Abraham Mohammed leans up against a delivery truck parked in front of his Mission Street shop with resigned disgust on his face. Visitors to the Mi Pueblito grocery store can barely approach on a sidewalk crammed with vendors and street people. Mohammed emigrated from Yemen 11 years ago to find a better life in San Francisco.

And for a while, he found it. Not so long ago, the corner of 24th and Mission was a community hub for Mohammed and his fellow shopkeepers and neighbors, close to transit and vibrating with city life. Now, the place has devolved into an open-air market that runs on stolen goods, drugs and crime.

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The Arena, a column from The Examiner’s Al Saracevic, explores San Francisco’s playing field, from politics and technology to sports and culture. Send your tips, quips and quotes to asaracevic@sfexaminer.com. Sign up for his weekly newsletter here. And follow him on Twitter @alsaracevic.