Four Stories on Living in, Loving, and Leaving the Bay Area

Slate: What a Mom of Two Spends on Her Kids During a Week in the Bay Area

We bought a $25 gift card and a birthday card for B’s friends party, along with bread and cereal for the kids. A gift card for about $25 is pretty common for kids’ parties in the Bay Area. That’s what you get your kid’s friends—a gift for $25, or a $25 gift card. Nobody’s getting crazy $100 gifts at parties. At least not at my friends’ parties.

What happened to teaching kids how to pick out a thoughtful gift based on their friends’ interests? I understand that non-cash gifts are a deadweight loss, and that parents might prefer gift cards over piles of cheap plastic junk, but still.

Curbed: If San Francisco is so great, why is everyone I love leaving?

For the first time, while sitting in full-stop traffic before the Bay Bridge in the ironically named “fastrak” lane, I count them in my head: 11 people I care about have left California in the past two years. Eleanor is number 12, and apparently the final straw that’s really making me pause and think, “What the hell is going on?”

I’m less interested in why people are leaving San Francisco (the reasons are obvious) and more interested in why other cities aren’t eager to welcome them:

I visited Seattle for the first time a month ago and was warned someone might throw a bottle at my car for my California plates. In Portland, I saw “No Californians” signs slapped onto “for sale” signs in yards. In Denver, I read news articles about friendlier locals advising Californians to tell people they were from literally anywhere else. You can Google virtually any city plus the phrase “hate Californians” and find pages of forums and articles giving voice to the hatred of Golden State jerks “ruining” cities.

UC Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project and the California Housing Partnership: Rising Housing Costs and Re-Segregation in the San Francisco Bay Area

  • Communities of color were particularly vulnerable to the impact of rapid rent increases in the Bay Area between 2000 and 2015. A 30% tract-level increase in median rent (inflation-adjusted) was associated with a 28% decrease in low-income households of color. There was no significant relationship between rent increases and losses of low-income White households.
  • Upon moving, a substantial share of low-income people left the region altogether; approximately 30% of low-income people of color who moved in 2015 left the Bay Area. The share of movers leaving the region was highest among those moving from San Francisco and San Mateo counties (which have some of the highest rents in the region).
  • Low-income households who made any kind of move in 2015—whether they stayed within the county or left it—ended up paying a higher share of their income on rent than those who did not move.

The Curbed article only tells one part of the story — here’s another look at who’s moving out of the Bay Area and how much it costs to both leave and stay.

San Francisco Chronicle: 6 Bay Area-themed Valentines to send to your Bay-Bae

The first valentine is, appropriately enough, a joke about Bay Area rent.

Photo by Wilson Ye on Unsplash.

Support The Billfold

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by making a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time-only contribution through PayPal.