Yesterday evening (Friday August 3rd) I attended both the Amoeba Music, San Francisco instore with super skilled turntablists DJs Platurn and Golden Chyld (pictured left) and also the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Best of the Bay soiree at the de Young Museum in nearby Golden Gate Park.
I hadn't been at the de Young Museum since it moved locations to its impressive new state-of-the-art facility in October 2005. Come think of it, I hadn't been in Golden Gate Park for about as long. And after seeing reports about the "homeless problem" in the park on local TV news and reading all the recent newspaper reports, which made it sound like there were homeless people camped out under every bush in the park's confines with dirty syringes poking out of everywhere, I was anticipating stumbling upon a sort of New Jack (tent) City, which didn't happen. Instead I only witnessed a small gathering of poor, unfortunate homeless down by the Stanyan end of the park (not far from Amoeba).
But anyway, regarding the homeless situation in SF -- I really see both sides. I feel bad for residents (especially those with little kids) who have to endure such things as street people pissing in their doorsteps or leaving dirty needles in their front yards or near playgrounds in the park. But I also feel bad for individuals who have substance abuse problems or who are mentally ill and who have no option but to live on the streets (dating back to Reagan as Governor of Cali). And never do I forget the fact that most of us are just one paycheck away from joining them.