San Francisco Detours Into Reality Tourism
By JESSE McKINLEY
The New York Times April 11, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO — Visitors know all too well this pretty city’s sights, what with the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and the clang-clang-clangy cable cars.
But now San Francisco’s civic boosters have decided they want to add a highly unlikely stop to the tourist itinerary: the Uptown Tenderloin, the ragged, druggy and determinedly dingy domain of the city’s most down and out.
Well, actually, the Tenderloin is a lot like the neighborhoods I always end up in when I go traveling – but that’s me. I love the nightlife (I love to boogie) and I love San Francisco, but seriously – what is the appeal of the Tenderloin (assuming you aren’t looking for drugs or a crack whore)? There’s lots of more appealing reality elsewhere in San Francisco. In fact, most of what makes San Francisco great is elsewhere, not only from the Tenderloin (though I do like a lot of the architecture there) but also from phony tourist traps like Fisherman’s Wharf (which used to have reality and appeal, back in the day, but has lost it almost entirely).