In December 2019, as the decade drew to a close, thousands of 10-inch-long penis fish flopped ashore at Drakes Beach, about 50 miles north of San Francisco. Otherwise known as the fat innkeeper worm (Urechis caupo), the invasion of the phallic critters took over the beach, forcing out the locals. If you were looking for a metaphor to sum up what a decade of growth in the high-tech industry has done to the Bay Area, you couldn’t ask for something more apt. Unless, of course, the penis worms were libertarians.Because, from a certain point of view, that’s been the core story here since the end of the Great Recession. Hordes of newly minted and newly wealthy tech bros, flush with Silicon Valley VC cash, ruined what once had been an all-are-welcome cool, gray city of love, where the funky landlady Anna Madrigal offered furnished rooms on Russian Hill for $170 a month. As the Jefferson Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner once joked, “San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality.” If that were ever true, this was the decade in which reality finally closed back in.At the end of the decade, how did the Bay Area end up in such… Read full this story
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