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Five Tips to Surviving the Ghettos of San Francisco

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Late one night while walking home to my apartment across the street from the Westside Courts projects, I was having a peachy time and looking forward to crawling into my cozy bed. I was texting my friend when I heard a neighbor say 'œHey!' When I looked up to see who it was, my eyes didn’t make it to his face but rather the gun pointed at my chest. Instead of my bed, I found myself lying on the cold concrete emptying my pockets and forgetting how to formulate words in English. I’ll never know what my friend texted back to me, but a thug in my neighborhood does and I hope he appreciated her joke.

After a couple of weeks living in terror and thinking that even children on playgrounds were out to kill me, I finally toughened up and taught myself how to make it in the ghetto. In a city like San Francisco, I think we all know there are certain areas that can have business men walking with their briefcases on one side of the street, and cracked out tranny hookers stumbling along the other. If you live here, chances are you’ve turned a corner and wound up in a scary place a block later. Whether it’s the Western Addition, the Tenderloin, Outer Mission, or one of the many other areas that sometimes give me that not so fresh feeling, there are five tips I live by and I’d like to share them with you now:

1. Don’t use your cell phone in a sketchy neighborhood.

True, it may seem safer talking to someone you know while you’re alone in a bad part of town, but statistically using your cell phone increases the chance of an attack.

2.If you’re in a place where everyone is insane, act insane.

I typically do this by running as fast as I can and making a series of awkward noises. No one is gonna mess with you when they think you aren’t afraid to go Mike Tyson and take a bite.

3. If you’re stuck waiting somewhere where everyone is inebriated, act inebriated.

This one is better for daytime use. I’ve been stuck in the '˜loin a couple of times and seen some shady MF’s that looked like they were zombies ready to see some blood. So I just became a zombie. Drop your jaw, let your eyes droop, walk around slowly in circles like you’re dead on the inside and you’ll just be one of the guys. You might even get a date!

4. If no one is around, walk in the middle of a lit street rather than a dark sidewalk.

Less creeps will approach you if you’re walking in the light, and there’s the spook factor of a car coming and you being in their direct view.

5. Have your keys out while you’re walking home.

You can get right into your front door as soon as you get to it, and this way people will know you’re a local so instead of mugging or raping you they might bring you cookies.

I hope these tips have helped you gain a little confidence about living in or traveling through a  less than desirable neighborhood. If you stay alert to your surroundings, street smarts will come like second nature and you’ll be rocked to sleep by the gunshots outside in no time.

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Ryan Miller- Depleted Resource Analyst

Ryan Miller- Depleted Resource Analyst

Ryan Miller was raised in a small, quaint village named Portland, Oregon before spontaneously packing two suitcases, scrounging up $300 and catching a flight to San Francisco. Judging from his garbage, he is a connoisseur of Sun Chips and rather inexpensive wine. His personal goals are to refrain from hailing and accepting rides in random cars as well as greatly reduce the amount of hugs he provides for the homeless community. While touring Jamaica and prompted for his opinion on the prevalence of TB in third world countries, Miller eagerly asked, "They have Taco Bell here?"