Today was the first time I ever read Wendy McNaughton's "Meanwhile" comics (sketches? art? meditations?) on the City and I was completely blown away.
In this piece on 6th and Mission she managed to cover so many of the topics in San Francisco history which I've been leaning towards writing about in my dissertation: the destruction of low-income, working-class, mixed-race neighborhoods starting in the 1950's and the marginalization of entire (often older and historic) areas of the city as they succumb to gentrification, redevelopment, and the corporate take-over of public space.
This comic has it all: the destruction of the Western addition, SRO's, the International Hotel, South of Market Residential Hotels. Plus she brings a sharp eye to the stunning dichotomy (one of my old favorite San Francisco lecture topics) between the intersections of 5th and Mission and 6th and Mission.
It's so good, I'm spinning in my head again and so ready to start researching back up in the Bay this summer. Prospectus here I come? Perhaps? Let's see what the archives have in store.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
As promised in an earlier post, I have been exploring opportunities to write about California history in a more engaging and accessible medium. Today, my first post for the blog Untapped SF went up. This is one of the newest branches of a family of blogs called Untapped Cities which looks at modern urban culture, frequently with an historical bent. I hope to become a regular contributor to this blog and to use it as forum for exploring themes in San Francisco history as well as for developing my own historical voice. In a way, I see this as an opportunity to save my dissertation from being as dull as a dissertation.
Anyways, please go check out my first post and let me know what you think: