Photo courtesy San Francisco Police Department Records, San Francisco Public Library

In his day, Jaime Maldonado says, his father was an interloper, too. When the elder Maldonado opened La Victoria Bakery on 24th Street in 1951, the neighborhood was mostly Italian and Irish; La Victoria displaced Murphy's Pharmacy. Mr. Murphy went out of business, but the bakery and the Catholic church down the block helped turn the area into a thriving Mexican neighborhood.

"It was like someone put a giant neon sign above us: 'Aquí están los pinches Mexicanos'," jokes Maldonado, 44, an exuberant man with a sly sense of humor.

Photo courtesy of San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
Erick Arguello, head of the Lower 24th Street Merchant’s Association, in his “makeshift office” at L’s Caffe on 24th Street.
Anna Latino
Erick Arguello, head of the Lower 24th Street Merchant’s Association, in his “makeshift office” at L’s Caffe on 24th Street.
Gourmet sandwich shop Pig & Pie preserves the signage of a previous generation.
Anna Latino
Gourmet sandwich shop Pig & Pie preserves the signage of a previous generation.
Kate Rosenberger has opened bookstores in Noe Valley and on Valencia Street, and hopes 24th Street is spared homogenization.
Anna Latino
Kate Rosenberger has opened bookstores in Noe Valley and on Valencia Street, and hopes 24th Street is spared homogenization.
Denise Gonzalez of Luz de Luna thinks businesses have to be versatile or perish.
Anna Latino
Denise Gonzalez of Luz de Luna thinks businesses have to be versatile or perish.
Sidewalk Juice owner Jason Nazzal, a second-generation merchant, sees 24th Street becoming another Valencia.
Anna Latino
Sidewalk Juice owner Jason Nazzal, a second-generation merchant, sees 24th Street becoming another Valencia.

Focusing on the neighborhood's history of transformation seems to help keep Maldonado, who has run La Victoria since 1992, upbeat about the erosion of the Latino business district his father helped forge along the strip of 24th Street east of the BART station.

The street has long been home to a mix of mom-and-pop restaurants, hair salons, and bodegas. The latest round of changes began quietly several years ago, as a few sleek coffee shops and restaurants popped up. But in recent months, they have become the norm rather than the exception, as 24th Street looks a lot less like the quieter cousin to gritty Mission Street and a lot more like a second Valencia Street, with its array of high-end boutiques and trendy eateries.

Those changes were abundant in 2012: Gourmet sandwich shop Pig & Pie opened where record store Discolandia had enjoyed a 30-year reign as a Latino cultural hub. Another of the street's oldest businesses, Roosevelt Tamale Parlor, changed ownership for the second time in five years. Taquería El Tonayense was evicted, giving rise to a Jewish deli, Wise Sons, which proved an instant success. A gritty Latino bar abutting the BART station was reborn as a well-lit café. A liquor store became a juice bar. A narrow store jammed with Catholic votive candles and statues shut its doors, and an arty out-of-print bookstore opened where the Purple Haze smoke shop used to be.

Long-empty spaces on the street are being filled, leaving it with fewer vacancies than any other commercial district in town, according to Erick Arguello, head of the Lower 24th Street Merchant's Association, an all-volunteer group. And rents are climbing. An unmemorable vacancy near Potrero Avenue recently bore a handwritten For Rent sign asking $3,500 a month. Arguello says prospectors have asked some businesses when their leases expire.

The street changed in fits and starts for years, but the pace of change seems to be accelerating in a way that has many Latino business owners scared.

"It's a time of lots of opportunity," Maldonado says stubbornly. But he knows that if La Victoria is to survive, he's going to have to place big bets on major changes.

How to perceive those changes depends on the stretch of time one considers. Jason Nazzal, who owns Sidewalk Juice, grew up working at his father's store, Valencia Whole Foods at 21st and Valencia streets.

