Mission District gentrification has been a hot topic for San Francisco residents for quite some time. It’s raised a lot of rift-raft between the wealthy and middle class and social cultures. If you walk on 16th and Mission, you are in the beating heart of the Mission where Spanish and Hispanic culture is renowned. It’s lined with fruit stands and taquerias playing the latest Mexican music hit.
Though, if you walk just a block–one street light up–to 16th and Valencia, it’s a whole different world. Non-Hispanics and English-speaking hipsters fill the cafes, used bookstores and yoga studios that line the streets. Walking between the now intermingling Mission you find the ma and pa fruit stands next to the organic health grocer, the art gallery next to the local hardware store.
For over the last fifty years the Mission District has been the port of entry for Hispanic immigrants to start their lives. Now the dispute of the intentions of gentrifying begins. As a culture and home for the immigrants, gentrification will leave them no place to go. Houses are now being sold as homes to the prosperous instead of rented out as rooms. Rent is being tripled and the wealthy are moving into homes and retail space.
On the flip side of the argument there are people in favor of the gentrification because no place is permanent to live forever and feel that as we grow into a new era, it’s natural that the neighborhoods be revitalized and uplifted with less ‘grittiness’.
Yet it’s that same grittiness that people are fighting to hang on to as it’s rich in culture, leaving some afraid that the Mission culture will be lost for good.