Most tour participants were SF residents, including several from the Tenderloin. It was a lively and interactive tour (one resident passing by told us “no photographs, no autographs”). As Peter worked in the Tenderloin as a psychiatric social worker, he shared his insights. During the 1970s urban renewal, the destruction of SROs in Western Addition and SoMa drove the poor to the Tenderloin, which has the world’s largest collection of historic SRO hotels and the largest concentration of homeless in the City. Here are some tour highlights:
(My background includes living in the Tenderloin for a summer, while I worked at now-defunct SF Redevelopment Agency (SFRA) in Western Addition and shared an apartment with a classmate at McAllister Tower (http://www.uchastings.edu/housing/). Like JFK said about working in the White House, the pay was good and I could walk to work :-). I worked at SFRA for two years: part-time during school and full-time during one summer break. SFRA’s use of eminent domain displaced many years before so I joined my supervising attorney to volunteer with Homeless Advocacy Project (http://www.sfbar.org/volunteer/homeless_article.aspx), which held a weekly clinic at Cadillac Hotel (http://www.cadillachotel.org/), the first non-profit SRO west of Mississippi.)
http://www.thclinic.org/) Executive Director Randy Shaw is working to create Uptown Tenderloin Museum (http://uptowntl.org/museum.php) inside Cadillac Hotel (http://www.foundsf.org/index.php?title=The_Cadillac_Hotel_Shaped_History_of_San_Francisco). The hotel also was home to Newman’s Boxing Gym, where George Foreman and Cassius Clay (before name change to Muhammad Ali) trained.
http://streetopiasf.com/) is a month-long show, run out of Luggage Store Annex (http://www.luggagestoregallery.org/) at 509 Ellis Street near Leavenworth, that expresses utopian aspirations including a Free Café, theater, gallery/studio, library, public murals, art on area billboards, installations in vacant storefronts, performances in the streets, and events at nearby community gardens. (See Public Service Announcement listing below.)
http://www.luggagestoregallery.org/tnf/) with real and painted trees.
http://www.faithfulfools.org/) to prepare vegan lunch.)
http://www.openhand.org/join-us/volunteer/. I remember this location was Sierra Club HQ before POH.
More about Tenderloin's rich history and culture at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenderloin,_San_Francisco,_California. In addition to BeyondChron (http://www.beyondchron.org/), Tenderloin has a wonderful monthly community newspaper, Central City Extra, which featured May 2012 cover story, “Free Food for Sale” (http://www.studycenter.org/test/cce/index.html) and April 2012 article, “Farmers’ markets give away a ton of food” (http://www.studycenter.org/test/cce/issues/121/ccx.121-cp4.pdf).
Peter will present his fascinating Tenderloin walks again in October 2012 through http://www.sfcityguides.org/desc.html?tour=79 & http://www.sfcityguides.org/desc.html?tour=80. In the meantime, SF City Guides has two upcoming walks covering The Free Farm’s Western Addition neighborhood (see Public Service Announcements listing below for May 31 and June 2; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Addition,_San_Francisco,_California).
And check out Streetopia's events, which focus on community empowerment!
Public Service Announcements:
Thurs., May 31, 2012, 1 pm Sacred Places in SF Cathedral Hill
Meet at the main plaza entrance of St. Mary's Cathedral, Gough & Geary, SF
SF’s diversity is reflected in its places of worship. Visit churches, a temple, a cathedral and a synagogue. View the symbols and architecture and hear the history of the city’s religious institutions. http://www.sfcityguides.org/desc.html?tour=70
Sat., June 2, 2012, 2 pm Japantown, Urban Renewal & the Fillmore
Meet at the Japantown Peace Pagoda at Buchanan between Post & Geary, SF
SF’s Japantown dates from the earthquake and fire of 1906. Later, Japanese-Americans were uprooted in WWII and replaced largely by African-Americans who opened many jazz clubs. Then, in the 1950s, urban renewal changed the physical landscape. Today we see Japanese-style architecture next to classic Victorians and the birth of the Fillmore Jazz Preservation District. http://www.sfcityguides.org/desc.html?tour=45
Sun., June 3, 2012, 1 pm Every Block has a Story: The People’s History of the Central City
Meet at Luggage Store Gallery, 1007 Market St., near 6th St., SF 94103
Join Tenant Organizer James Tracey and Tenderloin native Lisa Cleis for walking tour and organizing. http://streetopiasf.com/Streetopia_calendar.pdf