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I'm Drew Breunig and I obsess about technology, media, language, and culture. I live in New York, studied anthropology, and lead strategy at PlaceIQ.

These are reactions to things I feel are important.

Rebecca Solnit on the "Google Buses" 

Near perfect, though it becomes a bit unfocused at the end as it wanders towards a general gentrification argument.

I hope there are anthropologists, economists, and city planners actively studying the effects of Silicon Valley shuttles. They’re transforming the city more quickly than municipal structures can adapt, resulting in an imbalance of city taxes, services, and a real estate. No where is the gap between America’s two economies more clear than at the 24th and Mission bus stop, where hourly workers wait for the MUNI next to a few derelicts cracking their first tall boy of the day while behind the city bus stop a line of young, clean cut, post-college kids wear funny T-shirts and stare at their phones.

Solnit includes the best expression of apartment hunting in San Francisco in this piece:

At the actual open houses, dozens of people who looked like students would show up with chequebooks and sheaves of resumés and other documents and pack the house, literally: it was like a cross between being at a rock concert without a band and the Hotel Rwanda. There were rumours that these young people were starting bidding wars, offering a year’s rent in advance, offering far more than was being asked. These rumours were confirmed. Evictions went back up the way they did during the dot-com bubble.

Megan and I’s last apartment in San Francisco was acquired by a stroke of luck. The scene above had played out in every building we visited. We only landed a place because it was run by an independent owner who’d had a previous tech tenant in another unit, who’d texted him when a water heater exploded. Our landlord didn’t have SMS on his cell plan so the water stagnated, causing tens of thousands in damage. As a result, he told us, he’d sworn off Googlers.

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  1. dbreunig posted this