"I saw Valencia 20 years ago, and it's a totally different neighborhood there now. I felt like the same thing was going to happen here," he says over the whir of blenders in his new 24th Street shop.

Changes to 24th Street began to snowball in the second half of 2012, but they've been building for some time. Those entrepreneurs thinking in the long-term have been watching and waiting.

Chris Dixon, a 42-year-old with dark-rimmed glasses, first moved to the Mission during the dot-com boom. Early on, he didn't feel safe walking alone at night in some areas. But two years ago, he opened a tiny record shop on 24th Street near South Van Ness with expectations that the street's commercial tenor would change.

Pig & Pie owner Miles Pickering, a tidy man in his 40s, also settled near 24th Street in the late 1990s.

"It was clear that it was coming, but I've been completely blown away by how fast things have changed," he says.

Meanwhile, some of the same businesses that presaged Valencia Street's gentrification in the 1990s have led 24th Street's transformation. Modern Times Books arrived in 2011, when the co-op could no longer afford the rent on Valencia. Alley Cat Books, a sister to Valencia's Dog Eared Books, followed last fall, taking over a long-shuttered smoke shop owned by the same landlord. Sidewalk Juice expanded from its original location just off Valencia on 21st Street to open its doors last summer.

Valencia Street now commands commercial rents high enough to force out the boutiques that took over during the dot-com boom. Currents, one of the first boutiques to open on Valencia in the early '90s, just closed due to a rent increase. Rents are so high that the Valencia Corridor Merchants Association has asked the city for a moratorium on full-service restaurants, which often outbid other businesses.

Because retail spaces on Mission Street have big footprints, designed to accommodate the department stores that made up the thriving Mission Miracle Mile in the 1950s, the spillover of boutiques and restaurants funnels down 24th Street. Wise Sons came to 24th Street in large part because the partners couldn't afford to rent on Valencia, says co-owner Evan Bloom.

Asked why she chose 24th Street, Alley Cat Books owner Kate Rosenberger shrugs, "Someone was going to do it."

Rosenberger, who sports a gray shag haircut with multicolored highlights, has an unwitting habit of landing early in gentrifying neighborhoods. She opened Phoenix Books on the Noe Valley stretch of 24th Street in 1985, and Dog Eared Books on Valencia in 1992. She hopes 24th Street will be spared the upscale homogenization of those strips.

"There's so much going on down here," she says of the street beyond Alley Cat's hardwood floors.

The incoming tide of affluent young white people into the Mission resonates change all the way out to its farthest corner. Even after the dot-com bubble burst, they have continued to come to the Mission. Economic forces drive the trend, of course, but individually, newcomers are lured by their compatriots and the neighborhood's reputation for being an exciting, diverse place to live. It's the same song being played on street corners in Los Angeles' Echo Park, Austin's east side, and pretty much all of Brooklyn.

Common to that song is that the neighborhood's Latino population is waning, however. Latinos, who once accounted for nearly half of the Mission's population, now make up just over a third, according to the most recent census data. For whites, the numbers are reversed. White Mission dwellers are also much better off than their Hispanic neighbors: The median income of a white household, $102,245, is more than twice that of a Hispanic household.

Rents have continued to edge upward. In the spring of 2012, as the tech industry and others picked up their hiring, rents in the trendier northwest corner of the Mission spiked upward, says Deborah Brown, a leasing agent with J. Wavro Associates.

Higher residential rents push nearby commercial rents higher, experts say. And for businesses that serve working-class Latinos, they also erode their customer base; regulars move away and only return sporadically, shopping as much for nostalgia as for products.

La Victoria's Latino customers increasingly come on weekends to stock up for the week, Maldonado says.

"They used to live down the street, around the corner; they no longer do. Those are the ones that used to buy here every day. So now it's a challenge to fill your everyday consumer dollar. If they all move to Watsonville because their home got repossessed, that makes a huge difference," he says.

