Earlier this spring, this tourist walked San Francisco’s crime-ridden downtown. I was saddened as I walked between Powell and Stockton Sts—once teeming with shoppers and tourists.
Now the big ticket shops leading to, from, and along Union Square, are empty storefronts with for lease signs pasted in windows as far as the eye can see. One block alone was particularly sad. On the east side of Union Square, a mobile Police command center, has a permanent position across from Tiffany’s. Spaced along that one block, were four police cars flanking the entry to the upscale jeweler.
Other uniformed SFPD cops were patrolling in“broad daylight.” Other private security soldiers stood in front of remaining open businesses, including Starbucks.
I'll stop here.
It hurts to continue.
Here's one bright side. No lines were needed to catch the 1 p.m. cable car heading north toward Fisherman’s Wharf. As a young newspaper reporter going home from my shift on the business pages of the San Francisco Examiner, I hopped aboard a cable car to take me to my flat in North Beach.
It reminded me of a rainy day back then when I was lucky to get a standing-only spot. Next to me, a young coed jumped on shoulder-to-shoulder with me just as the storm intensified. In moments, the runoff from the top of the cable car drenched her. She uttered, “It’s just my luck having to stand next to the drips.” Sensing my opening for a quip, I offered “I hope you’re not referring to me?”
Good to remember anyone laughing in the City.