"No kidding," I said. "Where do you live now?"
"Over by Lake Merced," he said. Then he said the interesting slash depressing thing I've been thinking about ever since.
"But we're looking to move," he said. "This city's getting crazy." I nodded like I knew what he meant, although he could have meant any number of things. Then he said, "Amd we've got a kid now and we can't send him to San Francisco schools."
I didn't really ask for clarification because, hey, he's a guy working on my car and we're not here to debate the merits of San Francisco schools but MAN IS THAT DEPRESSING. I have a kid who's going to be going to school in a couple of years and it never occurred to me to just dismiss SF public schools out of hand like that. I mean, we fully intend to do the whole lottery thing and whatever and see what happens. (I assume he meant "San Francisco public schools" when he said "San Francisco schools" but who knows, maybe he just can't conceive of his kid attending any school in the city limits in which case never mind.)
It occurs to me that this attitude might be more prevalent among SF natives like this guy than with people who have moved here in the last, say, 26 years like me? From what I understand, SF public schools used to be worse and have been improving greatly over the past few years, so maybe that's it?
|This picture has nothing to do with this story except it's a cool picture of San Francisco. From some astronaut's Twitter, I think.|
The second depressing aspect of this brief exchange - and yes, I can manage to extract two depressing points out of a 20-second conversation - is that this is the kind of guy San Francisco desperately needs and can no longer keep. A regular, middle-class guy who runs a local business and is raising a family in the city and isn't trying to commodify parking spaces or figure out yet another way to get food from a restaurant to your door. I feel like we're losing the Normal Guy demographic and that's a vital part of this city or any city.
(Again, I'm making some assumptions here based on the fact that it's a guy who owns an auto repair shop and lives out by Lake Merced. Maybe he's actually a billionaire who created Repair.io the auto repair app but I didn't get that vibe.)
That's about it.