Monday, April 12, 2010

Urban Safari!

This article, about an attempt to sell San Francisco's 'gritty' Tenderloin neighborhood as a tourist destination ("Wow! Look at all the massage parlors! Ooh, let's take a picture with some homeless people - look at that SRO, it's so authentic!") reminds me of the time I was at La Taqueria in the Mission, and a guy with a safari hat and a tee shirt with "urban safari" printed on it came in, leading a group of 20 camera toting midwestern tourists. He walked up to a long table with several customers sitting on it, and told everyone to find another table because he had a big group. To their credit, people mostly ignored him, or got up and left the table. He went up one by one to the remaining people at the table and, exasperated said, "look, you have to move, this is the only table big enough." Mild mannered (and already not sitting at that table) as I am, I told him to shove it. I almost don't want to link to his company, because I don't want to give them any business, but I trust my reads. NSFanyone with any kind of political sensibility, but go ahead...

Some of my readers might be wondering if my living on the outskirts of, and spending most of my time in the Mission was really the same thing as Urban Safari. I don't think so, possibly it is up for debate, but literally telling (local, Mexican) people to move because (white, out of town) people need to sit was, um, poignant.