Tag Archives: SoMa

City of the Future Present

Saint Ann's Valley

“Saint Ann’s Valley” (2012)

The future we have created is far more horrid than any nightmare scenario we dreamed in the last century. In recent years, life in San Francisco has become radicalized in the most unpleasant ways. For all the City’s braggadocio, it no longer supports or even cares about the people who for many years made it such a special place. San Francisco has embraced corporatism and rejected culture, becoming in the process a city of the living dead.

I can no longer sell prints to save my soul. All my gear is collateral for a loan, thus changes to the central city have gone undocumented for months. One by one, my sponsors have discontinued their monthly subscriptions without explanation. Chief among them was a software company on Market Street. The amount of their subscription was pocket change to anyone who works there. For me, it meant sustenance for a week. Once rent is paid, I am forced to choose between necessities and generally elect to pay monthly bills for phone and internet services, utilities and medication instead of buying food, all the while sinking ever deeper into a financial hole.

Market and Golden Gate

“Market and Golden Gate” (2014) “Let There Be” marks the Eastern Outfitting Company building, restored 2013-2014 by Zendesk, Inc.

Struggling for miserable survival in the midst of plenty is not a life. It is constant torment and a harrowing, drawn-out demise. Intermittent lip service to the plight of artists is background noise, an irritant, nothing more. Else-wise, the silence has been deafening. Played out, worn down by age and failing health, limited resources depleted, it seems as though all my work has been for nothing. Those who may have wondered about my posts becoming so sporadic now know the reason.

Razing Saint Francis

“Razing Saint Francis” (2013)

If it so happens that you are enjoying the spectacle of my crack-up, please be sure to let me know. Even morbid appreciation is gratifying. Conversely, I will thank you to keep empty, bleeding-heart reassurances to yourselves. Hollow words serve only to annoy.

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Filed under Messages, Mid-Market, Sixth Street, Tenderloin

Mid-Market 2014, Parts 3 and 4

The fair and wondrous city that embraced me half a century ago has been transfigured. In the space of just a few years, so much of San Francisco’s urban fabric has been effaced that I barely recognize it anymore. My documentation of what has been and will be so carelessly thrown away and forgotten is necessarily limited and leaves much of the City unaccounted-for, although it is representative of what is happening to San Francisco as a whole. As San Francisco is transformed, so too is my relationship with the City. My daily life is infused with sadness, a wistful kind of sorrow, the melancholy of lost hopes and forgotten dreams.

Matrix

“Matrix” (2014)

Gateway

“Gateway” (2014)

Rooftop

“Rooftop” (2014)

Stacks

“Stacks” (2014)

6th Street Hotels

“6th Street Hotels” (2014)

SoMa and Beyond

“SoMa and Beyond” (2014)

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Filed under Mid-Market, Sixth Street, Tenderloin

Interview

Nuala Walters interviewed me for Hoodline last week, and you can read the results right here.

Hoodline recently teamed up with the Central City Extra to cover midtown San Francisco. Expect good things to come of this collaboration.

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Filed under Interviews, Mid-Market, Sixth Street, Tenderloin

Back at Last

Medical issues, financial woes and deep depression made the last seven or eight months pretty harrowing, diverting all my time and energy, and thus Up From The Deep has languished. Recently, I had to pawn much of my equipment to cover medication costs, thanks to bureaucrats and bean counters at my Medicare Part D provider. On the upside, my eyesight has been restored by my brilliant ophthalmologist, Dr. Gary Aguilar, and I have at long last pulled myself up out of the worst depressive episode in over twenty years. Now it is high time I bring you up to date with what I managed to photograph.

For starters, here are a few of the people who — entirely unbeknownst to them — kept me from altogether losing my mind.

wendy-mid-market

“Wendy – mid-Market” (2014)

Sketchers - mid-Market

“Laurie Wigham & Sketchers – mid-Market” (2014)

My friend Wendy MacNaughton, author and illustrator of Meanwhile in San Francisco, in partnership with the wonderful Laurie Wigham of SF Sketchers (“I want to sketch on paper without an undo button and get inkstains on my fingers”), invited me as a guest lecturer to lead a sketching expedition of the mid-Market corridor. What a grand time it was, and how fascinating to observe the ways different people perceive the same things.

Lewis Jackson

“Lewis Jackson” (2014)

Jackson for many years had a shoeshine stand near the corner of Mason and Turk. After he retired a few years ago, I lost track of him. When a mutual friend now living in Florida asked about him, I decided to look him up. I found him one bright Sunday morning, dressed in his Sunday best, near where his shoeshine stand had been, and learned that he returns there every weekend to visit with old friends. Whenever I would see him in years gone by, Jackson never failed to make me smile, and when I caught up with him last fall, I was not disappointed.

Gangway 01

“At the Gangway” (2014)

Occasional visits to the Gangway with friends Koffi and Dan would always raise my spirits.

Mark & Julia

“Mark & Julia” (2015)

Julia Scott, author of Drivel, invited me to participate in a soundscape audio tour of the Tenderloin called “Detour,” which ended up being a thoroughly delightful experience. Julia is a sweetheart with the patience of a saint, who even on my worst days managed to pull me up out of my funk to record voiceovers for her project. Not many people could do that, I dare say.

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Filed under Local Characters, Mid-Market, Tenderloin