San Francisco

As a former resident and unabashed lover of "Baghdad by the Bay," I must agree with Kevin Starr (Opinion, Feb. 23) that San Francisco is in serious trouble. It completely lacks all the attributes--killer air pollution, "parking lot" freeways, runaway urban sprawl, and a useless or non-existent mass transit system--that it will need if it is to become a major megalopolis of the future.

But for some strange reason, the vast majority of San Franciscans prefer to remain there--just as the same vast majority failed to vote for Kevin Starr in his ill-fated run for the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco's last city election. Perhaps these two facts are related.

To be fair, San Francisco does face some serious problems, many of which Starr elucidates well in his article. But the fact remains that San Franciscans value their city and their quality of life far too highly to allow their home to become the Los Angeles of Northern California.

San Francisco is a very special town, and there is always a price to pay for something special. If Kevin Starr values "modernization" and the "future" over San Francisco's "attenuated connoisseurship," perhaps he should follow the counsel of Dianne Feinstein's political advisers--"Start commuting to Los Angeles." Or better yet, move there--for good.


Los Angeles

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