Shaking off the dust
Maybe it’s the rain. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection. It’s been a tough few months, and anyone who follows me on twitter (and the even smaller number who have access to my Livejournal) knows that I’ve been struggling with depression and stress in some uncharacteristically big ways.
But that’s not really what I want to talk about.
Though I’m still struggling in my own little ways, day-to-day life has started to lose that desperate and fatalistic feeling. And most importantly, I’m finding the momentum to do work and see projects through again. Which is where this entry comes in.
I’ve been meaning to pick up blogging again, and actually make use of the domain that I’ve adopted as my own. However, I’ve wanted to focus my writing in a more structured way other than just spilling my everyday thoughts onto this blog. In thinking about what I wanted to write about, even as a short series, I started to think about the neighborhood that I live in. Namely, SoMa.
SoMa, or South of Market, is just… a bizarre, beautiful, and complex place to call home. Geographically, it’s situated roughly between the the Tenderloin and the Mission neighborhoods. Ideologically, it’s nestled in a similar place. The Tenderloin, though it is filled with gems, is staggering and blighted. The Mission has already been lost to gentrification, a playground for the young and white who steer clear of it’s remaining islands of grit. But SoMa remains somewhere in between, where waves of filth still lap up against the condos. Things are still transient here. Things are much more fluid.
Especially in my corner of western SoMa, things are still somewhat up in the air. The sleek condos bump up against dusty SRO hotels and programmers in Zynga hoodies walk past men sleeping on cardboard on the streets. I know, in my heart, that this neighborhood is going to change in the next handful of years.
Still, I have no idea what it is going to look like. Hell, I don’t even know if there will be a space for me in this neighborhood in a few years.
Twitter is going to be my new neighbor. Other companies are moving in. There is a new interest in housing reform in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Newspapers are writing about how San Francisco is losing its creative types to Oakland while each day there seems to be a new artist warehouse being established in SoMa. Times are changing. I think now, more than ever, there needs to be more visible voices coming out of this neighborhood. We need more people talking about everything that SoMa has and everything that it lacks. All the beauty and dirt. The wonderful and terrible.
For what it’s worth, I love SoMa. But sometimes I’m not entirely sure why. By writing about it, I can only hope that I come close to figuring it out.