Many merchants can no longer afford to live in the Mission. Maldonado packed up for Ingleside in 2007. The family that runs Ayuntla, the pop-up restaurant that opened inside Casa Sanchez, was forced out of its previous location by condo development; the older generation lives on 22nd Street, but the younger generation has settled in Daly City. Nazzal, who's Middle Eastern, lives in South San Francisco.

Unlike the Mission's white residents in the 1950s, who later moved to the suburbs, most Latinos aren't leaving the neighborhood by choice. They leave behind the Mission's strong cultural fabric to secure lower rents, sometimes in troubled East Bay neighborhoods like West Oakland.

"The reality is the Mission has not always been a Latino community. It was German; it was Irish; it was Polish. But the people who left went to better places, and now the Latinos who are leaving are going to worse places — places where they don't have the resources and they have more crime," says Eva Martinez, a San Francisco native and former executive director of Acción Latina, a cultural nonprofit with offices on 24th Street.

Taking an even longer view, it becomes clear that the Mission, far from being shaped by sudden cultural popularity, has been in a huge, constant, often bloody state of flux that complicates easy notions of gentrification. Almost since the Spanish mission that gave the neighborhood its name was founded in 1776, the Mission District has been a canvas colored by the city's shifting economic tides.

The Mission sits on a valley floor surrounded by Twin Peaks to the west, Potrero Hill to the east, Bernal Hill to the south, and to the north sand dunes were leveled to create the South of Market neighborhood.

The Spanish mission shattered the Ohlone Indian settlements that had occupied the valley. When the missions were abandoned just a few decades later, some affluent Hispanics stayed behind. But before long they were muscled out by merchant-class white settlers who followed the 1849 Gold Rush.

The developing American city's earliest streetcar routes connected the Mission to SOMA, which has historically worked as a kind of staging ground for downtown. SOMA was divided between industrial and port-related industries, and working-class housing for new immigrants. As each subsequent wave became more established, workers would flow out to live in the Mission.

The neighborhood developed east from the site of the Mission Dolores and south from SOMA, unfolding gradually toward what is now the district's southeast corner at 24th Street and Potrero Avenue. Commerce first sprang up on 24th Street in the latter half of the 19th century to serve these outlying residents, who were cut off from the commercial strips on Valencia and Mission streets by a diagonal rail spur.

In 1867, St. Peter's Church, the city's first Irish parish, was founded around the corner from where La Victoria Bakery stands today, turning the southeast corner of the Mission into a working-class Irish stronghold. 24th Street became its bustling commercial hub.

After the 1906 earthquake, disputes over building codes delayed the reconstruction of SOMA, which had been almost entirely razed by fire. A wave of English, Scottish, Irish, German, and Scandinavian union laborers was pushed out to the Mission to live. The area ceased to be a leafy suburb and became part of the hurly-burly of the rebuilding city, becoming less affluent and more densely packed.

And it emerged as a hotbed of labor activism. In 1907, the Streetcar Strike claimed 31 lives after railroad bosses hired gunman to disrupt protests. The strike's spiritual leader was Rev. Peter York of St. Peter's Church, and many of the union workers lived in the Mission. The strike ultimately failed, but it bestowed on the Mission a political capital sealed in blood.

The neighborhood remained a mostly white progressive stronghold through World War II. But after the war, the Mission's residents began drifting out to the newly built suburbs, including the Sunset District and Visitation Valley, joining a national "white flight." Latinos rose to become the neighborhood's dominant force.

The first arrivals spilled out from SOMA in the 1930s, when construction of the Bay Bridge brought thousands of workers to the district. More followed, gradually clustering around the church and bakery. White bohemians also drifted in. The Mission went from one-tenth Latino in 1950 to nearly half Latino by 1970.

White laborers forged the Mission as a neighborhood and put it on the progressive map, but they saw it as a way station on their path to greater economic prosperity. The Latinos who arrived after the war, though, made the area their own. They breathed new life into it.

