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Re: <nettime> The Californian Reality (from: New Geography)
Molly Hankwitz on Wed, 22 Jan 2014 08:56:39 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The Californian Reality (from: New Geography)

hello, some comments -

Kotkin covers a lot of ground, perhaps somewhat inaccurately as all of you
have pointed out. nevertheless he manages to offer a bit of useful
historical geography
on Northern California as seat of Democractic party (Nancy Pelosi, D.
had considerable support from Bay Area technoculture

about the West - (coming from an east coast identity originally - its a
 distinctly different culture from the  east coast!!!

Hollywood may have started back east, but the main reason it moved out here
- and took root, as it were-
was the fine consistent weather in so cal, and the abundance of empty space.
sun was great even cheap  lighting for filmmaking and ceiling-less sound
studios which needed to be enormous.
these conditions for production were possible nearly around the clock and
round the full year. Disneyland was built in an orange grove.

Now San Francisco is beset with investors from where? well, one is a New
Yorker, let's call him "Larry", who's been buying up
properties in the mission district, It's NOT expensive, dense New York yet
and a man can escape and put his boots on the rail...

A good read about which sets up spatial identities lurking beneath and
behind the political landscape of this state is is Upton Sinclair's, The
Land of Orange Trees and Jails.

Google buses have been protested ! and framed as the appalling symbols of
tech-based forces exploiting the city which, indeed, they are.  parking
tickets for a public bus stop are 250 dollars. Bus transit is 2 dollars.
the Google giant pays one dollar per stop plus a 50 dollar "docking" fee
somewhere downtown.

Tim Redmond, editor of the Bay Guardian til recently, wrote a critique of
the Townsend Street/Third Street condos in about 2006, calling the condos
glorified college dormitories, full of single people owning their first
million dollar home who mostly worked in San Jose and Mountainview and then
returned to hip lifestyle in SF at night. Basically he called this Frisco
the  bedroom community for silicon valley "campuses". Google buses did not
appear until about one year ago, but the condo boom has been going on for
quite a while; that and biotechnology and the UCSF Mission Bay campus.

In the best selling  book, Boomerang, Berkeley writer Michael Lewis
explores the crisis of municipal funding  in Vallejo in terms of the
decline of "public workers". These conditions are echoed in pay cuts to
City College SF faculty who have received full benefits for years as part
time workers, and been paid well as employees of the  city. But, in recent
overtures about the college, faculty were docked and threatened with their
losing jobs.The current city hall has done virtually nothing to redress
this attack on public workers.


Kotkin could have talked about Plan A, the regional planning initiative
that is preparing the Bay Area for Manhattan-like density in the next two
decades...even Marin County will have to build affordable housing, or the
high speed train line planned between LA and SF. These developments fuel
big shifts in the economy here.

An interesting recent project responding to Ellis Act evictions and other
evictions across the city:

The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project,

started by Erin McElroy, a housing activist who for some time worked with
displaced peoples/gypsies in Romania.
McElroy published her eye catching maps and is quoted once a week as
anti-speculative real estate spokeswoman. She was one of several activists
to do an early morning action around a parked google bus, accusing google
of misuse of public infrastructure, She has managed to gather a team of 15
programmer/activists and the support of Stanford to continue both design of
her data visualization maps and added video, etc. website.


On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 2:33 PM, martha rosler <navva {AT} earthlink.net> wrote:

> yes,keith, brian, javier,,,,
> -Hollywood started in Edison, NJ, and Astoria, Queens. (But full
> industrialization happened as you describe, out west.)


molly hankwitz cox, phd.

arts and media/non-profit consulting/research

*You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change
something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

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