Arts and CultureBoozeNewsSan FranciscoSex and DatingSliderTravel Writings

You Can Never Go Home Again: San Francisco in 2015

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news


The Infamous Arrow Bar (Image taken from Yelp)

I lived in San Francisco back when I used to puke a lot. And pee in alleys. Be it, cuz I was drunk, or high – my glory days – I would find myself in front of the Arrow Bar with some other lost teens/twenty-somethings, pontificating on how successful we would be because of our ______ (useless idea or talent) and shouldn’t we all collaborate on something? “Yes, let’s go back to ______’s house and talk about it until 6am.” It wasn’t bad, because we could do that, if we wanted. And some people’s delusions led them onto really successful careers, I think (maybe). Sure it got, dark. But you were able to do that there, back then. You were able to be delusional and dream and be hopeful and still pay your rent.

I still love the city for what it was, one time – a time that, upon visiting last weekend, I realized couldn’t feel further away. San Francisco wasn’t always dodging Google Glass wearers, Ubers, and your landlord cuz you don’t have the $1600 to pay for the room you share with three other people. It was a hub of cool weirdos with awkward haircuts and seven different jobs. It was a place where it was possible to pay $550 for a room in the mission with only two other roommates. It was home to probably the 800 best burrito joints in the world. It was one of the very first places I ever ruined my life, but it was strange and fun and original and diverse and nothing like it is now.

2015-01-21_1210People Moving, and Being Happy. No more, San Francisco. No more. (Image via

I used to be promiscuous in my re-location, when I lived there. Who cared? I could jump back and forth, from neighborhood to neighborhood, depending on what I thought I was into. I lived in every part of San Francisco, minus the Tenderloin and Hunter’s Point. (Couldn’t do it.) My boxes were rarely unpacked. That was the beauty of the city – it encouraged lackadaisical commitment phobia, offering it’s tiny square mileage up to you every time you pissed off somebody new, or vice-versa. Going through a break-up? You had a friend who’s roommate just got accepted to art school or something and needed a roommate, and the landlord never knew they were there anyway so don’t worry about a deposit. Things were always changing; people were always shifting and moving because you could quit your corporate job to pursue your dream of painting while working as a barista, if you wanted. Things were always changing, because you were allowed to, and they were allowed to, because everything wasn’t the most expensive thing in the world.

2015-01-21_1213An artist’s rendering of how chill San Francisco used to be (Image taken via Facebook)

I still know some of the originals, there. The few who have held onto rent control for dear life, or who had the connections to get a place after getting sick of New York, and didn’t realize what it had become. Every time I visit, I feel weird the whole time. There’s this unspoken misanthropic tinge to whatever we do. We try and ignore the Disney version of our once-beloved dive bars, and pretend we don’t notice the USB outlets in places we sometimes used to be scared to even go into. It’s a heartbreaker in 2015, our freezing little city by the bay. Like running into your favorite ex, and now they’re a drooling junky. Or realizing your favorite pet has died of old age.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was fun and it was all right and you could do what you wanted and it was ours. Now it’s theirs, I guess. Forever.

2015-01-21_1217Pour some out for the days of yore. Image via me.

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

Win FREE TICKETS to see The Wailers Perform 'LEGEND' @ Independent SF!

Next post

The Unseen San Francisco Episode of Young, Broke & Beautiful

Chloe Newsom - Dive Bar Desperado

Chloe Newsom - Dive Bar Desperado

I like kittens, 40s, cupcakes, pizza, metal, thigh-highs, weekends, travelling, and parks. Lemmy is god. That's...that about covers it.


  1. Sabrina Bruning
    January 21, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    My heart hurts. This is true. RIP. </3

  2. wickedwickedwicked
    January 21, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    …You forgot to mention that you were the niece of the Mayor. I don’t think your struggle was the same as the struggle many others had in the Arrow Bar days..

    • Chloe Newsom - Dive Bar Desperado
      January 22, 2015 at 9:40 am

      He is my cousin. I’m not his niece. And you have no clue what you’re talking about.

    • Chloe Newsom - Dive Bar Desperado
      January 22, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      He is my cousin. I’m am not his niece. Sounds like I pissed you off back then! Sorry.

    • missdawnh
      January 22, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Really? Obviously your struggle was never real. I’ve traveled in many many of the same circles as Chloe back in the day and she was struggling right along with the best of us. So yeah it’s not like Gavin was throwing her money. Seriously do you support your cousins?

      • Chloe Newsom - Dive Bar Desperado
        January 23, 2015 at 9:57 am

        thanks bae. <3

  3. Sionainn Wolfe
    January 21, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Well said..

  4. Musics
    January 22, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Good article. I would argue that this too is part of the change, for good or ill…

    January 22, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    If i have to read one more of these lame ass san francisco is dead articles… yada yada back in the day.

  6. missdawnh
    January 22, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Fucking A RIGHT! Best one of these articles. Truer words never spoken. Sure our girl had gone through many changes over her life but it was founded on misfits by misfits for misfits and the newest incarnation of her doesn’t allow an inch of weirdo. Dress up nice, get that job pay yer exorbitant rent …. Smells like our grandparents generation to me… Buying the lie and they’re all falling for it all over again. Sorry but ditching out and heading for the hills was the smartest thing I’ve ever done aside from aside from never owning a “Fixie”

    • Chloe Newsom - Dive Bar Desperado
      January 23, 2015 at 9:57 am


  7. gggg
    January 23, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Is that brownstein in the back right of the picture?

  8. Mark
    January 27, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Ha 550 each for 3 people is cheap? All you post first tech boom yuppies are so obnoxious, ‘whoah man the mission was so hip in the early 2000s.’ Are you fucking kidding me, the last time the city was hip was PRIOR to the first tech boom, you know back when bands existed here, back before the MAIN practice space in SOMA closed forever. I just can’t even handle these entitled kids