In the 1960s, Latino neighborhood groups managed to fight off the urban revitalization program that ultimately proved disastrous in Western Addition and the Fillmore. Chicano activism flourished, and Mexican-style murals began to color the neighborhood. Galería de la Raza was founded in 1970 at the corner of 24th and Bryant streets.

In the '70s and '80s, political turmoil in Central America drove another wave of Latinos to the Mission, generating some infighting in the community that paralleled the rise of gangs. Meanwhile, affluent gay men starting spilling out of the Castro into the Mission's northeast corner.

The Mission was politically weakened when dot-com money hit the city's veins like a speedball in the 1990s. Developers took advantage of a 1988 law easing zoning restrictions for live-work lofts, replacing many of the Mission's idle industrial buildings with polished residences. Tech workers followed, lured, too, by easy access to the freeways that lead south to Silicon Valley.

The population of the 94110 ZIP code, which encompasses the Mission and Bernal Heights, swelled by nearly 4,000 between the 1990 and 2000 censuses before settling around 70,000 people in 2010. The median household income rose in the '90s from $29,874 to $53,108 — almost a 30 percent jump even after adjusting for inflation. Rents and housing prices went up, and many longtime homeowners sold. Businesses cropped up to cater to the newcomers: Valencia Street, previously occupied by appliance stores, became a row of boutiques and top-tier restaurants.

The influx remade the northwest corner of the Mission, but delivered only a modest trickle of newcomers to the southeast corner before the dot-com boom went bust. The 24th Street commercial district remained largely unchanged.

But now, with a second boom reshaping the city's economy, changes in the 24th Street corridor are accelerating. For business owners, the news isn't necessarily bad. The influx of money is a business opportunity for those able to seize it.

"I think it all depends on the business people's ability to adjust and to realize that they may want to still serve traditional customers, but they have to create new ways to serve new customers," Martinez says.

La Palma Mexica-tessen, opened in 1953, is almost always jammed with a mix of white and Latino customers. The Roosevelt sees steady traffic of white and Latino patrons of all ages. Over the summer, Woody Allen filmed scenes for his upcoming movie, Blue Jasmine, at Casa Lucas bodega before having lunch at Wise Sons.

Along the 24th Street corridor, nearly a third of proprietors, including Maldonado, own their stores outright, insulating them from spikes in commercial rents.

Indeed, some of the current turnover has more to do with generational change than rising rents. Discolandia went out of business when owner Silvia Rodriguez retired. The woman who ran Angela's Gifts, which sold mostly religious items, became too infirm to run the store. The husband-and-wife owners of Frutilandia restaurant, who had been commuting from Antioch, retired and sold the business to a younger Latino couple. In December, World Pioneer Video went the way of many video stores, but the owners, an Asian family that also runs the Chinese restaurant at 24th and Bryant, plan to open a natural grocery next door to the now-empty space.

Luz de Luna is one of a handful of new Latino-owned stores on 24th Street, when it moved in June from a cramped spot on sleepy 25th Street. In a historical echo of Maldonado's ouster of Murphy's Pharmacy, Luz de Luna took over the space J.J. O'Connor Flowers left behind when it closed after more than a century in business.

Owner Denise Gonzales has sought to make use of her proximity to BART by appealing to passersby of all races. The gift store is colorful, with a big, open doorway and polished wood floors. Her business has picked up since she moved, says Gonzales, 54, a Peruvian woman with a broad, welcoming face. The customer base has become more "American," she says, by which she means white.

Gonzales and Maldonado think, to some extent, that businesses that can't or won't change doom themselves to failure. The older generation of businesses can boost their economic outlook by updating storefronts and making an effort to appeal to the neighborhood's newer residents, Gonzales says. Restaurants and bakeries haven't kept up with growing appetites for healthier fare, says Maldonado; they could offer less food but boost the quality.

