San Francisco, 2017

I talked about the changes in the Mission district in San Francisco that I have felt and noticed throughout the years. When I was growing up, I would spend a lot of time in the Mission because that’s where my mom would do most of her errands and groceries. Growing up, the mission, as I remember was very lively and filled with Latino culture and it always felt like home. I remember taking part in an Cesar Chavez march and everything surrounding me was Aztec murals, panederias, and just Latinos everywhere shouting “Si se puede”. But when I moved away, things seemed to changed. I was working in the city a couple summers ago and I would walk along Mission St. between 24th and 21st street and things looked so different to me. The streets did not seem lively as I remembered, the people looked different. There were so many white people walking down the street, some even smoking a joint and it just seemed so odd to me. There were Canibus clubs and rooftop bars with velets. One day I was walking down the street and saw a protest about gentrification going on in the neighborhood. It made me so mad because people have been living there for years and are being forced to moved out because they can’t afford to live there anymore because it has become a “hip” place to live. Anyways, I tried to show the changes I’ve felt and seen throughout the years from the early 2000’s to now. I attempted to take on Blake’s rhyme scheme of ABAB, which was a bit harder than I expected. I’m no poet, so trying to figure out what I wanted to say while rhyme was a challenging. Just as Blake, I tried to talk about a political issue, such as gentrification that is taking place in San Francisco while in Blake’s case it was industrialization.

I wander ‘round Mission Street

Looking at the colors surrounding me

Where the smell of tacos, pupusas, and urine meet

And people selling CD’s under a tree

 

Walking down Mission Street

Spanish is a necessity

Walking into the El Chico, I ask my mom for a treat

But she’s talking up a lady asking for a recipe

 

When I was little, I saw Latinos everywhere

Now I go and hipsters have taken over

Gentrification here and there

Rent so high you can buy a Range Rover

 

Now the murals are just a matter of aesthetics

Walking down Mission is so confusing

In the corner there’s still a man shouting something prophetic

But it’s not the same, walking down the street is no longer soothing

 

-Nancy Sanchez

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