Mannie (last name withheld) wondered, “Is this going to be a place people live for a couple years in their 20s?” He said he hopes not, but he’s worried that there is too much focus on the needs of “some of the next generation of people who don’t have a feel for the history of the place.”
“All the new people that have come to the Bay Area make me a little mad,” said Onynx Johnson. “There’s no common courtesy.” The changing culture means that Berkeley, “doesn’t feel like my home, even though I live here,” he said.
Israel Zion, a recent transplant from Miami, is blown away by the cost of living. “Everything is more expensive,” he said. “Gas is $2 more a gallon.”
Sean Weinstock doesn’t mince words about the cost of living in the Bay Area. “It’s f---ing expensive,” he said. “It’s expensive to rent a place. It’s expensive to buy a place. It’s expensive to buy a car.” Among his list of things that cost more here: food, gas, public transit, bridge tolls, and parking tickets.
“It’s so relaxed it feels stagnant.” That’s Mahal Bryant’s assessment of the Bay Area, where things close up early and there aren’t enough events for young people. “You have to have friends if you live here,” he said, or you won’t have anywhere to hang out. His friends, Israel Zion and Onynx Johnson, agreed.
“It isn’t easy to get around in a city that otherwise has great infrastructure,” said Jacqueline Ho. She said she tries to use San Francisco’s public transit, but is often frustrated by delays, overcrowding, and too few trains. Linda (she didn’t want to give her last name) said she generally likes local transit, but sees room for improvement in the East Bay’s AC Transit bus system, where she said the schedule is just a suggestion.
The current building boom has led to constant construction noise pollution that bothers Hilary Goldman. “Sense of serenity – I don’t think it exists anymore,” she said.
Sachiko Nemoto’s Bay Area nightmare is the dirty streets. “I watch where I’m stepping,” she said, just to avoid the human effluvia.
Richard (who didn’t want to give his last name) put the weather on his best list and his worst. He said he loves the cool ocean air in Berkeley, but, “There’s times when you want it to be sunny and warmer.” Mina Harris has lived here all her life, so it was hard for her to think of anything she doesn’t like about the Bay Area.
RM (who didn’t want to give her name) only regrets one thing: that her adopted home of San Francisco is so far from her family on the East Coast. Nothing to be done about that.