ALAS, BABYLON - SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
…to the west spreads the thickly settled marginal plain and the glowing bay, rimmed by the jagged silhouette of San Francisco. Below is the metropolitan cluster of downtown Oakland…
— California, A Guide To the Golden State (WPA, 1939)
The Greater Bay Area is one of the most unique, lively, and exciting places to live in the US. The vibrancy of culture, the teeming art scenes, and the distinct flavor of each of the cities offers tourists and locals alike an experience simply not found other places in America.
But it has a darker side as well. Mass urban decay has begun, both in inner-city neighborhoods, such as San Francisco’s Tenderloin District or Oakland’s Lake Merritt, as well as in abandoned suburban neighborhoods. Large housing developments, half-finished, lie empty, while the human victims of economic downturn sleep on the streets.
I want people to see all of it. The beautiful, along with the ugly—what life in the Bay is really like.
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Zachary Senn is a transplant to California, as he spent the first half of his life living in North Eastern Minnesota. You can follow him on Tumblr at photographicwanderer.tumblr.com.
This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.