Saturday, February 02, 2019

Where do the waiters live?

Back in the early 80s, I travelled regularly to the Bay, where a friend of mine, in the time between my business meetings, showed me around the cultural sights.  The food he introduced me to was particularly wonderful.  I remember a Cambodian restaurant where the food clearly was influenced as much by Paris as by grandma's kitchen.

My friend and I talked about many subjects.  One of the most passionate rants was my friend's terror at the prospect of being pushed out of his apartment -- a not-unlikely prospect.  He had a decent job, but no security against sudden rent increases.

Which made me wonder, in this city of restauants, where did the waiters live?

My recent reading has included much material about California, which seems to be taking, once again, a leading role in the evolution of modern culture.   This article, If San Francisco is so great, why is everyone I love leaving? sadly describes how people who don't have family money, or who did not early on become skilled programmers just can't live a decent life in the city.  You can't do something interesting and useful, like open a bakery. 

These people who are fleeing from SF would count in most people's judgment as "middle class." Whether that is still a useful category.

I, however, still have the old puzzle bu zzing around my brain: Where do the waiters live?

Later... The New York Times demonstrates how pre-historic my question is: Thousands of New Millionaires Are About to Eat San Francisco Alive

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Quotes: Jonathan K. DeYoe, another private wealth adviser in the region, started working with tech clients in 1997 during the first dot-com boom. He said it was pretty exciting back then. Now, as he thinks about thousands of new millionaires coming onto the scene, he is worried about the region’s inequality. “There’s some who’ve talked about pitchforks,” Mr. DeYoe said. “And I don’t think we’ll go there, but there’s a point when that makes sense.” “It’s very visible,” Mr. DeYoe said. “This kind of wealth is very visible.”...
[P]resenting was Deniz Kahramaner, a real estate agent specializing in data analytics at Compass. “Are we going to see a one-bedroom condo that’s worth less than $1 million in five years?” he asked the crowd. “Are we going to see single family homes selling for one to three million?” No, he said, not anymore. The energy rose as he revealed more data about new millionaires and about just how few new units have been built for them. San Francisco single-family home sale prices could climb to an average of $5 million, he said, to gasps.

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