UPDATE (El 5 de mayo de 2016): The Castro Street Sidewalk Widening project ended sometime ago. I’m updating this because there was a hidden agenda attached to this project which wasn’t entirely obvious at the time. With the wider mall-type sidewalks, The Castro has been Disney-fied complete with the installation of non-native palm trees — to give a pretentious look — as part of the sanitising of The Castro/Castro Street to make it “Family-Friendly” (GAG) so that mostly breeder “straight” parents can bring their children to the theatre for sing-alongs while wearing silly crown hats given to the audience by the theatre. The sidewalk was also widened to allow mediocre restaurants to clutter up the sidewalk with added tables and chairs — not that the tables/chairs inside the restaurant are occupied — thereby making the sidewalk smaller (narrower) in reality. And all the history in those sidewalks of the Gay Mecca decades is now in the dump somewhere. There are some token symbols still remaining of the Gay Mecca for tourist/capitalist purposes (the large Rainbow Flag @ Castro/Market, for example), but many of us get the distinct impression that The Castro and San Francisco would just as soon forget that The Castro was ever The Gay Mecca. Today, The Castro is mainly a place where “straight” people come to get drunk and make-out. Chau.—el barrio rosa
1. Why many GLBTQs resent “straights” coming to gay areas
2. “Queering The Castro”
UPDATE TO THIS ARTICLE:
Kissing Tim Poster
This “Kissing Tim” poster
reminds me of the
“Castro Clone look.”
Anyone remember that look?
You don’t see this scene
(as of May 2016), unfortunately,
in the sanitised Castro.
And guys with their
shirts off in The Castro?
Is that allowed under
the city-wide nudity ban
that the conservative Castro
El 6 de agosto de 2014. There’s an update to this article with new pictures at this link:
El 20 de junio de 2014. Revisiting this article with an update. Hola, I received the following e-mail tonight from mi amiga (she’s always very accurate):
“I have some news for you on the Castro sidewalk widening project. The pictures you have of the sidewalk on pink barrio are pictures of the temporary sidewalk. That’s not the permanent sidewalk in those pictures, but how would we know that? You, I and your contractor friend thought what’s shown in those pictures is the permanent sidewalk and we thought that because Politician Cocks lied and misled people. He said that the project was “going great and was ahead of schedule.” Corrupt politicians say anything. Then when we saw the crew leave and all the work stopped and looked completed (although a mess!) after Politician Cock’s statement that the project was “going great and was ahead of schedule,” naturally we thought it was done but that didn’t make much sense considering the looks of things.
Politician Cocks should have kept his mouth shut, but that’s difficult for him to do because as you say he’s a self-appointed authority on all subjects and needs to move his mouth to hear himself talk. The work on this project was supposed to have started January of 2014. It didn’t begin until much later. So the crew had to do this work in phases and they wrapped this phase up early to be out of the way for Gay Shame/Gay Discreet Weekend, as some of us call it now. Since the crew missed the January start date for beginning this project and since this project was not critical at all to anything going on in the Castro, why didn’t they wait until January 2015 to begin it? They couldn’t wait until then because then they would have to wait until AFTER Politician’s Cock’s re-election in November and he wants this fucking sidewalk completed before his re-election to add to his list of “accomplishments.” Does he need a list of “accomplishments?”…. since no one is running against him that has any chance of positive coverage with the corporate media, including the main conservative gay rag (whose publisher is directly tied to the conservative establishment, the oligarchy) and who likes to pretend to be “objective.” After Gay Shame/Gay Discreet Weekend, the project crew will return and complete the two blocks by the end of October. That’s the plan. They will be removing the cement along the storefronts that your contractor amigo was talking about and they say they will be leveling the sidewalk, so that’s what’s going on.”
My response: Gracias mi amor. Well that makes a lot more sense than the mess that’s there now. And yes, The Second Coming/The Holy Trinity (a.k.a. Politician Cocks) should have kept his mouth shut as that would have alleviated a lot of confusion.
