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Hollow City
by Rebecca Solnit

AVAILABILITY: readily available

Publication Date: January 2001
Publisher: Verso Books
Binding: Paperback, 188pp
Topics: GENTRIFICATION; LABOR AND LABORING CLASSES_UNITED STATES; SAN FRANCISCO (CALIF.)_ECONOMIC CONDITIONS; SAN FRANCISCO (CALIF.)_SOCIAL CONDITIONS; URBAN POLICY; URBAN POOR

Description:

Reporting from the frontlines of gentrification in San Francisco's Mission District, Rebecca Solnit and Susan Schwartzenberg deplore the skyrocketing rents and corporate buyouts that may be coming soon to a neighborhood near you.In a letter to the San Francisco Bay Guardian's sex column 'Ask Isadora' a masochist wrote in to ask whether he really had to obey his dominatrix by sexually servicing their ancient landlord. Though the letter was on the surface about the extent to which a bottom's erotic obedience must go, it was really about what so much of here is about nowadays—rent." Reporting from the front line of gentrification in San Francisco, Rebecca Solnit examines the consequences when artists' love for space and authenticity in working-class areas, and rich peoples' love for the fashionable bohemia of artists' neighborhoods, are combined. The Mission, for instance, with its easier access to Silicon Valley, has become a standoff between hi tech's nouveaux riches and existing residents under threat from spiraling rents, including supporters of the Yuppie Eradication Project who advocate vandalizing expensive cars and restaurants in retaliation. Solnit is rueful about the decision by cities like San Francisco to increase their admission charges so that poor people, artists, and writers like herself can no longer afford to live in the inner city. Drawing on architectural history, contemporary urban studies, and vivid first-hand description, and enriched by the telling images of Susan Schwartzenberg, a photographer who weaves together her own work with older pictures to create complex portraits of place. Hollow City projects the end of city life for bohemians and its baleful consequences for American culture. 50 b/w photographs.

Author Biography: Rebecca Solnit, a resident of San Francisco for twenty years, is the author of four previous books: Secret Exhibitions: Six California Artists of the Cold War Era, A Book of Migrations, Savage Dreams, and Wanderlust: A History of Walking. An environmental activist and former art critic, she writes about place, environment and culture for Harvard Design Magazine, Sierra and Art Issues, among other publications. Urban archeologist and artist Susan Schwartzenberg is the author of the critically acclaimed Market Street, a visual study of San Francisco's main artery, as well as photo-essays in several books, including Reclaiming San Francisco.

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