I’m sitting at the Gaslamp Cafe at 12th and Howard, watching the rain pelting down on the streets of SoMa. For the life of me, I’m trying to figure out what to write about for this week’s column. It’s so easy to get caught up in the cycle of writing about the same things over and over again when those are the things at the forefront of your psyche.
For example, I’ve written about fighting homelessness, in some capacity, in three of my last five columns. So I wanted to write about something else. But walking under the Highway 101 overpass, crossing 13th St./Duboce/Division or whatever it is at that intersection, I saw the row of tents that got drenched each time a car zoomed by on the freeway above. The water came down in splashes, like something from a waterpark, and all I could think about were the poor people inside those tents.
I then went to check out an artist workspace that I might be joining to use as a place to write. When I found out how cheap the rent was, I asked, “Well, what’s the catch?”
I was told the building is owned by an 80-something-year-old man. Because he owns lots of buildings, he can’t be bothered to worry about jacking up the rent on this one. We all discussed how, as soon as he passes away or stops running his business, his kids will turn around sell it. I didn’t want to write about the possibility of even more artists losing their spaces.
Mayor Ed Lee’s inauguration is Friday. The man who was supposed to “win by a landslide” because he was “running unopposed” garnered 55 percent of the vote. That is an embarrassing number, considering Gavin Newsom got something like 75 percent of the vote in a similar situation.
And Mayor Lee should be embarrassed for so many reasons, but chiefly because he has yet to take any action with regard to the shooting of Mario Woods. So those of us who are tired of seeing people of color shot down by the those who are sworn to protect them will be crashing the inauguration. You should really come join us. That said, I can’t really write about it, as Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez beat me to it in the Jan. 5 issue of the San Francisco Examiner.
So instead of writing about all of those things, I’m gonna say this: It’s 2016, and I’m proud to officially be the last person to wish you Happy New Year.
It’s so easy to stay entangled in all the things that dragged us down last year, and, honestly, there were too many to count. Even though the only thing a new year really does is get us to buy a new calendar, it’s important to remember that we keep time so that we’re able to pin down things in history.
Let’s make it so that when we look back at 2016, we say, “That was the year San Francisco got its shit together.”
Maybe 2016 will be the year we fix our homelessness crisis, end the exodus of artists and people of color and put a stop to police violence. Maybe 2016 is finally our year.
Never mind, I think someone already wrote about that.
Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at BrokeAssStuart.com. Broke-Ass City runs Thursdays in The San Francisco Examiner.