feel like the world is against you. Prop L is not the answer to the homeless situation in San Francisco, but many of us are tired of all of the hostility from the street kids. Why did you not interview business owners and local residents? Why didn’t you propose any other solutions? Do these kids even vote? Are they active in San Francisco’s political process?
I was on the fence about Prop L, but your sympathy article didn’t sway me. You said that if you support Prop L the Haight would become a “clean, friendly, outdoor mall.” That seems a little drastic to me. I just wish you had a little more depth to your article. Come Nov. 2, we’ll see what San Francisco has to say.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

Does your 4 year old son know what a pussy is? If not, then that comment which you made a big deal about was not important to anyone other than you. Why is that when many people become parents they do become prudes? Some give the impression that their children did not come about due to sexual intercourse but rather through the use of a turkey baster because the mother couldn't bear to think of having anything as "dirty" as sex. You wrote...>>>Come Nov. 2, we’ll see what San Francisco has to say.<<< Not necessarily. Only if it's a very high voter turnout will we know the answer to that. If it's about a 50% turnout and Prop L wins, then we still won't know how the other 50% who did not vote felt or feel about it. Regardless, Prop L will not be funded (merchants and residents in the Haight-Ashbury have already said NO to additional $$ for street services) so even if Prop L passes life will likely go on as it is now without sit-lie. And the wealthy "elite" will just have to deal with seeing homeless and street people on our sidewalks and their numbers will continue to grow as this economy continues to crash and more and more people lose their homes due to foreclosures and more jobs are exported.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

Barbara, you are a moron who sides with whatever "progressive" stance is fashionable at the moment.

Sexual harassment is sexual harassment regardless of where it occurs. If such a vulgar and threatening proposition is acceptable in the Haight, would it also be acceptable for a woman to be likewise propositioned by a coworker in the workplace?

In a world where violence and mistreatment of women is sadly commonplace, your tolerance of sexual harassment is, ultimately, a very conservative one.

Posted by guest on Oct. 23, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

You need to grow a thicker skin.
In a free society, others may say things you do not appreciate or approve of.
It is their Constitutional right.
You are also granted this freedom, and no one can take it away.
Even if you make them uncomfortable or hurt their feelings.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

Questions Arthur won't answer

Where do you propose to put the people rounded up under Prop L? How do you propose to fund sit-lie (Prop L) since it's not going to be funded? Will it be illegal to be homeless in this City upon the passage of Prop L? Would you please answer these questions? They are questions Arthur won't answer.

(Questions Arthur won't answer. Questions Arthur won't answer. Questions Arthur won't answer.)

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

...then I came down and realized I was surrounded by ciminals and filth.

Nice article though.

Got anymore E? I need a hug.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

I went 2 times to Seattle last year and stayed 2 weeks at a time for business and the University and downtown area are plagued by drop outs and runaways looking for free money. None of the bums looked to be mentally ill nor handicapped but rather smart types that choose the easy way by panhandling to support their drug vice or whatever they are into. Same situation in my home town. I live in the Outer Richmond, a neighborhood wherein it's proximity to Golden Gate Park brings some of the "homeless" but I never go the Height. It is just a tourist trap and it shed it's Hippy day's years ago. It is now flooded with "creative minds" and "free spirits", adjectives with which the author of the articles describes the sidewalk invaders and decent people harassers. I am voting yes on Prop L and no on Prop M

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

Are you sure you live here? Twice in your comment you refer to the Haight as the "Height." The right-wing supporters are clearly showing themselves for who they are as people when they use such words as "bums" for homeless and street people. Why do you and other right-wing supporters feel the need to put people who are already down down farther by using such pejorative terms as "bums" to describe them? Do you describe yourself as a Christian? And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ If you never go to the Height [sic], (don't you mean Haight?) how would you know it's >>>flooded with "creative minds" and "free spirits"<<<? Flooded? How do you propose to fund Prop L that you are voting for when merchants and residents in the Haight have already said NO to more cash for street services? Where do you propose to put the people rounded up under Prop L? Will it be illegal to be homeless in San Francisco should Prop L passes? Since Arthur Evans refuses to answer these questions, can you answer them?

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

As a traveler myself, I appreciate Caitlin's article. I am disappointed to see the reactions it has received is a so-called progressive city. This city is no better, no more socially conscious, than any other city. The stereotypes that are illustrated in this thread are disgusting.
I am 21 years old and have been traveling since I was 18. I attend music festivals, and world peace festivals, visionary art festivals all over the world and have traveled to at least a dozen different countries in the few years I've been wandering... a 'gypsy' you would call it. I have never been addicted to anything besides possibly caffine, never drank more than a few days a week, and never done drugs more than a few experiments.... and I find this to be the consensus; addiction is not cool. yet it is just as rampant in our 'class' as it is in other. Perscription pill, cocaine, alcohol, etc are not vices of the homeless, they are diseases of society in its entirety. And attempting to eliminate one particular community will not eliminate the disease of an unhappy, disconnected peoples-- it will only exacerbate the problems

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

>>>As a traveler myself, I appreciate Caitlin's article. I am disappointed to see the reactions it has received is a so-called progressive city. This city is no better, no more socially conscious, than any other city. The stereotypes that are illustrated in this thread are disgusting.<<<...................Like some other major cities, San Francisco has changed some due to wealthy gentrification (which D8 candidate Scott Wiener wants more of). I would hope that we haven't changed that much that we are no better than any other city. Something that I don't think you may be keeping in mind is that this website is on the Internet and people from anywhere in the world can post here while claiming they live here. An example of that is someone up above referred to the "Height" [sic] district twice. It's Haight, not "Height." That told me the person doesn't live here while pretending to live here. Why would this website be any different than the website of the San Francisco Chronicle? Many right-wing people go on that site and pretend to live here when they don't. One can tell because they spell the mayor's name like this...Newsome. Many right-wing people have a project called hating on San Francisco. Some people do live here like right-wing Arthur Evans who refuses to answer the 3 questions I've asked over and over. He would be much happier in some right-wing town than here. My point is that one should not assume that the posts on any thread on this site are written by people in San Francisco or the Bay Area. More than likely, some of them are from Oklahoma, Indiana, Topeka Kansas or some right-wing hole like that where they have nothing better to do with their free time than to hate, hate, hate.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

The person you are responding to is not a citizen of the city either.