Those approaches have shown early promise for Rafael and Tyrisha Frias, the new owners of El Nuevo Frutilandia, a brightly lit living room of a restaurant that abuts Lucky Street alley.

Rafael, a lifelong Mission resident who owned a restaurant once before, saw Frutilandia as a neighborhood icon. When the owners decided to sell, they first considered a buyer who planned to put in a coffeeshop, Frias says. "I felt it was my duty as a local to try to save it."

Frias and his wife gave the place a much-needed paint job, put out a sidewalk sign, and made a Facebook page with an online ordering app. Positive Yelp reviews followed.

It's still not a slam-dunk, though. "Any business is a struggle. You have to try, you have to make it work," Frias says.

Struggling businesses face an economic double-bind, unable to revamp their stores or boost marketing efforts, Arguello and Martinez say. Business loans are hard to come by in this period of tight credit. The merchant's association is helping businesses dive into online marketing, and it's exploring a wide range of options to help with the costlier fixes.

There's no lack of trying to keep the area's Latino history alive in the present.

In the future, the 24th Street corridor will be a laboratory for a different approach to supporting commercial districts. It is among the first neighborhood business districts the Office of Economic and Workforce Development will seek to sustain through a new program, Invest in Neighborhoods, in which the city will invite merchants to help calibrate the services their district needs most.

In areas with high vacancy rates, the city incentivizes new businesses setting up shop. But along 24th Street, the goal is to preserve stalwart Latino businesses.

"There is a real desire on everyone's part, including many of the new merchants in the neighborhood, to preserve as much of the existing character of the neighborhood as possible. We feel like stabilizing the merchants who want to stay is the priority. We've heard enough from neighbors that they want to see the small businesses that have been there for a long time, they want to see them stay," says Jordan Klein, a neighborhood manager at the OEWD.

The neighborhood's celebrated history of Latino and union activism has marshaled a sense, in a city that continues to lean left, that its roots should be preserved. And many of the new businesses have taken steps to fit in. Rosenberger has made an effort to ensure that her bookstore reflects the neighborhood, actively courting Latino customers by stocking Spanish-language books and displaying work by Latino artists in the gallery space at the back of the store. She says Latinos make up about half of her clientele. "I'm trying to hold off hipsterdom at the door."

Pickering says he wanted to keep Pig & Pie "down-home and downscale," in keeping with the area's character.

"I get my back up not so much about businesses that come in to change the Latino character of the place, but businesses that are upscaling and trying to make it another Valencia," he says.

The merchant's association is working to ensure that, even if Latino businesses continue to disappear, the neighborhood will at least retain physical evidence of its history.

"Those that have been here a long time are concerned it's going to lose its flavor and become bland, that it'll get too polished. Because that's the beauty of it in a way," says Arguello.

Before Arguello persuaded him to leave it, Pickering had planned to trash the three-dimensional Discolandia sign that sits atop the Pig & Pie storefront. Pickering's glad he kept it, despite the strange branding that results. Some longtime residents have stopped in to thank him, he says. But few stay to eat. Pickering hopes adding chorizo to the menu will help, but his expectations are low.

Even as white and Latino cultures interact with curiosity and respect, they still tend to self-segregate. Latino-owned L's Caffe draws a significantly browner clientele than Sugarlump coffeehouse, which sits directly across the street.

In a skirmish that hints at tensions beneath the surface, a rumor circulated that Wise Sons planned to erase the youth-painted mural that adorns its eastern wall. Arguello and others approached the owners about retaining it, co-owner Evan Bloom says. The rumor was baseless, Bloom says — if anything, the deli hopes to do more work with a neighborhood nonprofit that organizes youth to paint murals.

"The old guard doesn't want to get dumped. They don't want the Mission to turn into North Beach, which is just a farce of what an Italian neighborhood is. They're doing a much better job than North Beach of holding on," Maldonado says.

Maldonado may love the Mission and his Latino culture, but he's not blind to the issues they face.