The outrageous cost for this thing:
Total for relocating Muni’s electric bus overhead electric wires:
Total cost for replacing a water main:
After that’s complete:
I saw the ad created by the hateful anti-homeless/anti-nudist (et al) merchants’ group to tell people that they’re open for business during this first phase of construction (didn’t people already know they were open?!). The ad reads, “Celebrating 44 years of Pride. Come out and play.” Come out and play? That ad would be perfect for children in a preschool because that’s what it looks like it’s designed for, instead of a mostly adult barrio. Who comes up with this caca that this useless, totalitarian and hateful merchants’ association comes up with? Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio
El 18 de junio de 2014. Hola, today I met with the contractor I wrote about in my last two updates. He gave me a rather thorough tour of the “new” Castro sidewalk and we took pictures. The “new” sidewalk is a fucking mess. I had said that it looked like something that Lucy & Ethel would do, but after seeing the sidewalk today I think Lucy & Ethel would have done a better job. There is lumber throughout the sidewalk in both blocks, which will rot. There’s asphalt patches on the new sidewalk. The new cement is already cracking from people walking on it because the ground was not prepared properly before the cement was poured. There are different sized squares and rectangles throughout. You have to sort of walk “down” to get to the old sidewalk near the store fronts. In other words, it’s sloped and not even, as a sidewalk is supposed to be. The second block—which was not supposed to be completed under the end of October—is already done. It looks thrown together with asphalt poured along the store fronts in some places. Asphalt on a sidewalk? The new sidewalk is a mixture of asphalt and concrete. Who has ever seen a sidewalk like that? The east side of the street looks worse than the west side. The problems I’ve mentioned are throughout both blocks. Politician Cocks (a.k.a. The Holy Trinity) had said the project was going “great and we’re ahead of schedule.” He must have the lowest of standards because his idea of “great” is the opposite of mine and the only way they were “ahead of schedule” is because they decided to throw it together and leave. Were they getting too many complaints from the merchants? I’ve never seen a sidewalk that looks like this ever and this is the worst job my contractor friend as ever seen. He suspects they will have to come back and jack-hammer it all out and do it all over shortly, but I’ve heard nothing about that being the plan. Most people on the sidewalk didn’t seem to be paying any attention to it. As long as it’s wider, they don’t care what it looks like? They probably will care when they start stubbing their toes on the unevenness as it continues to deteriorates. Also, many people in the Castro work downtown or in the Financial District and the sidewalks down there look nothing like this Castro Street mess, so I would think some of the people who work down there would notice this terrible work. Also, there are new poles stuck in the sidewalk (sort of in the way) and the parking meters haven’t been installed yet. Pictures of what I’m talking about are on this page and I’ll add more later. Chau.—rosa barrio
El 17 de junio de 2014: Hola, I walked down the “new” sidewalk today on Castro Street and looked at it more closely. That job looks like something Lucy & Ethel would do (I’m thinking of “I Love Lucy” when they lived in the county outside of NYC and Lucy and Ethel built a bar-b-que overnight). I saw what the contractor who wrote me meant. The sidewalk/work is uneven. I clearly saw where they left the lumber in it! Who would do that? Basic logic would tell me not to do that if I were pouring a sidewalk. That’s going to rot out and cause a big ditch. They smeared cement in a concave way (it looks like somebody did not know what they were doing) between the old sidewalk and the new. What a terrible job. And I saw all the many different-sized sections. What a mess. A few people are gushing over it so apparently they know nothing about how to properly do a sidewalk. It almost looks temporary as if they’re going to jack-hammer it all out again after Gay Shame/Gay Discreet weekend and repour new cement and do it right the next time, although I suspect that’s not going to happen. Chau.—rosa barrio
El 16 de junio de 2014: Hola, Since the “new” sidewalk has opened—and even though I’ve seen no homeless or streetpeople on the “new” sidewalk—I’ve unfortunately already heard two pejorative comments from two Queerboy couples about the homeless being on the “new” sidewalk. Some history: Being a minority, Queerboys from my experience instinctually were very aware to not hate on or dump on other minorities (which the homeless and street people are) because we Queerboys knew how it felt to be the target of hateful/pejorative/derogatory comments. That was during the (now fading) Gay Mecca days and in the former San Francisco. In this New corporatist San Francisco, all of that seems to have evaporated. Some call it “political correctness,” and that has all but vanished and been abandoned by much of the gay populace as many if not most GLBTQs have become just like the conservatives (some charading as “moderates”) they used to despise and protest against. The age bracket of the two Queerboy couples I heard these anti-homeless comments from, I would guess they were born after 1985 (they were probably in their late 20s-early 30s). That’s the same age bracket that I’ve written about many times with the fucked up guys on (what I call) ClosetList and sex personal ads. What is it with Queerboys and/or gay closet cases born after 1985? The comments (which I won’t repeat) that I heard from these two Queerboy couples were elitist, smug and anti-homeless in tone and very representative of what the New conservative San Francisco is becoming. I and others I’ve talked with cannot relate to this new “breed” (new arrivals to San Francisco?) of GLBTQ people specifically born after 1985. They are among the most fucked up, elitist and lobomotised people we have in Lobotomised San Francisco. My message to these elitist Queerboys is that they should expect to see more and more homeless people as the gap continues to widen between the rich and poor here in this scum-of-the-Earth country. Are they willfully-ignorant about this gap? I’m frequently seeing articles about this widening gap between the haves and the have-nots here in The Cesspool/los Estados Unidos. And if these Queerboys were to get off their stupidphone long enough to read something that really matters in people’s lives (or look for that information on their stupidphone), they might see the articles I’m talking about too.
