I just came across this posting on Curbed SF reporting that… there’s nothing new to report regarding the complaints put forth by the 1600 Webster Street Developer and the President of its Homeowners Association. Well, maybe that’s based off of what we posted previously, although we thought it was pretty damn cool in the first place that the Curbed SF posting linked to the Nakayoshi blog. We’ll definitely be keeping our eyes and ears open around the community for any other news.
In the comments section of the Curbed SF posting regarding the HOA/Developer complaint, one particular person posted:
…please keep in mind that people actually live in those condos who had nothing to do with the letters sent to the festival boards. Many of them have worked hard to be homeowners in the City, and in no way deserve to have their homes defecated on /vandalized.
Fair enough, no homeowner or resident in any neighborhood deserves this, but this comment unfairly (and incorrectly) assumes the worst about what has happened in the neighborhood and to the building as a result of these neighborhood celebrations. Maybe this happens at other street fairs and festivals in this city, but I’m pretty sure that the participants at the Nihonmachi Street Fair aren’t coming into Japantown to tag up the place with graffiti or to poop on your stoop. I know for a fact that the residents of Japantown do care a great deal about the condition of Japantown’s sidewalks and public spaces. Senior citizens and other volunteers from the old folks’ homes around Japantown can be seen cleaning up graffiti and litter throughout the neighborhood on a regular basis all year long. The San Francisco chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League in conjunction with the Japantown Task Force organized a neighborhood cleanup for local volunteers, including local boy scout troops, prior to the Cherry Blossom Festival this past year. I know that volunteers from the Nihonmachi Street Fair committee patrolled the neighborhood on night shifts the entire night between the two days of the event to make sure the areas used by the fair were undisturbed. If anything, Japantown and 1600 Webster Street were even safer than usual from vandals or public defecation precisely because the Nihonmachi Street Fair was being held.
People need to recognize that there’s an entire community reaching beyond just the residents of the neighborhood that care deeply about Japantown, and that their concern extends far beyond just real estate property values. These festivals attract a lot of different people to the neighborhood, including the ones who care about it the most.