Tag Archives: hipster

Open Letter to SF Mayor Ed Lee and Police Chief Greg Suhr

Cc: Justin Keller


I am writing today, to voice my concern and outrage over the increasing techie, hipster problem facing our city today. It’s getting really bad. I’ve been living here for over thirty years, and without a doubt, it is the worst it has ever been. Everyday, from the sidewalk, I see men in suits strolling the city, sipping seven-dollar cups of coffee, complaining about the weather and the lack of parking, as if they have anything to complain about. Not a cent to spare us homeless as they pass us on their way to work at their tech startups. Worst of all, it is increasingly unsafe.

As more and more of us cannot afford to live in the security of locked doors and four walls, and more and more of us are displaced to the streets, we are forced to make room for the rich folks, who spent last holiday weekend taking their Valentines out on hot dates in the city. There were three separate incidents in which I was harassed.

The first incident involved a drunken man leaving the bar I sleep behind sometimes. He came out the back and saw me, and took offense to me leaning against the bar. He must have come there looking for a fight, and he found me. Maybe he was trying to look tough in front of his friends or impress a chick or something. I was an easy target.

The second incident occurred in the streets of the financial district. A stranger approached me, high and distraught, yelling and screaming, begging for cocaine, unzipping his pants, and grabbing my hands, as well as the attention of the patrons of an adjacent restaurant, observing the show from the safety of a public, enclosed establishment.

The third incident occurred when I tried sneaking into the theater, harmlessly, out of the way, for some much needed shelter and rest, and caused the entire auditorium to evacuate in horror.

What are you going to do to address this problem? Fewer and fewer of this city’s residents have homes. We have no safe places left to go that don’t get in the rich folks’ way. I know people are frustrated about the homeless problem in the city, but the reality is, so are we, the homeless. The wealthy, privileged ones who can afford the education, or have the right connection, flooded in to fill the jobs that raised this city’s rent and sent us wandering its streets in the first place. My pain, my struggle, my despair — I, shouldn’t have to be the spectacle of people passing by me on their way to work every day.

I am telling you, we need to determine a solution. People on both sides are frustrated, and neither side is budging. The city needs to tackle the techies head on. We can no longer ignore this infestation of startups and hipsters. It is a difficult and complex situation, and I don’t have a magic solution, but maybe you do. You pulled off a massive operation during Super Bowl, relocating and hiding all the homeless, tucking us away out of the tourists’ sight. While all your sheltered residents were warm in bed, the streets were swept, our possessions confiscated, our makeshift homes demolished, and they hauled us all “away.” So surely, you could do the same with all the techies, just sweep them up and send them elsewhere, restoring the city’s rent back to affordable, so some of the homeless can move back into our homes, thus actually getting us off the city’s streets. Political leaders have the power to make more change than I do begging behind an empty cup.


Homeless in San Francisco

Local Hipster Filed Missing After Going Into Hiding for Duration of No-Shave November, Due to Accidentally Burning Off His Beard

Illustration by Anna Kachelries
Illustration by Anna Kachelries – insta: @annafaith___

Local hipster, Forrest Woods, has been uncharacteristically absent this #NoShaveNovember, to the apparent dismay of his Instagram followers, one of whom reported him missing over the weekend. The search didn’t last long. Police found Woods alive and well in his apartment. “Waste of time. That’s the last time we search somebody reported missing by a Twitter follower,” complained one officer.

“Instagram, not Twitter,” his partner corrected, then added, “Boy probably just didn’t pay for his wifi this month.”

Woods disclosed to us by phone that his Instagram followers were probably concerned about his absence because of his dedicated participation in previous no-shave Novembers. “A lot of my followers only know about me because of prior years’ no-shave Novembers. I’m known to post every day to document the progress of my beard. People dig my facial hair, what can I say?” Woods explained.

So we asked him, “Why not this year?”

Woods sighed, an air of defeat in his breath, and swallowed back the tears as he confessed, “I burnt it off… my beard. I can’t show my face like this! Hairless…” This last word he uttered under his breath—a dirty word, in hipster terminology. “My beard is my most valuable asset, and now it’s gone, and who knows when it will grow back again… if ever!” Woods proceeded to lose his shit entirely as the true burden of his beardless-ness fully dawned on him. “My life is over,” he dramatically concluded, mid-interview.

“Not so fast,” we argued, “We still have more questions for you. For starters, how did you burn off your beard?” Predictably, Woods’ beard ignited after accidentally catching fire to his bow-tie whilst torching the unrefined organic cane sugar on his vegan crème brûlée. “Did your date call 911 when you went up in flames?” we asked.

“My date?”

We pointed out that Woods was making homemade crème brûlée, and wearing a bow-tie—rather unusual behavior for a man alone, staying in for the night. “Alone? I wouldn’t say I was alone. I mean, physically, maybe, but I was posting on insta the whole time… well, up until …the accident,” he choked back a sob. “I haven’t posted since I lost my beard. I haven’t known loneliness like this all my life. I had to disappear completely. Any account activity at all would warrant a demand for my customary morning selfie and a full-blown investigation from my fans. What would I tell them?!”

“Have you considered telling them what actually happened?” we suggested. “…#ForrestFire?”

“Not an option,” Woods asserted, resolutely.

“Suit yourself. But if you insist on disappearing, how have you been occupying all your time?”

“Mostly, I’ve just been altering old pictures enough to pass for new ones, so I can resume my online presence while I wait for my follicles to heal. I’ve also been massaging the affected area with coffee grounds and avocado oil to try to stimulate new growth.”

“Have you tried Rogaine? I hear it works wonders on premature baldness.”

“This isn’t baldness, it’s a burn…” Yes, Woods—a burn it was, indeed. Woods’ was becoming audibly frustrated with us, at this point, likely beginning to suspect we weren’t local officers following up to collect his statement for the police report, so without any further ado, we prompted Woods with our final inquiry: “We can’t help but wonder why your Instagram followers were the first to notice your disappearance. Typically, missing persons are reported by someone they’re physically close with… a coworker, friends, family, a neighbor…”

Woods paused to ponder this before responding, “I suppose I don’t see people in person frequently enough for them to notice. I live alone and work from home as a freelance writer and photographer. Rarely do my clients meet with me in person. And my family lives out of state. So, naturally…” Woods trailed off.

“We see. Perhaps you should consider having more of a physical presence in your own community, instead of confining your social life to social media,” we suggested, then added, “you know, so next time you go missing, you do it properly.”

“But I was never missing…” Woods argued.

“And if you do decide to go missing again, make sure it’s for a better reason than burning off your beard. Surely you have more to offer your followers than just your facial hair. If they can’t accept your naked face, they don’t deserve to see your photos in their feed. Find yourself some real friends who value you as a person and not just a vehicle for your beard. You should never be so ashamed of your face you refuse to show it.”