Correos Electrónicos/E-mails

El 22 de febrero de 2014: Here’s an e-mail I received asking about San Francisco’s Castro barrio:
“What’s the main industry or business in the Castro or is there one? Maybe you’ve said but I haven’t read it.”
My response: Hola y gracias. Yes there is a main industry or business. The Castro barrio is awash in coffee. There are countless coffee places. No shortage of coffee. It seems that most people never learned how to boil water and grind coffee beans. Something pretty basic to do so instead they spend lots dinero/money on having someone else make their coffee drink for them. That’s also the thing about gentrification which is happening to San Francisco at this time: Cities which become overly gentrified often turn into boring, insipid, bland places devoid of creative thought and inspiration. The Castro is an example with endless coffee shops selling “high end” coffee. And another coffee place is waiting to open. How much more coffee do we really need? Can’t someone think of something else more interesting to open? A cheap Greek fast-food chain restaurant from the Hate State of Arizona—what happened to San Francisco boycott of Arizona because of their anti-immigrant laws?—opened recently at 18th/Castro but the reviews so far are a 2.5 out of 5 stars. Not doing well. Nothing at that location does well. This is the third or fourth business to occupy that location in the last few years. Korean food was before this and that closed. A soup place was before Korean and that closed. The Castro barrio is mainly known for very average restaurants. Alcohol is also a main industry with the gay bars where “straights” come to get drunk in the gay bars especially on weekends. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 30 de enero de 2014: An E-mail regarding San Francisco’s Castro barrio (again):
I think your site has written the most about how the Castro has changed. Other sites & blogs I visit locally seem to want to deny the changes as opposed to the way you write about them. I go to the “gay gym” in the Castro and was there today. There’s a trainer there I’ve admired for a long time, until today when he opened his mouth and started talking. He asked the guys sitting around where we were, “how many will be watching the super bowl on Sunday?” Everyone except me said they would be. One guy said, “you bet cha, isn’t everyone watching it?” This trainer was the same way. I slid out quickly thinking to myself that yeah the sheep will be watching the sheep bowl. I wouldn’t have heard a conversation like that in the Castro or in this gym just five years ago. As you’ve astutely noticed, the Castro and the gay community seem to want nothing to do with their alternative past. They now like being sheep. You can publish this e-mail if you’d like and thanks in advance.
My response: Hola y gracias.
I’m not surprised at all. It’s much easier to be part of the sheeple herd than not. Because when one is not part of the herd, it’s similar to swimming upstream. These days, most of the GLBTQ populace seem absolutely content and delighted to be able to swim downstream with the “straight” herd to be as much like them as possible. All I ever hear anyone talking about around here is partying and getting drunk and watching “The Game” where muchachos/guys are grunting and screaming like lunatics at walls of television screens over a corporate sports team (and with the San Francisco major league teams most of those players don’t live in San Francisco or anywhere near here from my understanding). It’s just the San Francisco name and the “team” mentality. It’s extremely similar to partisan politics (“gotta support the team,” and “my party right or wrong”). Ugh. There’s nothing else in anyone’s life going on around here but this shit? I hear nothing of substance in what little conversations I hear. It’s rare to hear conversations anymore because the herd are addicted to their thumb boxes/gadgets. When anyone talks, there’s no talk about anything that is serious or something that matters in most people’s lives. It’s just “I’m like, she’s like, I’m like, I’m like, like, like, like” (brain dead sounding stuff) and all about the last party someone went to and the next party they’re going to, and about the major league corporate sports team(s). I know several people who are now looking forward to leaving San Francisco and the Castro. We’ve talked about it. They, too, are disgusted with what San Francisco and the Castro have now become. The only thing holding them up is: Where to go? They want to go to another country and it depresses them that they have to stay here for now. These are people who used to love San Francisco (the former city, that is) and they have lived here for decades. What San Francisco and the GLBTQ populace have become is sad to think about. Chau.—rosa barrio

An E-mail regarding the Gay Populace in San Francisco:
Hi, I used to live in San Francisco and have fond memories of the Castro and all those hot and hunky gay men I saw often. Today I read your article about the gay community being pushed out of SF and what’s causing that. I felt very depressed after reading your article not because of you but by what’s happening in San Francisco. It’s very sad and I know it must depress you since you said you moved from the east coast to CA to be part of that large gay community and now it’s just vanishing. What you said about straight couples made me laugh. I can relate. What I find appalling is that San Francisco refuses to put the brakes on and stop this madness – this complete “makeover” of the city now. That’s what I got from what you wrote. I’m sorry this is happening. I’ve tried to put myself in your place and I would feel the same way you feel if it were happening to me. Thanks for the informative article.
My response: What a nice e-mail. Muchas gracias for that. The city—corrupt politicians, their hacks and shills and the venture capitalist(s) they work for—is not about to put the brakes on because they love what is happening here and absolutely want it to continue at any expense. Some people want the Castro to become an “upscale” area (bourgeois elite). The “straights” seem to be trying to turn it into a bourgi area also. It’s never been that as long as I’ve lived here. And shallow, superficial and pretentious people can strut around in expensive clothes with their noses towards the sky but that won’t necessarily change the barrio into a bourgeois elite barrio. Gracias for your kind words. Chau.—rosa barrio

A Late Cumpleaños Wish to Chelsea Manning (el 17 de diciembre de 1987):
¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Chelsea!

(UPDATED) An E-mail regarding the changed (and changing) San Francisco:
I found your site through a search engine. I am back in San Francisco after having lived several years in Italy. It was a major shock to come back to the States after living in Italy. I don’t relate at all to US Pop Culture. I don’t know what to think about “The New San Francisco” other than it’s not me. It’s not the city I left when I move to Italy. I have read quite a lot of what you’ve written about what has happened to San Francisco. It makes me sad to see SF want to become like any other city and increasingly only for the wealthy rather than what used to be a unique city. It’s painfully obvious that many people in SF prefer the “New San Francisco” but I don’t understand that because I can find the “New San Francisco” in any city I go to in the US. We San Franciscans used to pride ourselves on being different. Not now. I won’t ask you what happened because I already know from reading your articles. Appreciate them.