"I get sad that Latinos in my generation aren't more progressive and proactive in terms of understanding that things are going to cost to make things better," he says.

If La Victoria is to remain a vibrant part of its community, it will have to change to meet the demand of the neighborhood's new mix of residents.

The business has gone from offering Mexican food to Latin food to, increasingly, "Latin-inspired" cuisine. Maldonado sees his white customers torn between their interest in the culture that surrounds them and their own tastes and habits. To meet their palates halfway, La Victoria is slowly introducing menu items such as tamarind beignets and chamomile teacakes with cassis glaze.

"They're flavors you already like, but you don't necessarily have in your home," he says.

Maldonado also hopes to redecorate the bakery's storefront and update the dark, old-world interior. Tables will go in, and La Victoria can begin offering a full-service dinner five nights a week for about $15. Maldonado hopes pop-up kitchens, such as the vegan Soul Cocina the bakery recently hosted, will cover the other nights.

In a volatile neighborhood, you have to be a jack-of-all-trades.

"People are on their way in and people are on their way out at the same time, so your business model has to change year to year, while you figure out who really is out there," Maldonado says.

It's not easy for mom-and-pop operations to change that quickly. La Victoria hired a pastry chef with foodie credentials and Latino roots as its first step toward a re-imagined menu two years ago.

Maldonado has just made a batch of terrones, traditional sweetbreads made of breadcrumbs, almost as if his hands were on autopilot. One sells for $1; a beignet, meanwhile, sells for $3.

"I know which way I'm leaning in the next few years," Maldonado says, handing over a terrón for the road. "I'm not an idiot."

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Great article,  Jaime Maldonado  said it best when stating, "I get sad that Latinos in my generation aren't more progressive and proactive in terms of understanding that things are going to cost to make things better."  This is exactly how I feel!  I thank you for including it in this article.


I've heard that the swim is first so fewer people drown (as in, you'd be much more likely to drown if you swam last, after being exhausted from biking and running). Very sad news about Ehlinger, at any rate.


Late to the party, but...  One small detail: St. Peter's was NOT the first Catholic parish built for the Irish community of SF. That honor belongs to St. Patrick's in SOMA, which is about 16 years older.

eddie.ferrusquia 1 Like

Great article on gentrification in the Mission District.You say “evolution of 24th Street”, I say socio-economic Darwinism.As a Latino and exile of my once-beloved neighborhood, I generally sense in my people a great deal of defeatism towards gentrification that would have been unimaginable just 40 years ago at the height of the Chicano Power movement.Whatever the hell happened to us since then is beyond me, but if it’s anybody’s fault that Latinos are being shoved into the armpits of California (no offense, Stockton) it’s probably us.

But before us Latinos all stock up on Speed Stick, allow me to leave a few words of wisdom to the new (read: mostly white) residents of the Mission:

Dear hipsters and yuppies: (Is there a difference, really?  I’m not being sarcastic; we really don’t know.  We just call you yupsters for the sake of clarity.)

Every time you walk down our streets at night, point and snap photos in our store windows while we’re working late, and go “oooh”, and “aaaah”, and “hahaha, isn’t that funny”, it’s actually fucking obnoxious.  The Mission is not a zoo and Latinos actually resent being treated like exhibits in our own neighborhood.  (“See the endangered Chicano in its native habitat before it's extinct!)  When the class-cleansing that started with Willie Brown has finally finished its work in San Francisco and there’s not a single one of us left, then you can open the exhibit.  Maybe breed a few of us in captivity.  Turn the place into a wax museum.  Preserve the traces we left behind so that future generations can discover who we were.  (“Look, they left paintings on the walls!”)

You might think we don't understand when you make fun of us, but chances are we do.  (BTW, they’re called quinceañera dresses, they're supposed to be big and colorful, and they're designed for 15 year old Latinas, not a gaggle of snickering, siddidy, 30-something white girls already way past their prime.  Sorry ladies, you couldn't rock those dresses if you tried.  If you find them overly ornate and ostentatious, why don’t you slip into something more your style, like a tasteful Scandinavian-inspired evening gown, or a bedsheet with straps?)

