For some people it’s a favorite bar or restaurant closing down that irks them about gentrification. For me, it’s Hamburger Eyes being forced out of their space that made it personal.
Hamburger Eyes is one of my favorite things about San Francisco. If you’re not familiar with these dudes, they are analog street photographers and zine publishers who once rented out studios and darkroom space to other artists and photographers. Their gritty, humorous photography is something that I always thought mirrored San Francisco’s personality - well, at least up until the last few years. I get more excited about new zines from them than any computer or phone app could ever make me.
Situated in graffiti-laced Lilac Alley, it may not look like much from the outside, but I always felt way more comfortable in their humble space of unfinished floors, music equipment and random alien paraphernalia than fancy, nice offices with all the kombucha and coconut water I can drink.
I know that San Francisco has historically been a city in flux and always about making a fortune, but I hate to see neighborhood assets turned out this way. I don’t know who is taking over the space, but it pained me to see a suit park his Beamer inside the garage.
Artists can and will prevail, even if they are evicted from the places they made special. I have no doubt Ray Potes and crew will continue to keep creating and find new opportunities to thrive. It’s just defeating to think this capitalist cycle is the way things are and have seemingly no control over it.
You know, sometimes I feel like a modern day Robin Hood, albeit not as glorious and I’m not stealing from anyone. I take the money I earn from tech corporations and spend it supporting the people I believe any chance I can. Maybe that’s all one can do. It still sucks though.