Interesting effects of moving to a new place

I feel a need to assert my identity. As if I need to start drawing lines, like “I’m a Mission guy, not one of those wacky SoMa nerds or bros in the Marina* or yuppie folks up in Russian Hill/Pac Heights/Nob Hill/whatever.” I don’t like admitting to people that I work in tech. I’m self-conscious about my Caltrain bike tag. I shopped for clothes, as if to say “I’m the kind of metropolitan guy who wears Beta Brand, not a techie rube who wears cargo pants and sneakers.”

* I hear that there are bros here, and they live in the Marina? Huh? Whatever.

Relatedly, I always hear people complaining about gentrification, even though they’re the gentrifiers. I mean, I’m one, right? But everyone always points the blame somewhere else. “Yeah, you just moved here, and you work in tech, but you’re not like one of the problem people.” Sure, nobody thinks they’re a problem. It’s like we’re railing against some possibly-nonexistent Terrible Gentrifying People who just move in and make the city terrible by throwing money around.

But this is all just one story, right? You can tell a crummy story about any group of people. If your story is “Terrible Gentrifying People come in and throw money around”, then you spend a lot of mental energy trying not to be one of those, instead of just doing good things.

(at some point, I was talking to someone about potential uses of tweets and stuff to help understand cities, and I mentioned gentrification, and he said something like “Don’t do a project about gentrification. Stay away from gentrification. It’s such a loaded, meaningless word.")

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