a week in Pacifica

Pacifica is a community of about 40,000 extending 6 miles of beaches and hills along the Pacific ocean south of San Francisco.  We are regular annual visitors since 2 sons and better halves and now a grand child live in the area.  And Pacifica is undergoing stress of change as new money moves into a once lower middle class area.

Nudged by my sons we now use uber for airport trips and airbnb for lodging and this time we rented a delightful beach house just one block (say 80 yards) from the ocean.  It came with 2 bedrooms and all amenities. Though M described is as basic, it was a more pleasant way to spend some days in one location. 

our beach house squeezed between 2 shops a short distance from the beach, with space in front for our car rental

We have a regular morning schedule – jog a few miles along the shore and cliffs to our coffee shop.

a view from our trail of one of the beaches, and the pier
our caboose coffee shop

It was at the coffee shop I purchased the local weekly Pacifica Tribune and became aware of a gnawing community issue.  In fall 2016 the owner of xxx mobile home park decided to evict every tenant claiming there was a plan to do upgrades.  Many residents had lived there for decades; many were low-income people, including veterans, elderly and disabled people, with few affordable options for other rentals.  At the Council meeting the Council majority refused to help and as a result 77 households were evicted.  Subsequently a proposal for rent stabilization was developed and efforts are underway to make it effective.  It will cost money to implement and opponents say this money could be better spent on physical improvements.

I wonder how this will be resolved.  There are no upmarket restaurants or shops on the high street where our rented beach house is located.  There is Florey’s bookstore which we religiously visit each year and which hosts weekly meetings for the book club, writers group, grieving pet owners group and others.  If renters can be ejected then more expensive housing and buildings will arrive, property values will increase even more (prices already appear astronomical), property tax revenues will increase and the simple charm of the place will be dissipated.  Some will call that progress.  Much the same happened in Sandy Springs, Atlanta where we have lived for many years.  It gained cityhood and then the mayor who was smart and frugal passed on and now big civic structures and apartments and shops are choking the center, and traffic and sales taxes have increased, and this is progress.

Close to the caboose is the Memorial Gardens established and maintained by Mike Mooney which now has notices about plant thefts.

We again, coincidentally, met with Mike and wondered aloud why people would steal plants.  No avid gardener surely will look at a lovely plant in their garden and think “that’s the one I stole!”.  Probably thieves for commercial re-sale.

But back to the delights of Pacifica. It has community gardens with weekly bio-intensive growing classes.

Pacifica Gardens – Educate, Cultivate, Inspire

And a history of rum smuggling during the Prohibition.

Bootleggers’ Steps Trail at Mori Point

And unusual beach sights.

masses of birds gathered on the shore

And often brilliant sunsets

And nearby interesting places to visit such as the Farmer’ Market Serramonte, Daly City.

seeing these mushrooms motivates me to get back to growing shiitake

And finally our favorites places to eat, including this tofu shop

Mom’s Tofu House, a Korean restaurant in South San Francisco has delectable stone pot dishes

And of course the attractions of San Francisco where the technology money is making it culturally competitive with NYC.  We visited and enjoyed its MOMA (museum of modern art).