Speaking about this expensive city: San Francisco has become an outrageously expensive city. One local radical activist (and I use the word “radical” in a most positive sense!) says that in his specific area of the Castro a two-bedroom apartment rents for $8,000.00 a month. No typo there. That’s eight-thousand dollars a month. I know where he’s talking about. It’s one of the new glass-walled pretentious “Luxury Designer Condos” (Dahling) buildings and on the street level of that glass building is a
major international corporate chain grocery store with food from China where many pretentious people shop to “keep up with the Jones-es,” instead of shopping at a local worker-owned and operated food cooperative where the dinero/money stays in the community. Chau.—rosa barrio
El 15 de junio de 2014. Hola, I received this update e-mail today from the contractor I talked with the other day (see below) about the Castro Street sidewalk expansion project. He wrote:
As you know, I’ve been a contractor for 20 years and was a carpenter for years before that. I’ve never seen work like this anywhere, ever. It’s the trashiest concrete work I’ve ever seen anywhere. All of the form lumber was left inside the concrete, which will rot within 1-2 years. The concrete was poured in rectangular sections all joined together. Already, this concrete is buckling and bowing from inaccurate packing of the ground before pouring the concrete. Some of the corners are stuck up in the air to where they need and do have a piece of red tape stuck to it so that people don’t trip on it, including right in front of the Bar 440 Booze. Then up a couple more sections, one section is already beginning to disintegrate and break apart. It’s the worst looking sidewalk pour I’ve ever seen. I also don’t think there’s enough room for the Muni 24 line to pass on Castro with cars parked there. It will bottleneck, as you had suspected would happen. They will be doing major work on this sidewalk within 6 months if not sooner. The old sidewalk near the storefronts was not removed. I’ve never seen that before either. The new sidewalk was poured right up to the old sidewalk so it’s in sections. There are ditches and unevenness all over the place. It is just junk. But that’s what happens when one goes with the lowest bid as these stupid people did. You get what you pay for.
My response: But I’m sure some people will be gushing over their Politician Cocks (who some people see as The Holy Trinity and The Second Coming). I walked over it to get where I was going awhile ago and noticed all the many different sections. No one seemed to be paying any special attention to the sidewalk despite all the jacked-up hype about it. The many sections seemed weird to me because there’s a new sidewalk outside my apartment building—that was done correctly—that looks nothing like this Castro Street mess. The sidewalk outside my building is very even and all the same size, and not all of this different-sized “in sections” stuff. Gracias for the update. Very informative. Chau.—rosa barrio
El 10 de junio de 2014. Hola. Yesterday I saw an amigo of mine in the Castro who is now a retired general contractor. I had wanted his opinion about the work going on with this Castro Street sidewalk widening nonsense that many people are absolutely gushing and giddy over. I mentioned this sidewalk widening project to him since we were standing in the middle of it at the time and I asked him what he thought about the work from his professional experience. I said it looks like they’re rushing to get this thing done (the first block at least) by Gay Shame/Gay Discreet Weekend because some of it looks like sloppy work. He said: Yes, it’s uneven, the cement is being poured directly onto the ground without preparation such as packing the ground. He said: As I was walking up Castro towards Market, I noticed they poured cement into wood boxes that are in the cement pour itself. This wood will rot in about two years and it’s unknown how they’re going to get rid of the concrete next to all the store fronts. That should be interesting. They also poured concrete right up around a tree down on 18th Street. The city and Politician Cocks obviously got what they were looking for when they chose the lowest bidder. In the construction business, you never take the lowest bidder. That’s begging for problems. Gracias mi amigo for your opinion. Chau.—rosa barrio
Change Gay Pride to Gay Discreet
Ashamed to be Gay
The Gay Jock Fad
The Rainbow Flag is now “too gay?”