My response: Hola. Yes, I’ve seen some people brag now that they are not the least bit alternative (that’s what they said), which is something I used to never hear or see around San Francisco. Alternative is what San Francisco was known for and was the unofficial Trademark for the city, so to speak. But today: Corporate is “in.” Being sheep is “in.” Big corporate box stores are “in” carrying junk made by child labour in China. (Nobody has a problem with that anymore?…Sigh.) Corporate sports teams are “in.” Why? In my opinion and the opinion of others: Because some corporatists or corporations or corporate sports team members said the word “gay” in a positive way or someone came out of the closet and so the (gay) sheep feels they now must support the corporatist unconditionally. That’s my interpretation of what’s going on. Just as a corporatist politician (such as the White House occupant) will say the word gay in a positive light or appoint someone who’s gay to some position (merely as gay bait) just so he can use gay people once again as an ATM Machine for fund-raising for the next election cycle and for the useless and misnamed “Democratic” Party, and the GLBTQueer sheep fall for that stunt once again. What’s also “in” in San Francisco: Eating meat/greasy burgers and fries is “in.” Eating fish out of the contaminated Pacific is “in.” The sheep don’t care what’s in it! (Note: Pacific Kelp has been found to be contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster and some fish eat kelp). Eating healthy is “out.” Getting drunk and bragging about it is “in.” Saying the word “like” (or a staccato “lick” is how it sounds) every-other-word is “in.” Having big pretentious, expensive “Keeping up with the Joneses” vehicles is “in.” Shallow, superficial and “luxury designer condos” are “in.” Yes, pretentious and outrageously expensive glass boxes stacked on top of each other are “in” for the techie bourgeois elite, who seem to think they are better than other people. Apparently there are idiots who think we no longer have earthquakes in California. Sheep. And I’m seeing the term “Class Warfare” being used more and more in San Francisco as the city becomes a city for really just the super-wealthy and the poor. Gracias for your e-mail. Chau.—rosa barrio

An E-mail regarding: More feminine gay guys holding hands with a female in San Francisco’s Castro barrio
“From reading your site I take it you live in the Castro so you have got to know about this. What’s with the effeminate gay guys I see walking holding hands with a female as if they’re girlfriend and boyfriend? They look like they’re paired off wrong. Usually the woman looks more masculine than the guy does. Any ideas?”
My response: Hola. Yes, I’ve seen that and others have noticed it too. It could be a case of going back in or staying in the closet which some people are doing even in San Francisco (the former “gay mecca”). Loco. Damn odd, isn’t it?! Mi amiga/My friend said when she sees this type of thing she thinks: “Does la muchacha put on a strap-on and fuck him?” Possibly. Gracias for your e-mail. Chau.—rosa barrio

Another e-mail and perspective on the “straight” invasion of San Francisco’s Castro barrio
“If I may, I’d like to give my opinion on what’s happening over in the Castro. I’m a married heterosexual woman. My husband and I do not understand why heterosexuals seek out the Castro as a place to hangout. We heterosexuals have the entire world as our playground so why can’t gay people have their own little playground called the Castro and other gay areas in other cities? I’ve read on your site where heterosexuals are coming into the Castro and trying to change the area to the way they want it. Something does not seem right about that to us. My husband and I have moved many times in the time we’ve been together but we’ve never tried to change a neighborhood we moved to to the way we wanted it to be. We moved to a neighborhood for what it was and had to offer and that’s why we moved there, not to change it. I would offer that these heterosexuals who are infiltrating the Castro have ulterior motives, some of which you’ve touched on such as the cheating on one’s partner and one or both being in the closet. The Castro should be the home and playground of gay people and not a heterosexuals make-out center. We have the rest of the world where we can do that. Thank you for reading my email.”
My response: Hola. Muchas gracias for that. Chau.—rosa barrio

Many people are sick of the “straight” invasion of San Francisco’s Castro barrio
An e-mail from a Castro resident:
“Just wanted to say this to you: I know a lot of people and most of them are upset about what’s happening to the Castro. They are sick of seeing straights making out in what is supposed to be a gay area. They are so in-your-face and obnoxious about it. Last week I was reading someone’s restaurant review and they complained about the straights making out in a restaurant they were reviewing. The reviewer suggested they get a room across the street for an hour’s rate. Many people I know are originally from the east coast or Chicago and they tell me that they didn’t move clear across the country with hardly any money and start a new life in San Francisco only to see straight people making out, holding hands, and seemingly thinking that the Castro now belongs to them decades later. They say they would have stayed where they were if they knew this was going to happen because they could see straights fondling and making out where they came from, they didn’t need to come to San Francisco to see it! Many people are sick of it. They tell me that’s why they stay plugged in to their smartphone so they don’t have to see straight behavior in what is supposed to be a gay area. Just want to let you know that you’re not alone in your frustration. Take care.”
My response: Hola. Muchísimas gracias for that. Yes, an amigo of mine talked with a guy at his gym about it recently. The gym is known as a gay gym but the other week mi amigo saw another “straight” couple making out in there. It pissed him off. So he told the guy he saw at the gym recently about it. The guy said, “in THIS gym that happened? They couldn’t get membership at any other gym in this city like the Marina or North Beach? They were hell-bent to come to the Castro huh?” He also was disgusted. Chau.—rosa barrio

Correos Electrónicos/E-mails:

A former Castro resident revisits San Francisco’s Castro barrio
El 10 de noviembre de 2013. Hola. Here’s an e-mail I received a few moments ago from a reader:
“I read pink barrio often and find your writing very interesting. I used to live in the Castro and now live in the South Bay. I was up in The City today with some friends. We went to the Castro for brunch. I never doubted anything you had written about the changes to the Castro since I’ve heard about it from friends who go up there often. It was like Straightsville up there today. There were some gay guys and gay couples but it didn’t look anything like it did when I used to live up there which wasn’t that long ago. We were standing on Market Street near Castro and two of the naked guys walked by. I thought there was a nudity ban in San Francisco now? They weren’t completely naked. They had a sock over their dick. Coming towards them were three gay guys talking. As the naked guys passed two of the gay guys looked at each other with a disapproving look about the naked guys. But if these three gay guys had been in a bar with go-go boys dancing on the bar nearly naked that would be okay and they’d find that hot and would probably have put dollar bills inside the go-go boys jock strap. I no longer drink because I had a problem with alcohol in my past so it wasn’t easy being around so many people drinking and the bars were full of that. As we left we saw a major male-female makeout session outside of the Harvey Milk Plaza. I had read what you and others wrote about the straight cheating in the Castro and the way they were going at it I would have bet money that’s what this was. They looked so intense; they’ve had to have just met. I didn’t feel as comfortable in the Castro as I used to when it was mainly gay. I guess that’s why I never went to the Marina when I lived in The City since as a gay guy I don’t really care to hang out around straights even though it’s very straight where I live now. Thanks for your articles.—Duane in the South Bay”
My response: Hola Duane. Gracias for writing. Yes, there is a San Francisco city-wide nudity ban (ridiculous…just more feel-good symbolic bull shit from conservative politician Cocks catering to his right-wing base) but the “naked” guys are technically not naked because of their dick sock they wear, although the right-wing residents still whine, moan and complain about them. I don’t see the naked muchachos too often these days. Yes, what you wrote about is how the Castro has become conservative, unfortunately. I was in the Castro earlier and heard a really important comment between two gay boys. They were discussing, “The Game” and how someone didn’t score a point. (Really important stuff!) I used to never hear shit about “The Game” or corporate sports teams in the Castro but as the GLBTQ populace tries its best to be as much like “straights” as possible and mainstream, corporate and sheeple (and forget and abandon one’s past) that’s the result. I understand how you feel. I feel the same way. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 28 de octubre de 2013. Hola. Here’s an e-mail I received about my article Are gays going back in the closet?
“I don’t know what to make of this but wanted to respond to your article. I live in the Castro and I see a lot of what’s going on in the neighborhood and I see many of the same people each day. There are two different guys that I’ve seen for years holding hands with another guy walking through the Castro. In the last month I’ve seen both guys holding hands with women. The first guy stunned me and now the second guy has double-stunned me. My partner was with me when I saw the second guy and I told him. He jokingly said maybe she’s his sister and that’s all it is. Neither of us could remember ever seeing a gay guy hold his sister’s hand like that. There’s really something strange that is happening to the gay community in SF; going back in the closet for some is one of them. Thanks for your website.”
My response: Gracias. Weird times indeed. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 28 de octubre de 2013. Hola. Here’s an e-mail I received about my Mira Quién Baila article:
“Is that show still on? When I was watching it, it would have been soooooooooo much more interesting if there had been gay couples dancing on it…male-male, female-female instead of male-female. I’d watch it then. I don’t watch Univisión that often. Agree with your ageism remark. I read that Lili Estefan was removed as a judge. Is that why? Do they think she looks too old?—Ramón
My response: Hola, Ramón. Well if Lili were removed because she supposedly looks “too old” they would never tell us that’s the reason. Yes, in her chair now sits Ninel Conde whom I take it doesn’t at all look “too old” for the network and she’s a pretty face for their cameras. Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 20 de octubre de 2013. Hola. Here’s another e-mail I received about my University of Maryland Chorus Tribute:
“I must agree with the email you posted about the tribute to the University of Maryland Chorus. They were fabulous. I saw they were doing Beethoven’s Ninth with the National Symphony and I had to go. What a performance! I also saw them in Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony in Kennedy Center and they stole the show for that. So sorry to hear they were retired. I had wondered what happened to them. Now I know. Thanks so much.”
My response: Gracias for your e-mail. I appreciate that. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 14 de octubre de 2013. Hola. Here’s an e-mail we received about my University of Maryland Chorus tribute:
“Dear rosa barrio, I read your tribute to the University of Maryland Chorus. How nice of you! What a fantastic tribute! I’m sure Dr Traver would love it. I heard them many times in Kennedy Center and I thought they were the best chorus around. I heard all the performances you mentioned. I never missed a performance when they were chosen to sing with the National SO and guest orchestras. I was there at the Brahms Requiem concert you wrote about. Their performance sounded like the recording I had by the Chicago Symphony Chorus. It was wonderful. Kind regards. David”
My response: Gracias, David. I appreciate that. I enjoyed writing it. It brought back many pleasant memories. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 12 de octubre de 2013. Hola. We received an e-mail from someone who used to live in San Francisco and returned recently for a visit:
“It breaks my heart to see what has happened to my city of San Francisco. The Bohemian City of San Francisco is gone in favor of tech shuttles, people whose life is controlled by their smartphone and luxury condos going up. I don’t plan to go to San Francisco again because the city where I used to live and loved is quickly slipping slipping away. It used to be an alternative style city. It was known for that. It’s now very mainstream and corporate like any other city. Why did they ruin it? Who allowed that? Couldn’t believe it. I spent some time in the Castro where I used to live. The Castro was more straight than gay. It was very hard to believe and it made me sad and disgusted that people would let this happen to San Francisco. I didn’t think I’d ever see that day considering what the Castro and the city were like when I lived there. Thanks for listening.”
My response:
What you wrote is what many others are saying and I understand. As for your question “who allowed that?” the answer is the current corporatist politicians who are owned by and work for the wealthy and 1%, including politician Cocks and others. They love what’s happening to this city. Their goal is to make San Francisco a city for the super-wealthy and “straight”. I was just out on a walk in the Castro and it was mostly “straight” with “straight” couples locked arm-in-arm. That’s a requirement isn’t it, this locked arm-in-arm stuff? By comparison, gay couples don’t seem to have that locked arm-in-arm requirement fortunately. Affection is one thing but this doesn’t look like affection. It looks compulsory, cookie-cutter and forced so often when “straight” couples are doing it as if they learned it off of television or from movies and think that’s what they must do. “Everyone is doing this—locked arm-in-arm—so we must too” is how they look. That’s how it comes off. In other words, it comes off as phony. Because they can be locked arm-in-arm one moment and fighting the next, which I saw last night in the Castro. Three “straight” couples were fighting near 18th and Castro. One “straight” couple was having an obnoxious loud brawl because he hadn’t recharged their phone so she was screaming at him asking “Why not?” repeatedly because they would be without that precious phone all night. Imagine that! Then two other “straight” couples were fighting loudly over which gay bar to go to. Interestingly, I hadn’t heard that all the “straight” bars in the city were closed that they could go to instead. Loco/a. “Straight” couples fight over some damn weird, immature shit. Mi amiga said the other day about these “straight” couples: “And these females are so goddamned needy and craving for attention. They are so incredibly “high maintenance.” Get some therapy if you can find anybody who will take you,” she said. I laughed when she came out with that. Perhaps that explains the over 50% “straight” divorce rate here in the US/Estados Unidos/The Cesspool. Gracias for your e-mail. Chau.—rosa barrio

More information about where “straights” go to cheat in San Francisco
El 7 de octubre de 2013. This topic has generated a bit of interest. It was news to me that it’s fairly common knowledge that “straights” go to San Francisco’s Castro barrio to cheat on their spouse or partner. I didn’t know that but it makes sense. That explains part of the surge of “straights” coming into the former “gay mecca.” (Related: Seattle overtakes San Francisco as No.1 city for gay couples ). Then there are the M-F couple closet cases that want people to think they are “straight” and are “straight” to each other, but are in the Castro to discreetly cruise someone of the same gender while pretending to be “straight.” These games that people play! Anyway, I just got this e-mail from someone who had read earlier e-mails. That person wrote: “I hear that the motor lodge on Market near Castro I forget the name of it is a popular place after the second or third date for heterosexuals after they’ve met in the Castro. They go there for sex.”
My response: Gracias. Uh huh. That explains why I frequently see “straight” couples crossing Market Street at Castro walking to the north side of Market and then taking a right which is the side that motel is on (if that’s where they are going of course…wink, wink). Interesting. Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio

