Welcome to the Bay Area :) we'll be needing that kidney
I just can't get over . Literally, I can't get over how much my beloved hometown has changed since the late 70's. The Bay Area is now the number one destination of people who want to live well, eat the best food apart from France and raise their kids with diversity. These transplants know how important Berkeley and Oakland's liberal/leftist legacy is in the scheme of an rapidly narrowing US political climate. They also know that the East bay has the best weather almost anywhere in the world. They'll commute and work, work, work to bring home Silicon Valley money. They've driven rents up so artists like myself are backed up against the wall.
Chris Thompson of East bay Express said it best:
But let's face it no one has fetishized middlebrow fine living -- browsing the aisles at Restoration Hardware, choosing from among a hundred types of microbrew, knowing which plantation grew your chocolate bar, for God's sake -- more than the Bohos and foodies of the Bay Area. No one hikes, eats, drinks, reads, or decorates better than us. We were country -- wine country, that is -- back when country wasn't cool.
Oddly enough, our obsession with Bobo staples such as gourmet coffee and slow food grew out of a '70s antimaterialist impulse, a desire to drop out of the rat race and enjoy simpler pleasures such as organic gardening or backpacking in Mongolia. Then a funny thing happened. So many people developed a taste for these off-the-grid pastimes that consumer capitalism made a fortune commodifying them and turning them into vast industries. That took some of the fun out of fun. Lonely Planet started off as two Australian mods following the Hippie Trail through Central Asia, and now it's a major player in the cutthroat world of travel publishing. Even now, a Starbucks is about to open in your guest bedroom. And have you tried shopping at the Berkeley Bowl lately? Nothing will spike your blood pressure faster, but there once was a time there when you didn't have to shiv someone grabbing for your heirloom tomato.
Then something else happened: sticker shock. Partly because we succeeded so fabulously at living well, the Bay Area became a global destination and housing prices shot through the roof. Suddenly, the Bobos had to work extra hard. From lawyers to sales associates to coders, the Bay Area middle class works its ass off. Especially in Silicon Valley, especially if they want that Maybeck home in the hills. The bohemian generation that so valued leisure and creativity, for whom Rolling Stone was the house organ of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, became the generation that created the balls-to-the-wall, sleep-is-for-the-weak work ethic celebrated in Wired every month. They're spending so much time coding and commuting to afford their Bobo lifestyles that they've lost the time with which to enjoy it. "There have always been people that worked deathmarch hours," says Pauline Borsook, who was present at the beginning of the foodie craze, wrote for Wired in the '90s and is the author of Cyberselfish, a critique of the Silicon Valley ethos. "It didn't become the model of how life ought to be until the '90s, when there was a celebration of all that. ... Wired tapped into some of that thinking, but they heroized it in a way no one had ever done before."
No one better exemplifies this development than ex-Merry Prankster, Whole Earth Catalogue publisher, and tech entrepreneur Stewart Brand. After hanging out with Native Americans in Oregon and dropping acid with Ken Kesey, Brand remade himself into the tech ur-guru, organizing the seminal 1984 Hacker's Conference, cofounding The Well, and consulting for industry about how to embrace the future. According to Brand, the endless hours Silicon Valley employees put in these days are actually a blessing in disguise. "I think it's probably a sign that work has become more interesting since the '70s," he says. "Writing software, coding is absolutely gripping. You get into a flow state. ... Starting businesses is absolutely exhausting and totally creative, whereas you get to be creative maybe once a month working for somebody else."
Back to SuperAmanda:
This is all making me very sad beacuse I'm killing myself to make it down here and have not been able to afford a voice lesson for ages. I've become addicted to these instant pleasures because I refuse to become an artist that never has anything fun or beautiful to enjoy after a hard day's work. plus I have massive astonishing nostalgia for the bay Area of my childhood and the real hippies and parents that made it such a great place to be a little kid. There was this guy on Telegraph who thought he was a clock and a there were always people singing in the streets. I guess I'm starting to sound like Sean Penn lauding Iraq but please bear with me...this is my childhood I'm letting go of, okay?