Posted by matlocl on Oct. 22, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

Kids come from all over the US, to hang out on Haight street, It's like something to do, just like some of you dream of doing a Pilgrimage to Rome, Mecca, or anywhere else, these kids come to the Haight, This is the kind of stuff that helped make San Francisco famous all over the world, 99.9 percent of these kids are Nice Kids, For the misdeed of .01 percent of them, the current mayor is asking San Francisco voters to give law enforcement new power to effectively clean up that street, or any other streets, by issuing tickets and or imprison those kids, It is not only immoral to do this, but most likely unconstitutional, Trouble makers should be dealt with, but only trouble makers! I suggest NO on Prop L, and NO on prop M, there are already foot patrols in San Francisco, and that's good.
Let kids be kids, Eventually, it's all going to fall nicely in place, San Francisco needs to live up to it's reputation of being a more Gentle place in this Mad World. best to you and yours.

Posted by unclejc on Oct. 23, 2010 @ 9:16 am

Prop M is the best chance to kill Prop L. As a standalone proposition, it's not the greatest. But it's a heck of a lot better than L. I'm voting No on L, Yes on M, but I actually hope they both lose.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 23, 2010 @ 11:21 am

The notion that San Francisco is and should be a city full of "creative" and unconventional vagrants is the fantasy of one segment of the city's population; predominantly white, college-educated people too fixated on the San Francisco of 40 years ago to do anything interesting in the San Francisco of today. This romanticized notion is what drew them to the city in the first place.

Romanticized as it is, it's OK for people to have this ideal. What isn't OK is to build public policy on the assumption that everyone else shares your ideal. My father, as just one example, did not emigrate to San Francisco from Palestine in pursuit of busking street kids and free-love. He, like many immigrants, came here for an education, safety, and a decent place to raise a family.

I know wanting to be safe, employed, and comfortable is terribly uncool and conventional, but these are the desires of many San Franciscans. We can't be sure how much the presence of homeless drug dealers in a neighborhood really hinders those desires, but we can know for sure that it doesn't help.

You should vote no on L, but not for the ideals expressed in this article. Vote no on L because it won't work.

Posted by guest on Oct. 23, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

It will just be used selectively after that to torment people now taking orders from cops.

Don't vote no because SF's golden bums will be put out. It's tempting to vote yes as a screw you to the scummy antics of the golden hobo's and the fundamental dishonesty of the so-called progressives.

Don't vote no because of so called "progressive values," because those are a joke, "progressive values" are just a veneer on their anti-liberal attempts on telling us all how to live in other areas of our lives.

This guest commenter is right, in reality the progressive view of SF is an idealization of 1967 SF hippie culture, while the lasting reality is 1969 burnout culture.

Like a conservative idealizing the 50's, the progressive idealizes world view that only exists in their minds.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 23, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

chuckle.

matlock or aunt bea's anus uses words like

"golden bums"
"golden hobos"

then barney fife's ball sack dropped on us with this line "like a conservative idealizing the 50's"

LOL. the use of the words bums and hobos are 1950's words matlock so when you talk about a conservative idealizing the 50's you're talking about yourself. you're still living back in the 1940's and 50's. you haven't made it to the 60's yet. LOL.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

It will change nothing, except to make criminals out of innocent people sitting in front of their own homes.

Vote NO on L, and BOYCOTT all businesses that have given their support to making a criminal out of you and robbing you of your civil rights as an American citizen.

Kent Uyehara and his businesses FTC Skateboards and SFO Snowboards deserve special infamy for spearheading this despicable attack on civil liberties and the spirit of San Francisco.

Remember to BUY NOTHING from these anti-social owners EVER AGAIN, even after the election.
For an easy to refer to list of business owners to BOYCOTT, see the Sit Lie Supporters Facebook Page. There you can find names of business owners, businesses, and even photos of many of the businesses on Polk Street and Haight Street that have lobbied for and funded this campaign to rob you of your civil rights.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

I don't know what drugs some people are on who think that some large numbers of people in this City are stuck back in the 1960s. If one opens one's eyes and looks at people, what are they doing? Talking on their mobile phones, endless and mindless texting, playing with their SUVs and watching American Idol type shows. Does that really sound like the 60s to you? Mention Harvey Milk's name and the response is "who's he?" Mention Nancy Pelosi name and the response is "who's she?" (Someone asked me that recently at a protest against Pelosi. The person didn't know who Pelosi is and they were standing in her district). Clueless people. Far from the 60s where people were very engaged in politics (human rights, women's rights, environment, abortion rights, the National Organization for Women and I could on). Today most people don't have an attention span for any of that. Most people, including those who say they are a progressive, are not stuck in the 1960s. It's very rare for me to see anyone who even remotely resembles a "hippie." When was the last time anyone saw someone who looked like a hippie from the 60s? What drugs are some people on where they are seeing hippies?

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 23, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

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