San Francisco Castro barrio is the place where “straights” go to cheat
El 6 de octubre de 2013. An e-mail we received from a reader about our published 4 de octubre e-mail (see below):
Hi. Someone wrote you, “it’s common knowledge among straights to go to the Castro if you’re cheating.” I can vouch for that from personal experience. I caught my husband cheating on me and he was in the Castro doing it. One of my gay friends at work offered to give me a ride home after work. On the way, he suggested we stop for a drink at one of the gay bars. Cool by me. So we get out of his car and walk down Market Street by that newish bar [Ed. Name of bar removed. It’s that obnoxious, loud “sports bar” where heteronormative faux-jocks hang out screaming at walls of television screens over corporatist sports teams]. Passing by that gay bar I saw my husband sitting at the window cooing and flirting over a woman IN THIS GAY BAR. He didn’t see me when I walked by either time because he had his head turned gazing into her eyes. To cut this story short: I told my friend that I wanted to follow my husband to see what he was going to do and suggested my friend go on and go about his evening, but he stayed with me to keep me company and he also wanted to get this gossip. We got back in my friend’s car and waited and waited and finally watched my husband leave this bar with this woman arm in arm. This was on one of his “working late” days. I guess he was working her. We got out of my friend’s car and slowly followed behind them all the way down Market up to Castro Street to 19th. They never saw us because they were completely into each other. As they were coming back down Castro, I decided to approach him and I asked him who the hell this woman is that you’ve been kissing and holding? You should have seen the look on his face when he saw me. He couldn’t explain who she was other than he stammered out the words “someone from the office.” I asked: Do you usually kiss and hold someone from the office? He asked who I was with and suggested I was doing the same thing. My friend screamed to him, “I’m gay so she’s not doing what you’re doing and do you see me holding your wife’s hand or kissing her? We are friends and only friends.” My former husband and I are now divorced. Later on in anger he said he was in the Castro because he thought he and her were safe there and that there was no chance of them seeing me there. I can confirm from experience and friends tell me they’ve heard that the Castro is THE place that heteros go to cheat and sleep around on their wives, husbands and significant others. I also strongly suggest that anyone who suspects that their wife, husband or significant other is cheating on them, go to the Castro and be prepared to be hurt because that’s where you will likely find them making out and gazing into someone’s eyes.”
My response: Gracias. A very interesting story and that explains a lot. I’m seeing more and more “straights” in the Castro and they behave as if they just met. Someone who wrote an article for us suggested that there’s a “straight” dating service in the Castro and their first requirement is for the new “straight” couple to go make out for that first beso/kiss at Castro/Market. Generally speaking, the behaviour of the “straights” that I see in the Castro does not look like the couples have been together long at all. And I’ve noticed that Market Street seems to be the “straight” area of the Castro and Castro Street seems more queer but gets more “straight” up towards 19th in that one block between 18th and 19th. Of course this can depend upon the day how things look but that’s what I and others have observed. Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio

An answer from a reader as to what’s going on in San Francisco’s Castro barrio
El 4 de octubre de 2013. An e-mail we received from a reader:
“You asked what’s going on with the straight kissing at Castro and Market Streets and with all the straights showing up there and in the Castro. I’ve heard for a while now that straights go to the Castro because they’re cheating on their spouses or their girlfriends or boyfriends, and the Castro is the safest place for them to go without them being caught because it’s the last place they would be expected to be. I work in the Financial District (San Francisco) and there’s a woman in my office that has had many rendezvous in the Castro with her new boyfriend who doesn’t live in the Castro. She told me in confidence that she’s been cheating on her old boyfriend about a year and the last place she’d expect to see him would be in the Castro so that’s why she and her new boyfriend meet there. She says it’s a little out of the way but it’s better than her old boyfriend finding out what’s going on before she’s ready to tell him. I was waiting for Muni the other night in the Castro and there was this straight couple sucking face and slurping all over each other at the bus stop and I heard them talking and both were talking as if they were cheating on somebody else. I’m not saying all straight couples you see in the Castro are cheating on somebody, but I think it’s a pretty good number of them doing it as I said, and some of my friends have told me it’s common knowledge among straights to go to the Castro if you’re cheating.”
My response: Gracias for that. I had no idea. I’ve never heard that the Castro is where “straights” go to hook up/meet each other when they’re cheating on somebody else. It’s makes sense and does explain a lot. I’ve also heard the tag line from “straights”, they say: “We came over to the Castro to support the gays.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean, I think it’s just an excuse to use or something to say to justify their coming to the Castro while they’re standing there making out at Castro/Market. And the “straight” divorce rate en los Estados Unidos/the US which is well over 50%. Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio

Corporate Media’s Aversion to Dos Muchachos/Two Guys Kissing
El 30 de septiembre de 2013. An e-mail we received from a reader:
“Can I rant? I’m a gay guy. I was on a website and saw the headline about “Judge Orders New Jersey to Allow Gay Marriage.” I saw the picture they used for the article and it was two women kissing. I clicked on the article looking for a picture of two guys kissing. None there. Read the comments. Hate of gays. 99% of the time when there’s an article about gay marriage the picture they show is of two women and you and I both know why. It’s “safer” to show two women kissing than two guys kissing because they think the haters can deal with that better than seeing two guys kissing. I’m sick of it. Seeing two women kissing is cool. It’s just that as a gay guy I’d like to see two guys kissing and that seems to be taboo. The two women kissing image still offended the haters because they had to comment on how one woman looked masculine and the other didn’t. Fuck them! Thanks for letting me rant.”
My response: Well for a rant, you were just getting warmed up. I agree with you. And the reason you state for the corporate media not showing dos muchachos/two guys kissing is exactly the reason. Also, the website you mentioned (I’ve removed the name; I’ll call it oohay), I can’t stand that site. What they call “News” is usually nothing but tabloid basura/trash with obnoxious ads all over the fucking place. They are also gushing
Messiahbots and love anything he does including his corporate bailout to the mangled “health care” industry. On that site, they often write some judgmental shit about how the dress that some muchacha is wearing “is too revealing” (prudes!…sounds like someone has body image issues) or some other trivial, shallow, superficial caca. Who cares about any of that stuff? No, I have no use for that site at all. What a waste of server space that site is. Gracias for writing about this. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 21 de septiembre de 2013. An e-mail we received from a reader regarding San Francisco’s Castro district:
Sometime ago I read one of your articles about heterosexuals going out of their way to make out at Castro and Market Street which used to be known as the gay mecca. I don’t live in the Castro and haven’t been over there in a long time until last night but I saw what your article was talking about. My partner and I were standing around near the Muni bus stop and we noticed the number of heterosexual couples in that area. They either came out of the Metro or came walking across Market Street or they had walked up Castro. We noticed that each couple stopped when they got to Castro and Market and started kissing. Maybe we missed it but has someone suggested that the first heterosexual kiss must be at Castro and Market? There were no gay couples or lesbian couples kissing in this gay mecca of the past. My partner asked if the heterosexuals are trying to hijack the rainbow flag flying above them? The Castro has really changed since the last time I was over there.”
My response: Hola. The other day I saw a homeowner who lives near Castro/Market and talked briefly with him and he referred to “The Heterosexual Castro.” I asked him: So you’ve noticed it? He said: How could you not? As we were standing on the sidewalk talking one “straight” couple after another went by us hand-in-hand going towards the Castro. I think they may be the “straight” tech people who are coming into the city in droves, rather than living where they work in the South Bay or Peninsula. We were both at a loss for the reason that “straights” (supposedly?) are so attracted to a former gay mecca, considering that the Castro barrio is in decline. Why would that be attractive? Frankly, as I and others have said here in the pink barrio in the past, I suspect many of them are not “straight;” they just pretend to be when with “her” or “him.” I suspect many of them are bisexual or gay/queer and have other motives for coming to the Castro. I suspect many are living a lie the way many “straight” (they are really queer) people do in order to follow “The Family Script” for them. Some fuck around on the side (look at all the Looking for Sex ads that use the word, “discreet” or “discretion assured.”) Then later in life, they stop living a lie after they’ve followed “The Family Script” and have “started a family and had children.” Then they finally come out of the closet to everyone’s shock (“How can you do this to me; I thought you were straight all this time? We have children together!”). Then there’s the divorce and the queer person decides to be who they really are and have been all along, which they really should have done from the beginning, decades ago in many cases. Some people don’t come out of the closet until after age 50. That’s a long time living a lie about oneself. I know many “straights” are coming to the Castro to party and get drunk and I still don’t understand that. Other than they really have other motives because is alcohol that much cheaper in the Castro? I wouldn’t think so but I’ve not checked to see the price of drinks in the Marina or North Beach or Union Street. I don’t know what’s going on and other people don’t seem to know either with this (what appears to be) required “straight” kissing at Castro/Market. I see it often too. WTF? And it’s not limited to kissing. I’ve seen full “straight” make out session at Castro/Market with him feeling up her butt and so on. Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio

It’s called Denial
El 15 de septiembre de 2013. An e-mail we received from a reader this past week:
“rosa barrio, I value your opinion and would like your thoughts on something, please. I started talking with a co-worker about the political topic of Syria. He interrupted me and said he didn’t want to hear anything about that. I was stunned and said nothing after that other than small talk. Then I went to lunch with a friend and brought up something I had seen on the news and she stopped me midstream and said ‘I don’t want to go there.’ I changed the topic quickly and asked how her lunch was. That seemed to be a safe topic. In the last year these type of situations have happened to me many times. It seems that I can only talk about something that is considered “fun,” happy, silly, stupid, immature and the like. When I start to talk about something that really matters, I am told to shut up (essentially) and that they don’t want to hear it. You ever get that? I look forward to hearing from you.”
My response: Hola y gracias. I’m sorry to hear about your experiences. Yes, I’ve had that happen to me too. It’s very frustrating isn’t it? Even if I don’t care to hear about something, I let the person talk and listen to what they have to say—what harm is there in that?—because I feel it’s important to the person who has brought it up and by letting them talk it’s just being respectful to the person instead of being an asshole to the person and saying, “I don’t want to hear about that.” But some people think “it’s all about me.” Self-entitled, self-absorbed people. Ugh. What you’re dealing with is Denial. Many people (the sheeple) like to live in Denial so that they don’t have to make any changes in their personal life. It’s easier for them to just deny life and its realities and pretend everything is “fun” and “happy” when it isn’t. They don’t want someone to say anything that might disturb their phony “fun” and “happy” bubble. Living in Denial is a very dangerous way to live. But if someone is a denialist there is nothing you can do about it. In my opinion, living in Denial is the height of irresponsibility as a person on the Earth. I can understand to a degree a person not having much or any interest in politics (that septic topic), for example, and all that involves. But damn, pay a little bit of attention unless you prefer to be a shallow, willfully-ignorant empty vessel. The next time someone tells you they don’t want to hear something you could say to them, “Would you say the same if the house next to yours were on fire? Would your Denial protect you then? Would you rather not hear about the fire next door too?” Because the fire next door would break their “fun” and “happy” and “everything is fine” bubble where there are no problems in life. Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio

It’s the House and Senate, not congress and senate (US federal government/Estados Unidos – Distrito Federal)
El 10 de septiembre de 2013. An e-mail we received from a reader:
“Hola, pink barrio. In this “debate” about Syria, I keep reading posts talking about the “Congress/Senate” and what they need to do in this regard. I thought the senate was part of congress?”
My response: Hola. It is. The senate is part of congress. It’s the upper body of congress (perhaps the more corrupt?). The congress consists of two bodies: the House (representatives) and Senate (senators). What you’re talking about is a common, sloppy language mistake. I see it often too, even from people who should know better. You’re correct, it implies that the senate is not part of congress when it is. Of course none of these people in congress actually represent The People or give a fuck about the Constitution. Instead, they represent their corporate owners and the MIC so in the House maybe they shouldn’t be called representatives. But that’s officially their title (representative so and so). Or perhaps just call the corporatist politician (from the House) “non-representative so and so” from the state of somewhere. It’s rare for me to see someone write House and Senate. They usually write it “congress/senate” which implies they don’t even understand the makeup of the system they are talking about. Gracias for asking and for pointing that out. Chau.—rosa barrio

Real Liberals are NOT for War
El 8 de septiembre de 2013. An e-mail we received from a reader:
“I keep hearing that liberals are for O’s war on Syria. Is that true?”
My response: Hola. A real liberal is not for war. Fake liberals, like the ones we have today who are nothing but non-principled D-partisans are for war en Siria because their beloved Messiah and the O-bots he has around him want it and the devout loons who support him are still bowing at his feet no matter what he does. That’s why. If this were Bush, the same people would be opposed to an attack en Siria because of that R next to Bush’s name. So people should not be saying that “liberals are for war.” That’s incorrect and inaccurate. They should be saying that “D-partisans (meaning “Democratic” Party partisans) are for war” because of their rah, rah, go team mentality and my team right or wrong. And D-partisans are not liberals because a real/true liberal or progressive would not support the useless and pathetic misnamed “Democratic” Party. I have as much contempt for D-partisans/Messiah supporters as I did for the Bush supporters. I only go on a few political sites these days. I’m doing less and less online and I haven’t really seen anyone in support of this PNAC scheme from the Messiah regime. Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 1 de septiembre de 2013. An e-mail we received from a reader:
“I read your blurb [see e-mail dated el 31 de agosto de 2013] about the tiny anti-war (Syria) protest in San Francisco. That is amazing. SF has really changed. I read a local San Francisco article about protests around the world (the States and Europe are what they were referring to as “the world”). All of the protests according to that article were small. London’s was the largest and their government has completely backed out of this Syria thing. I remember the days when San Francisco would lead the way with protests and 1,000s in the streets for this same thing. Not today, sorry to see. I also remember how the right-wing constantly wrote nasty things about the protesters and San Francisco. The article I mentioned from that other site didn’t have any mention of San Francisco nor did the comments. What has happened to the anti-war movement? Thank you.”
My response: Hola y gracias for your e-mail. Yeah, I feel sorry for those who tried to organise the San Francisco protest against an attack en Siria. The organisers must feel rather hopeless about it all. There’s just no interest here anymore. People are too busy partying, getting drunk, gadgeting and saying the word “like” every-other-word. I and others get the distinct impression that San Francisco is trying to completely divorce itself from its past reputation and wants nothing to do with that reputation. They want it in the past and forgotten. I’m not sure what image or reputation they are now working to portray. Perhaps that of an uncaring, lobotomized, corporatist city despite sweet words to the contrary from political opportunists. Answering you question: what has happened to the anti-war movement, in los Estados Unidos (in the US), the anti-war movement died the moment a politician with a D next to his name entered la casa blanca after GWBush. I know that sounds simplistic but that’s about the extent of it. It’s that partisan caca again. To the fake “liberals” and fake “progressives” war is fine when a so-called “Democrat” orders it. Then there are other fake “liberals” and fake “progressives” who choose to remain silent because they have apparently been brainwashed with that script that says that one is not to be critical of their Messiah or their political “team.” Partisans—the ones I’m referring to here—are such fucking hypocrites. As I’ve said many times before, they stand for nothing but D-party allegiance. I can’t stand them. What empty vessels they are. I read a comment from a D-partisan yesterday. That person wrote (I’m paraphrasing):
Where were all of you when Bush was attacking countries in the Middle East? [Ed. answer: see video below.] Why weren’t you critical of him? [Ed. We were!] Let this guy in the white house have his war. [Ed. Oh so it doesn’t matter how many people must die just so that he’s able to play war?] He’s our commander and chief. This war looks like it might be legit. [Ed. More research is required on your behalf and turn off your corporate media]. I disagree that congress should be consulted. [Ed. So you prefer a dictatorship?] Yes, there are partisan people out there who think like that. Sick. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 31 de agosto de 2013. An e-mail we received from a local reader:
“Question: I live in the Castro [of San Francisco] and I wouldn’t walk down Castro Street today with a “No War on Syria” protest sign. Would you? I’m opposed to a US strike on Syria but I wouldn’t walk down Castro with a sign saying that, would you?
My response: Hola. Your question brought to mind a protest I went to during the Bush years and after that protest I walked down Castro with my sign. My sign had to do with something anti-Bush and I got hate because of my sign near the intersection of 18th and Castro. I was blown away that that was happening to me. I would never have expected that there at the time. That was my first clue that the Castro barrio was changing. I had no idea there were any Bush supporters in the Castro. That was then. As for today, I would walk down Castro if I had to with a “No War on Syria” sign but I would be on alert that I would likely hear hate and would be harassed, especially these days because the Castro is even more “conservative” now than it was during the Bush years. I suspect most people in the Castro are O-bots, so whatever their Messiah does is fine with them. Or, they are too busy partying and texting to even know that anything is going on en Siria. I heard from mi amigo “what is is” today. He was on the metro going towards the Embaracadero and he saw about 50% of the passengers (both sitting and standing) all playing with their gadgets. Because he was standing, he could look down on people’s screens and see what was being done on them. It was something like this: With the first gadget addict, the person was playing cards with herself. Second gadget person: the screen had stars and the stars had to be pushed into some kind of hoop. Third gadget person: Colourful lines all the way down the screen that you pushed on and they would turn colours. Two niños both had gadgets playing a pong type game between the two, and so forth. That’s what’s got everybody’s attention? Just games? That’s something to do? And the reason “what is is” was on the metro was because he was going to the Answercoalition’s protest against attacking Siria. The number of people at the protest today were about 20-30 people and they were mostly the organisers. I had previously said that if there were a protest in San Francisco it would be a small protest. Nothing compared to the protest in San Francisco for The Empire’s attack (based on lies) on Iraq:

Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 28 de agosto de 2013. An e-mail we received from a reader:
“Thanks for your article titled Iraq II. You expressed what I’ve been thinking perfectly. I live in SF and was telling a friend today how if this were the built-up to Afghanistan or Iraq there would be massive protests and thousands would be in the streets of San Francisco. Today? Nothing. No one seems to care. I hear no one talking about Syria. You may get a lot of hate from the partisans for what you wrote but I wanted to say I support you.”
My response: Hola y muchas gracias. I got another e-mail saying pretty much what you wrote. Then I got an e-mail from “what is is” of the pink barrio (he used to do the peak oil noticias videos) and he had been in San Francisco’s Castro district. He wrote that he heard no one talking about Siria or anything that matters. He said it was pretty dead in the Castro and that he mainly heard people talking about some music awards ceremony the sheeple were all wrapped up in, and of course people’s texting addiction. He also made the same comparison you did between the lack of protests today compared with massive protests years ago for the Bullying Empire’s attack on Afghanistan and Iraq. San Francisco is just a very different city today. The activist city of San Francisco is gone. Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 24 de agosto de 2013. An e-mail we received from a reader:
“Hola….I’m Latina y I read your page about Univisión and people in the media trying to put words from other languages into inglés. I’m a linguist of sorts and I enjoyed your page on that and it’s about time that someone said it! I know some people have no ear for languages, not even for their primary language. People in the media both in the US and the UK don’t seem to care how they pronounce words from other languages. They just put them into inglés with utter disregard for the original language. I read your page about your not talking about politics anymore. I understand. Have you been following the David Miranda story? I just wanted to say that I’ve heard no one in the US and UK media pronounce David Miranda’s name correctly. They’ve put his name into inglés too. But he’s from Brazil and the language of Brazil is português. I did some research on how his name is pronounced in Brazil and I think it would be pronounced Dah-veeg Mee-ruhn-duh or Day-veeg Mee-ruhn-duh. It’s not pronounced Day-vid Merrrrrrrrr-ran-dah. Most annoying. In the interviews, his partner went along with the UK and US media’s mispronunciation of David’s name and his partner is fluent in português and his primary language is inglés. That’s all I wanted to say. Muchas gracias for your site.”
My response: Hola y gracias. Oh don’t let me get started on this topic! Yes, I’ve been following the GG and David Miranda story very closely. As you certainly know, David’s name en español is pronounced Dah-veed Mee-ruhn-duh. And it’s because of this caca that you wrote about that I can no longer listen to noticias/news. I’m tired of hearing words mispronounced by willfully-ignorant talking heads at a microphone/television camera. I used to be entirely an audio person for noticias. Now, I’m entirely a reader of noticias. As a reader, I don’t have to hear ignorant people do what you wrote about. I’m not at all surprised that they mispronounced his name and I did see one video with David interviewed—I wanted to hear him speak—and the interviewer did exactly what you said they did. A personal experience: Speaking of languages and striving to be accurate/authentic, when I was in Orchestra Choruses, for rehearsals the Chorus directors always brought in a language expert (Russian, French, German, etc) depending upon the piece the Chorus was working on to guarantee that our language and diction would be absolutely authentic and sparklingly crisp in the piece for the performances. I guess the media networks can’t be bothered with calling a language expert or even calling a near-by consulate to get the exact pronunciation of international words/people’s names. They prefer to sound ignorant. Of course in their myopic mind, “The World” is the US, its colony/”poodle” the UK and Israel. Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 24 de agosto de 2013. Another e-mail we received from a reader:
“I live in San Francisco’s Castro district which you’ve written lots about. A new fish restaurant just opened in the Castro and it’s packed with people. I’m amazed that people are still eating fish considering the state of our oceans? Have they not heard of Fukushima? Your thoughts? Thanks.”
My response: Why are they still eating fish considering the state of our oceans? Amazing, isn’t it? They don’t give a fuck, apparently. Or they are ignorant and/or in denial. I think the fish could be glowing and they’d still eat it and ask for more. Every time a restaurant opens around here, people flock to it like a bunch of sheep as if they have to be the first ones there, as if that’s important to someone. I prefer for restaurants to be around awhile before I go in them (work out any problems and get established). I have no intention of going to this restaurant because I don’t eat fish (I’m a vegetarian…a real one not a faux-vegetarian who orders roast beef at a restaurant and then claims out of the other side of their mouth that they are a vegetarian!). Gracias for your question and glad you’re paying attention. Chau.—rosa barrio
El 16 de agosto de 2013. An e-mail we received today from a local reader:
“What do you think of the ten-cent (minimum) bag charge law for paper shopping bags in retail stores in San Francisco? Hope to hear from you. Thanks.”
My response: Hola y gracias. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a good idea and would force people to bring their own bags with them or cause them to reuse previously-bought bags. BUT. From what I’ve observed, the law has backfired. Most people are buying bags each time they shop instead of bringing their own bags with them. LOCO. What idiot would pay ten cents for a paper shopping bag each time they shop (that they used to get for free)? Apparently many idiots would do that based on what I’ve seen. There’s a problem with the way the law was written (how unusual!). From listening to cashiers, the law does not require cashiers to ask customers: “How many bags would you like to BUY?” The word “buy” is missing in their questions. What I hear cashiers saying is, “will you be needing a bag?” That can imply that the bag is free and I think that’s the same question cashiers asked before the law went into effect. So I’m wondering how many people think the bag is still free. Do they look at their receipt where it shows ten cents for each paper bag the customer asked for? I’ve asked many times about this at the major corporate drugstore chain in San Francisco and the cashiers consistently tell me, “Most people are buying a bag. The bring-your-own-bag concept hasn’t caught on yet.” Well then it’s not about to. I would guess that one of the biggest selling items at this drugstore chain today is paper shopping bags. And some people ask for “double-bagging.” For those who might be surprised by this and saying, “in green San Francisco people are not bringing their own bags? That’s surprising.” No it’s not surprising, considering how the city has changed from the “liberal/progressive activist” reputation we once had to what the city has become today: The “Haves” versus the “Have-nots” and increasingly. I’d say it’s correct to say that most people don’t give a fuck about “green” anything anymore. It was just a fad, including in San Francisco. I have also asked about this paper bag charge at my local worker-owned and operated “green-certified” grocery store cooperative. They’ve told me that most of their customers bring their own bags, but they also added that their customers are different in that they’ve been “green” a long time and have been bringing their own bags long before this new law went into effect. I was in that food cooperative yesterday and both the customer ahead of me in line and the customer at the next register over were buying the store’s paper shopping bags. Obviously not clear on the concept of where they were shopping. (Sigh). I always bring my cloth bags (that I bought at that store) with me and my bags have paid for themselves long ago because the cashiers give a bag credit (for bringing your own bags) each time I shop there. Now, changing subjects but related to the “green” topic: about a year ago, I was seeing more of those very small efficient 2-person cars (they’re about the size of a go-kart) on the streets, but I don’t see any new ones lately. That also seemed to have been a short-lived fad. Instead, what I’m seeing now are new, big SUVs and they are huge. They look like big tanks. Why does someone need something that big? Who are they trying to impress with that? On another local street, I know of a mother and father with two children. They have 3 vehicles for the two of them (a big SUV and two somewhat smaller cars). Why would two people (who drive) need 3 vehicles? One of the cars stays parked on the street and moves about from place to place depending upon the street-cleaning days. Or are they saving the third car for the young daughter for when she’s able to drive in about 8+ years? On my bike ride, I regularly ride by a parked vehicle on the street. The thing is so big that the owner has to park half of it on the sidewalk. I’m at a loss why anyone would need such a huge vehicle. If it’s for status purposes, pretentiousness and trying to out-do somebody else (the “keeping up with the Joneses” nonsense), get therapy. But the concept of having a small vehicle seems to have evaporated in gentrified San Francisco with these new vehicles. And who can afford a new vehicle these days?….other than the 1%. Chau.—rosa barrio