As much as we all love organic patchouli burgers, not all of us can afford to eat at upscale “foodie” joints.  Latinos for the most part find it counterproductive to impress first dates with conspicuous displays of wealth – we save that for the wedding.  Nor do we feel the need to wow her with our extensive knowledge of the esoteric world of kelp-based Sri Lankan cuisine.  You’d be surprised what we can do with pupusas and a sexy Spanish accent.  Don’t you yupsters have your fill of pretentiousness in the art scene?  Now you gotta be bougie about food?  How about just thanking God for something to eat in a city where hundreds of homeless go hungry every day?  But I’ll tell you what: you stop judging us for walking around with a Popeye’s drink, and we won’t make fun of your knit sweaters and corny old-timey mustaches.  Anymore.

Some things are just better left to the pros.  There’s something not quite right when November creeps upon us and the only people not actually marching at Day of the Dead are Mexicans.  It’s because we now know how black people felt when Elvis came along.  Day of the Dead is a sacred Mexican tradition, not a Halloween after-party.  Those of us who observe Day of the Dead have a connection rooted in hundreds of years of Aztec and Mexican culture that gives us the right to honor our ancestors in this way.  The only connection yupsters have to Day of the Dead is a pasty, almost skeletal complexion.

You can have Cinco de Mayo, though.  It’s BEEN played out for a minute now and really, it’s all about the booze anyway.

Truth is, whatever armpit we Latinos end up shoved into, we’ll always bring the Mission with us.  By the time we’ve all made the move to the unholy perimeter around the Bay Area, we will have brought with us drink, tacos, music, dance, murals, horchata, bachata, chancletas, women, men, rolling r’s, poetry, culture, and cholos.  In short, we will infuse LIFE into those barren wastelands of 100 degree summers and meth.  We turn armpits into cleavage!  Pretty soon the Mission will be the new armpit of San Francisco and yupsters will once again be on the prowl for a new trendy area to gentrify.  But as much as you yupsters won’t be able to resist telling all your friends about the scene in Watsonville and decide you want to “slum it up” for the weekend, please, this time do us all favor and stay home.  Don’t come running to our new hood when you’ve turned yours into Whitebreadistan and it’s no longer cool anymore.  Latinos know all about what happens to our neighborhoods when they become “hip”, and we hate packing.

- Ed  (Mexicanus Chicanicus)


@eddie.ferrusquia Latinos who bought real estate in the Mission are doing great - either from the increased commercial rents they now receive or from the sale of their properties.


Neighborhoods change over time. Just as Latinos moved into the Irish/Italian neighborhood and built 24th St. as we know it now, others will move into the Latino neighborhood and establish their cultures.


@tomkirvin  The Irish and Italians left on their own for the American dream in the suburbs.  Track homes were being built by the thousands and where cheap after world war two. They left not just from the Mission but from the Castro and other parts of the City. Housing in the city was abundant and inexpensive at one point.

Today people are being pushed out by developers, investors, realtors. They are being evicted for higher rents. Ellis Acts are on the rise again with the promise to move in and they don't or have family move in until they could rent again at higher rents. Tenants and business's are being harassed and bullied. The murals that made our neighborhood colorful are now being deemed ugly and removed.

Its a big difference.


@HIstory @tomkirvin My Mexican family left the Mission on their own, too, for the suburbs. I watched it happen in the '50s and '60s. I came back. You cannot legislatively create a neighborhood and certainly you should not do so by race or ethnicity. Neighborhoods evolve. They go away and return as something else.

eddie.ferrusquia 1 Like

@tomkirvin - the key difference this time around is that while the Irish and Italians moved out of their own accord (white flight into the suburbs), Latinos are being displaced by good old fashioned capitalism.

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