The Lobotomised Gay Community
The “Discreet” Gay Guys
What’s with the “straight-acting” and “straight-appearing” in gay personals?
Why are hetero couples going to gay bars?
Gay Community being forced out of San Francisco
“Straights” come to the Castro to cheat
UPDATE TO THIS ARTICLE:
El 27 de mayo de 2014. Hola. Someone e-mailed me asking for an update on the Castro Street sidewalk widening project: Well, it’s a fucking mess around here, I can tell you that! One block of the expansion is supposed to be completed by Gay Shame weekend en junio/in June. That was the original plan. Politician Cocks (who his rabid conservative disciples see as The Second Coming/The Holy Trinity) claims the work is going “great” and is ahead of schedule. That’s a lie. That reminds me of: How do you know a politician is lying? When his/her mouth is moving. (Got that right!) It looks behind schedule to me and others I’ve spoken with. So how do I know that The Holy Trinity is telling a lie and trying to “spin” this positively? Because mi amiga said she read that the construction crew is going to start working nights and weekends—I’m sure the residents who live on Castro Street will just love that!—to get the thing completed by Gay Shame/Gay Discreet weekend. Based on that, this project is behind schedule. And using critical thinking skills—which apparently Politician Cocks thinks no one is equipped with but him—if this project were ahead of schedule as The Holy Trinity claims, the crew would not need to start working at night and on weekends to get one block completed before Gay Shame/Gay Discreet Weekend. But I guess The Holy Trinity didn’t think that through before he excreted it. He is so full of his arrogant self, so full of bull shit and hype. Everything is “rich and vibrant” in his hyped utopia. Mi amiga told me she saw him genuflecting to a techie Gentrification and Eviction shuttle the other day. So that’s what’s going on with this sidewalk expansion mess. As mi amiga asked: Why would there be a rush to get this project completed by Gay Shame Weekend? Why would people be coming to The Castro anyway? The corporate commercial called Gay Shame will be on Market Street as usual, not in The Castro. There’s nothing here in The Castro but alcohol and weaving drunks vomiting on the sidewalk, coffee, nail salons, coffee, stores selling creams/gels/goos and oozes, coffee, mediocre restaurants (mostly serving burgers/greasy fries and Fukushima nuclear-irradiated fish from the Pacific Ocean), coffee, Luxury Designer Condos (Dahling), coffee and more and more “straight” people taking over the place and making out on the sidewalk (take it back to the Marina/North Beach!, muchacho/a), coffee and of course the dumbphone-addicted idiots who walk right into traffic without looking either direction or stand in dark places at night fucking with their toy (their “smartphone” addiction) completely unaware of their surrounding in a major city. So all of that is appealing to people, is it? Chau.—rosa barrio
Related: Change Gay Pride to Gay Discreet
El 14 de marzo de 2014. Hola. I saw mi amiga today and we were talking about this Castro Street sidewalk widening project. They’ve put up a sign about it at Market/Castro. She told me—and she’s never wrong—that she read that work on this thing begins next week (either miércoles/Wednesday or jueves/Thursday). It’s being done differently than originally planned in that both blocks of Castro Street will be worked on at the same time. Originally they had planned to work on the block near Market Street first, and then the second block near 18th last. There will be no vehicle parking allowed day or night on either side of Castro in this two block area for a period of 3 months. That noticias/news should absolutely delight the merchants, don’t you think? In fact, one merchant said upon hearing that noticias that this scheme would put them out of business. But this is really all about The Holy Trinity (a.k.a. Politician Cocks) and getting this thing rammed through so that it’s completed in time for the November election so that The Holy Trinity can say: “See these beautiful wide sidewalk that I’ve given you (ugh). Don’t you just love this fresh cement—just smell that fresh cement—and these new trees (we ripped up the old ones, poor things)? So vote for me again, (suckers).” Let’s tell it like it is. That’s what this is about contrary to any Orwellian newspeak bull shit one hears to the contrary from conservative political parasite opportunitists. Chau.—rosa barrio
El 5 de febrero de 2014. Hola. I received the following e-mail a couple days ago regarding the Castro Street sidewalk widening project in San Francisco, and I thought I would post it here and respond:
I’m a regular reader of your site. Very informative. Better than other local sites which seem all about hype and how wonderful things are here when they’re really not. I’m wondering why you’ve written nothing about the Castro sidewalk expansion project. I’ve heard it starts around February 24th (2014) and I can’t believe the costs. These are the dollar figures I read:
Total for relocating Muni’s electric bus overhead electric wires:
Total cost for replacing a water main:
After that’s complete:
All that money just for widening the damn sidewalks on both sides in a two block area. Why? We can’t find some better use for that money? As my friends say who oppose this: I’ve never had any trouble walking on the sidewalk in the Castro with it being too crowded at any time. During Pride weekend it gets a little crowded, but Pride is dying or will be dying as the city continues to lose the gay community. Why do we need wider sidewalks? I know why. So this politician (you know who) can say: See what I’ve given you! All he does is to come up with symbolic bullshit.
I can see stores going out of business since this project is supposed to take about 8 month (end of February to October). They hope to have the first block completed by the end of June and the second block completed by October.
Many people are giddy over this “dream come true” as they call it. This is all about Politician Cocks (as you call him…I love that) since he’s up for re-election in November. He wants his disciples of his conservative base who see him as The Holy Trinity to eat his ass and fawn over him as their lord and savior and praise his holy name and this project of his for widening the sidewalk in 2 blocks of the Castro. I can think of a lot better use for that money than this. Contrary to their suggestion, I don’t plan to hang out in the Castro during this time due to the jack-hammering, all the dust, the noise, it will be a mess. I’m hoping this thing backfires on The Holy Trinity and people start asking, “who the hell came up with this damn idea?” Your thoughts? P.S. Maybe this construction time will also make that city worker on Castro that wears that yellow vest go away. He messes about with his broom and dustpan pretending to be sweeping up little papers and things. He’ll come sweeping right at your feet and won’t say “excuse me, I need to get that” or anything. I’ve seen him take his foot and kick at a homeless person sleeping on the sidewalk and waking the person up to make them move. How would he like it if someone did that to him? He’s trying to enforce sit-lie and only the cops can do that. He gets on my nerves. I think he’s really doing surveillance on the homeless but pretending to be sweeping. He has a walkie-talkie on him. Why would he need that for the little piddly sweeping that he does? Thx for reading.
My response: Hola y muchas gracias for that. My thoughts are the same as your thoughts as it turns out. I’ve said nothing about it because I was waiting to see if it was going to even happen. From what I read, it was supposed to have started last month. Some problems somewhere? Yes, there were: Los locos who dreamed up this idea apparently didn’t think to look up at all the wires above the street. These people don’t have basis sense. Basic sense told me that for a project such as this that whatever is up above (meaning all the wires) will have to be moved and that’s what someone finally realised. They realised that the poles holding the electric Muni wires will have to be moved. Imagine that! [roll eyes]. jesus fucking christ! And these are supposedly bright people? They can’t be too bright since they took the lowest bid. I guess they haven’t heard that one gets what one pays for. I read that the lowest bidder was chosen for the construction part. I asked a very successful building contractor (he’s retired now) about this, and he told me the following: “This guy (meaning Politician Cocks) must not know anything about how to select bids because you don’t ever go with the lowest bidder. That’s trouble. They are inexperienced, that’s why they are the lowest bidder. They don’t know that you should not be the lowest bidder. At the end, they usually cost more than the highest bidder with costs overruns.” Also, there are no bike lanes included in this scheme and the traffic lanes narrow from 4 lanes to 2 lanes. So where are the cyclists supposed to go? I know: Ride on the wider sidewalk. It will be much safer there. That’s what I would do. It should be interesting to see the traffic fly down Castro (southbound) the way it does now as well as the 24 Divisadero (Muni bus line) and then bottleneck into 2 lanes (that ought to be interesting to see) when there used to be 4 lanes for vehicles. Some people wanted the Harvey Milk Plaza renovated as part of this scheme. That’s not happening. They are “upgrading” (whatever that means) the Jane Warner Plaza. That’s, in part, to get the street people and homeless out. Let’s be very clear about that. I read something about them saying that the Castro would remain open and were urging people to come to the Castro to “eat a bite” and “come to get your coffee.” Yes, do come to eat and have some coffee in a dust storm accompanied by vibrant (they love to use that word around here) jack-hammering. Should be absolutely lovely. They’re really trying to sanitize this by pretending that it will be “business as usual,” but the reality is that it will be a loud construction zone with lots of dust for roughly 8 months. It gets very windy in the Castro (especially at Castro/Market) so that dust and mud will be all over the place.
