#san francisco

The bad news is that we’ll no longer have a view of the Bay Bridge from the proposed arena. The good news, from John Coté:

The Warriors will own the site outright, rather than leasing it from the Port of San Francisco, and the team says the arena will be entirely privately financed - a rare instance of a modern sports venue that would use no taxpayer funds or public land.

In other words, this is definitely going to happen now. The Warriors are coming to San Francisco.

Joe Garofoli:

On paper, Moretti said the city is well-positioned to take advantage of the economic moment. It has plenty of office space, a strong transportation system and enough available housing that should a boom occur, prices are unlikely to spike as high as they have in San Francisco.

While the average apartment rent in San Francisco is $3,518, it’s $2,019 in Oakland. Commercial office space in SoMa costs $57 a square foot compared with $26 a square foot in Jack London Square, according to the CBRE real estate firm.

It continues to feel like a big migration to Oakland is inevitable. Crime remains as issue, but even that appears to be getting better. With the prices in San Francisco, we’re nearing the tipping point.

Zoë Corbyn:

Stewart Brand, who personified the link between San Francisco’s 60s flower power and the emerging technological hub of Silicon Valley, lives on a houseboat in Sausalito, just across the Golden Gate Bridge. He is watching with pleasure as the tech boom enfolds San Francisco. Now 75, Brand came to the Bay Area in 1956 and became famous for publishing the counter-cultural bible the Whole Earth Catalog which recommended the tools, technology and attitudes hippies would need to advance themselves and society as a whole.

As Brand sees it, history is being made again in the city. There is the suburban version of Bay Area cyber-business and there is a new urban version being created in San Francisco. “Market Street has been this sleepy dead street for a long time,” says Brand, referring to the thoroughfare that bounds Soma. “Well, it is lively and exciting again now, thanks to the tech guys… A creative form is a creative form.” Brand is convinced that the injection of so many young people with technical skills, money to play with and no family ties will spawn new ideas in San Francisco, a well-heeled, much needed creative renaissance.

He has little sympathy for those displaced along the way. San Francisco is a small corner of the Bay Area, he points out, and the rest still has significant economic diversity. Even if San Francisco becomes a Manhattan-like redoubt of the rich, the area as a whole will see benefits. “One side effect of this may well be that Oakland, which is pretty damn interesting, becomes even more interesting.”

First of all, he’s exactly right about Market Street. I was walking down it myself a few weeks back and could not believe how much it has transformed in just a few short years. And I’m not sure anyone can argue that it has transformed for the worse.

Second, the notion of Oakland fascinates me. It’s so close to San Francisco, and it’s connected via public transportation, yet few people I know ever seem to go there. This has to change as San Francisco continues to change. I suspect we’ll hear a lot more of the “Oakland is our Brooklyn” talk in the coming years.

Ray Ratto:

In sum, the 49ers are everything one should want in a team, but somehow are not yet all that. They are not in Buffalo Bills territory yet, losing four consecutive Super Bowls and being remembered as the quintessential team that couldn’t finish the deal. They aren’t even the Denver team that lost three Super Bowl in four years, or the Minnesota team that lost four in eight. You can’t even say they’re getting a reputation for not winning the big one.

But 2014 will be a hugely important year, and not because of the gaudy new digs. The 49ers are that very good team that has the wherewithal to be great but hasn’t proven it in the all-in hand yet. What they have accomplished is very difficult. What they have not yet done is more difficult still.

I was quite (and perhaps unfairly) upset following the 49ers loss to the Seahawks last week. But after taking the week off to calm down a bit, this whole piece seems like a reasonable assessment.

[thanks @steven_aquino for sending it my way]

Incumbents Asleep At The Wheel

The numbers, as reported by JP Mangalindan for Fortune, are staggering:

The San Francisco Cab Drivers Association (SFCDA), an association for registered taxi drivers that promotes fair working conditions and business practice, reports that one-third of the 8,500 or so taxi drivers in San Francisco – over 2,800 – have ditched driving a registered cab in the last 12 months to drive for a private transportation startup like Uber, Lyft or Sidecar instead.

Read that again. One-third. Twelve months. We tend to throw around the term “disruption” way too often these days, basically stripping it of all meaning. But this is actual disruption. And it’s disruption in such a short amount of time that it can truly be felt by all.

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Sometimes When An Apartment Seems Too Good To Be True, It’s Some Dude Scamming You From Singapore

These days, it seems like the phrase “too good to be true” has a very positive connotation. That is, we often hear it used about a great deal that seems too good to be true, yet somehow is true. But recently, I’ve come across the flip-side of “too good to be true”. That is, a deal that seems too good to be true, because it is not true.

And I’ve actually come across such a deal twice in the past year. And both times I was doing the same thing: searching for apartments online.

We all know what a pain in the ass it is to search for apartments. The internet has alleviated that pain in many respects (and continues to with new startups). But it has also created new, sort of terrifying pains.

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Director Peter Yates and Steve McQueen photographed by Barry Feinstein, on the set of Bullitt, 1968.

Steve is a marvelous actor. He said to me on one or two occasions, ‘Don’t give me too much dialogue.’ But, of course, he dealt very well with dialogue. His reactions, his eye movements, are just extraordinary. Just watch his eyes." —Peter Yates


Fans of the 49ers have raised more than $9,000 to purchase a billboard in Seattle aimed at taunting residents with images of the five Super Bowl trophies the 49ers have won as a franchise. The group’s website said as of Wednesday afternoon that $9,358 has been raised.

With the project expected to cost $7,000, the remaining money will be contributed to Seattle’s Children’s Hospital, according to project manager Aasheesh Shravah.