Here are some articles we've been reading this February. We'll start with the view from the East Coast with articles from Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the Washington Post, and travel back to the West Coast with articles from the San Francisco Chronicle and then hop across the pond to the Economist. We'll finish off with a Doja Cat palette cleanser. Articles are linked through SFPL databases whenever possible, so get your library card ready if you're reading from home.
Executives are trying to combat crime, drug abuse and homelessness. ‘Enough is enough, we’re getting involved in the muck.’
Adults need to relax and do nothing together, just like kids do.
This is what WaPo calls a "perspective piece" by their senior critic-at-large, Robin Givhan so if you're looking for straight up facts about Willis taking the stand, keep moving. But if you're looking for one hell of a description of the feeling in that room when Willis took the stand, look no further. The best part is when Givhan subtly defends Willis's use of cash by alluding to all the reasons a woman of color would rely on cash that Willis didn't mention, all of which come back to the structural racism and misogyny that exist in the American banking system.
San Francisco Chronicle, February 25, 2024
Regular "Native Son" columnist Carl Nolte offers a poetic reflection on the dichotomy we have here in our urban reality as he describes what he sees as he goes about his business one day: those people hauling five foot sacks of recyclables on the 24 bus line; eleven ships floating on a slate-grey bay. Part philosophical musing, part observation, Nolte reminds us that sometimes the most important thing you can do is look around and bear witness. Someone has to remember the broken down gas stations and how the hustle and bustle is returning to Market Street. Otherwise we loose our footing in the flow of time and can't mark change.
The Economist, February 17, 2024
Cited in Nolte's column linked above, this Economist article--published in London, England as Nolte points out-- heralds San Francisco's comeback, spurning the doom loop narrative while also acknowledging what the city has been through in the past five years. Take it from people who work at the Main Library in Civic Center: we need this positivity.
All these publications from outside California have something to say about our "cool, grey city of love," and everyday we're having our own experiences living here that confirm or refute what the papers are saying, making those of us who observe and bear witness even that much more important.
Harper's Bazaar, September 2023
For something completely different to top off this post, we're going back to September of last year because one of the librarians recently found her copy of the Icon Issue with Doja Cat on the cover under a pile of magazines under her coffee table. Doja Cat's voice in the interview is like a palate cleanser after mulling over the heady issues of San Francisco's image. She says, "I love love.... I'm learning to love myself, so the way that I love other people is very different. I don't feel like a lost little teen. I feel like a woman who is coming into her own."