Why Come to San Francisco?

I was trying to answer email from yet another person wanting advice on moving to San Francisco tonight. I tried to come up with a few positives to balance all the negatives. It was damned difficult.

The rents are ridiculous; there is no one-bedroom apartment on this planet worth two grand a month. The proportion of creative and interesting people to workaholic corporate drones is becoming dangerously low. The music scene is moving to Modesto, the small movie houses are closing, and the bars on Folsom have become a dismal shade of boring I never could have imagined.

There are long lines everywhere. There’s no parking anywhere. A collection of commercial radio stations (which wasn’t great but was still among the best in the country) has become a mushy corporate stew. We have room for 60 Starbucks, 9 Kinko’s, hundreds of live/work lofts, and a Walgreen’s and a Rite-Aid on every corner, but we can’t find a place for bands to rehearse or for people without stock options to live.

The city is becoming older and less lively. Or at least it seems older, because the only younger people moving here are working 70-hour weeks and are rarely seen in public doing anything more exciting or social than talking on cell phones or mowing down pedestrians on their stupid scooters.

And despite all the posturing in this year’s election, I seriously doubt there’s much that can be done about it. And even if there were a solution, I doubt it could be implemented (or not soon enough, at any rate). I’ve never felt quite so fatalistic about San Francisco’s future.

Any realistic ideas? I’m fresh out, and I’m starting not to care anymore.