Yesterday, the NY Times reported about enraged San Franciscans who are taking out their anger against the parking meter attendants who issue tickets to illegal cars. It seems that the city of the Golden Gate is full of simmering hatreds, ironically directed at the lowly paid proletariat who throw fines against BMW’s and Hummers in a city with a shortage of places to park:
San Franciscans have been shocked in recent months by crimes related to finding places to park, including an attack in September in which a young man was killed trying to defend a spot he had found.
More recently, the victims have been parking control officers — do not call them meter maids — who suffered four attacks in late November, and two officers went to a hospital.
Over all, 2006 was a dangerous year for those hardy souls handing out tickets here, with 28 attacks, up from 17 in 2005.
All of which has left officials in this otherwise civilized community scrambling to explain, and solve, “parking rage.”
Why is it that such a lovely city, a place of golden sunsets and bridges, full of delightful little cafes, charming boutiques and skinny, young people who slouch over laptops all day… be such an unhappy town?
You hear it in the mad cries against globalism, in the passionate support for the self-destructive peoples of the world (the Palestinians, the Sunnis, the Homeless, the Communists), in the angry rants against LA. Arguably, there is a need for at least one small corner of indifferent America where the educated argue and blog about the international causes which we are mostly deaf to. But why is such a priveleged city so sour?
Today I went to LA’s “The Grove” shopping center. I observed, as usual, so many happy, healthy, good looking people. The reputation of LA, and especially of the artifical main street, automatically leads to a conclusion that LA sucks, that we don’t have a real city. Why then, do people seem to enjoy life on their day off in LA in the sunshine, with their friends and family? Los Angeles just doesn’t seem to revel in being miserable and pissed off, despite the fact that traffic and daily violence are obscenely present.
Perhaps the ascension of Nancy Pelosi, to the Speaker of the House, may “centralize” and normalize the national impression of S.F. Yet, I know as soon as someone from San Francisco reads this, I will get a load of negative comments.
I know I would be angry if I just came in from a jog around the Presidio and was sipping some wine in my Pacific Heights apartment.