El 10 de agosto de 2013. An e-mail we received today from “what is is” of the pink barrio (remember him?) He wrote: “Hola, rosa barrio. I was in the Castro today and I noticed that they were having a minature concert in the Jane Warner Plaza. The singer, Matt Alber, was saying to people “if you can stop texting for a moment and listen…” [Ed. Right on!] He continued with: if the people who live in the Castro want to have a party, we should be able to have a party whenever we want right here in our neighborhood and no one can stop us. A loud roar of cheers and support was then heard from the crowd. The crowd was about 250-300 (mostly queer men). It was nice to see. I hadn’t seen that many queer guys together in a long time. It felt more like it used to. There was one hetero couple walking through the crowd nervously and paranoid of being attacked by a bunch of gay men! What a laugh. I can’t remember ever hearing about a group of gay men ever attacking straight people. It felt as if the gay “community” wanted to take back the Castro from all the straights and tech people who have been pouring into the Castro in droves. They’ve been trying to turn the Castro into a straight bedroom community [Ed. of Silicon Valley]. I think Matt Alber will be back on the 24th of August. At the beginning, Kippy Marks, an excellent violinist was there too.”
My response: Hola, mi amor y gracias. I was in the Castro in the early evening today and the “straights” were pouring in and making it very obvious that they are “straight.” I walked by the funeral home on Market where they were offering flat-rate parking in their parking lot. A “straight” couple had parked there and she had this “look” that I’ve seen repeatedly around the Castro. Las muchachas I’m talking about with this “look” are very tall with long blond or brown hair and their bodies look like pencils. This particular muchacha was probably 6’5″ or more with the ubiquitous long blond hair and she looked like she weighed about 50 pounds (if that). In other words, she did not look like the “average person.” Later, I saw two “straight” couples fondling/making out in front of one of the gay bars on 18th Street. I saw mi amiga briefly at the same time and she noticed this and said to me, “I hadn’t heard that all the straight bars in the city had closed and that straights were forced to come over to the gay bars to make out, had you?” LOL. I told her I hadn’t heard that either. I’m glad to hear that the crowd in Jane Warner Plaza have apparently noticed the “straight” invasion and the takeover of our neighbourhood. The “straights” just can’t leave this little barrio called the Castro alone, can they? As I implied in my other response to someone (see below), I didn’t fly 3,000 miles from the East Coast to come here to live to then have this place become like where I left. The “straights” want it all, including the Castro and its gay bars too. Mi amiga said that she’s heard stories from her gay friends about gay guys being met with hostility, anger and confrontations from “straight” guys in some gay bars. She said: What the fuck is a “straight” guy doing in a gay bar if he’s not comfortable with being approached by a gay guy? Gay bars were created so that GLBTQueer people could have a safe place to meet each other without incidents, anger or hostility. Yes, we are living in weird times. Changing topics sort of: I made the mistake of going to—what turned out to be—a real estate website in San Francisco. I went there to read the details about a major business deal that ain’t going to happen at Castro/Market in San Francisco on the south-west corner outside the metro entrance. I didn’t think this business deal would happen to begin with but there was, as usual, a lot of premature ejaculation for it from some people gushing over the idea. On the same real estate site, there were articles about the “luxury designer homes” and bourgeois elite million-dollar condo buildings coming in all along Market Street. Then I made the mistake of reading the comments. UGH! You haven’t begun to see “class warfare” until you read those comments. They were smug, rabid, elitist, pro-corporate and gushing in favour of these wealthy condos and hating on the homeless and the Castro barrio. They want the Castro turned into a wealthy-rich barrio with million-dollar plus condos. They want the current Castro residents out and gone. The one bad thing about the internet, I’ve discovered, is that it has revealed the amount of hate in San Francisco, the Bay Area, the Estados Unidos/US and the world. Before the internet, all there was were the “Letters to the Editor” section in publications and I don’t think most editors published the type of hate in their publications that one reads on the internet these days. Hate is one of the downsides of the internet. Now, I should point out that the hate, troll-like, smug, bourgeois elitist rabid, corporatist comments on that site I mentioned seemed to all be the same batch of people repeatedly just arguing and “one-upping” each other. They were just there to argue with each other (nothing better to do with your time?) Rather juvenile and childish. So in the big scheme of things, it was a very small group of people on that site and writing the mostly hateful comments. If I had commented there (which I wasn’t about to do), I would have written: People who are secure with themselves don’t feel the need to put others down and try to pump themselves up to make themselves feel better as some of you have done with the poor and homeless. Your comments speak more about the type of person you are than the people you were hating on. Chau.—rosa barrio

08.09.13 “Hi, I live in San Francisco and have definitely noticed the changes in the city and I’m not happy with what I’m seeing. The city is really changing. A friend visited me over gay Pride and he couldn’t believe how the Castro has changed. He used to live in the Castro. He asked me, “a gay sports bar in the Castro? No thanks.” He said he never knew that gays were into sports. He also couldn’t believe all the new buildings coming up Market Street into Castro. I read on another local site that “The Plan” is to change the Castro into a place for rich straight people and that Upper Market is focused on luxury condos. They want the poor, gay people out. They want to turn the Castro into a straight ghetto. I read that [Ed. The local hardware store] is waiting to cash-in on the gentrification. I took that to mean put luxury condos where the hardware store is now. Summing up, the plan is for SF to be a city for only wealthy straight people and the plan is coming from the mayor with help from [Ed. the corporatist conservative supervisor for the Castro barrio. He claims to be gay]. Your thoughts?”

My response: Gracias for your correo electrónico/e-mail. It all sounds about right to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if both that hardware store and the theatre are gutted and “luxury designer homes” are built in both locations at some time in the future. I’d expect the same on both south corners of 18th and Castro. I can see “luxury condos” at both of those locations in the future (a bank is on one corner now and a bar/restaurant with office space upstairs is on the west corner) as well as up and down the street. Tear down the Victorians and make the place nothing but “luxury condos.” Ugh. I also won’t be surprised when the big rainbow flag is removed at Harvey Milk Plaza (“who was Harvey Milk?”) and a big Heterosexual Pride flag goes up there instead. There is such a flag (click on that link). I and others have also noticed how very quickly things are changing around here. It’s becoming “straighter” (hetero) by the day. I don’t know why. I didn’t know that heteros were so adamant about living here. The entire world is a “Hetero Mecca” and they have so much discrimination against them [sarcasm intended], so why here? What’s exactly is the appeal to them? I know why I moved here (to move to the then-“Gay Mecca” in San Francisco) and I moved 3,000 miles from the East Coast of the Estados Unidos/US to get here in the early “Gay Mecca” days, but the “Gay Mecca” per se is gone. It’s history. Today, other than some muchachos walking holding hands with each other (and the same for occasional muchachas) and the old rainbow flags that are still up, the Castro has been so sanitized from the “Gay Mecca” days and made “Family-Friendly” (GAG!) so that it doesn’t look any differently now than any other place one would visit (which has been the intent of the conservative corporatists politicians et al). So I’m not sure why people are particularly interested in coming here or living here and where “they” plan to put all of these people if these bourgeois elite “luxury designer homes”—each condo costing a minimum of over $1 million-plus each—buildings fill up. Their thinking may be: “build it and they will come.” Well ask China about that. They have many empty cities in China (see video below). Chau.—rosa barrio

This ’60 Minutes’ Video Of China’s Ghost Cities Is More Surreal Than Anything We’ve Ever Seen.

CREDITS: The artwork on this page is from DeanJohnsonFineArt. They are a matching set. There’s a tarjeta/card (the bottom image on the right side of the page) and an Arte en lienzo Lámina Feliz Aniversário Rosa rosa (an art canvas featuring a pretty Pink Rose wishing someone Feliz Aniversário) at the top of the page on the right side. Someone could give both items to their partner as a gift on their anniversary or someone could give one or both items to a couple to acknowledge their anniversary, whether they are legally married or not).