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Malena Watrous

Money Can't Buy It: How the City of Free Expression Became a City of Righteous Consumers

It’s the classic San Francisco story. In your early 20s, you leave home—some flyover state you’d just as soon forget—and move west, without a plan, which is the point. You stop where Interstate 80 stops, right on the edge of the continent, and unpack the U-Haul into a cramped room in a draughty flat in the Mission or the Lower Haight or the Outer Sunset. You share the space with roommates you’ve never met, work some meaningless job to pay the rent, and use the remaining hours to make art, or fantasize about making art, or just roam around the city, marveling at its fairy-tale beauty and strangeness—and at the fact that you get to call it home.

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