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Hollow City: Gentrification and the Eviction of Urban Culture
by Rebecca Solnit

AVAILABILITY: Active Record (Readily Available)

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

Description:

In a recent 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 spiralling 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.

Review:

A writer of startling freshness and precision. (New York Times)

Synopsis:

Drawing on architectural history, contemporary urban studies, and vivid, first-hand description, Solnit projects the end of city life for Bohemians and its baleful consequences for American culture. 50 photos.

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