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San Francisco: Before the Tech Boom, and Now

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Image: Transit Joint Powers Authority (Left) and Pelli Clark Pelli Architects (Right)

Look at these side-by-side pictures of what San Francisco looked like just ten years ago compared to now. Google Maps provides Street View images dating back to the 2007-08 Great  Recession and financial crisis, so we we dug up some not-even-that-old photos to compare how San Francisco looked in the late 2000s to what it looks during the Tech Boom of today.

These changes are called ‘business cycles,’ people, and they happen in every local economy. But the way they happen in San Francisco is pretty remarkable and eye-opening, even if you’ve been here the whole time and saw it unfold.

Image: Google Street View (Left) and Transit Joint Powers Authority (Right)


San Francisco media will furiously dryhump the Salesforce Transit Center Grand Opening this week, and I’m sure it will be a far nicer facility than the contagion-infested, late-night Greyhound terminal that it was up until 2009. And definitely nicer than the eyesore construction site that it’s been for about the last ten years.


The notion of millionaires living on gritty, SRO-covered Mission Street used to be an insane proposition. But it became commonplace in 2014, as best exemplified by the transformation of the 99-cent store Giant Value turning into the Vida condominiums and restored Alamo Drafthouse.


The ‘constantly under construction’ culture of San Francisco is best exemplified by the formerly lovely walkway thoroughfare of Union Square, now a giant mess of a Central Subway project. It is technically possible that the Central Subway will not be completed in the lifetime of any of any person currently reading this article. We wish we were kidding! We’re not.


Even our old friend Market Street has been bit by the condo bug, with many open spaces a thing of the past. You might say these convoluted construction projects and their fancy-ass results are are a sure sign that San Francisco is making progress, and entering a shining new era. It will be a shining new era — until the economic crash inevitably arrives, no one can afford the shit anymore, and its lack of upkeep eveolves it back to the baseline level of San Francisco fugliness.

Post your own “before and after” pics of San Francisco in the comments below.

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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.