I read that the merchants are “nervous.” You mean they don’t have complete confidence in their savior Politician Cocks? Yeah I bet they are “nervous,” especially those who are on the edge of going out of business to begin with. If I were a merchant, I would strongly oppose this project at this time. The timing for this is not good in this dismal economy. I don’t think any of the merchants are doing well to begin with other than the bars (with the “straight” people coming to get drunk). But isn’t the timing of this to coincide with Politician Cock’s re-election en noviembre? I suspect that has just a tad to do with it. Someone told me that Politician Cocks said, “It’s incredibly exciting for the neighborhood to get wider sidewalks in the Castro.” Really? Incredibly exciting? Typical corporatist politician hyped bull shit trying to serve as a salesperson. Don’t you think that’s a bit much, Politician Cocks? What exactly is “incredibly exciting” about cement and sidewalks? It reminds me of a soy milk company a few years ago which was gushing over their redesigned pour spout and they wrote that they were “incredibly excited” to announce the redesign of their pour spout (which turned out to be just as leaky as the old one). I thought: yeah, well, whatever turns you on. We have to keep in mind that there are people among us who get turned on by wider sidewalks and pour spouts and who see them as “incredibly exciting.” Chau.—rosa barrio
Pictured above: Politician Cocks, and other corporatist political parasites.
—— COMMENTS (manually posted from e-mail) ——
06.13.14 I was in the Castro yesterday. I had to meet a friend and thought it would be a good opportunity to see what they’re doing with the sidewalk. I agree with Larry who commented on June 3rd. Why are people so excited over this? It looks like slightly wider sidewalks. I noticed how heterosexual the Castro has become. It was cold out and not many people were out but the people I saw were male-female couples. I didn’t see any gay boys anywhere.
06.03.14 Hola pink barrio…I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade but what is the big deal about this sidewalk expansion? I read they’re rushing to have it done by what you call Gay Shame weekend. If anyone who doesn’t live here comes for Gay Shame and why would they?, why would they care about a wider sidewalk somewhere?—Larry
My response: LOL. Hola, Larry y gracias. Yeah why would they! Some people (mainly Castro business people who serve as shills and hacks for the now bland, sterile, sanitised, dull and boring Castro are gushing over this thing. I suspect tourists would say, “you have nothing more going on in your life to get all jacked up over but a wider sidewalk in the now sanitised Castro? You people must live some pathetic lives if that’s what you get all excited over.” And if plans are still as they were, it’s only the first block that may be completed by Gay Shame Weekend, not that it matters as far as I and people I’ve talked with are concerned. I think the shills and hacks (mainly of the Real Estate Industrial Complex and their Corrupt Liars and the Tech Surveillance-State Industrial Complex) are only concerned about people coming to the Castro during Gay Shame weekend so as to give the Castro stores and mediocre restaurants dinero/money. And the sidewalk expansion is just being hyped-up as “bait” to get people over here: “Oh don’t miss the new sidewalk for one block in the sanitised Castro.” Of course they won’t say that The Castro looks nothing like it did during the former Gay Mecca days. Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio