Monday, August 23, 2010

The Greening of Langton Street

Our neighborhood is undergoing a fairly dramatic resurgence right now. Several eateries and cafes have opened this year (Radius, Fondue Cowboy, Pinkie's Bakery, Citizen's Band, Sightglass Coffee), and they seem to be doing good business. The area also got a trendy moniker in May: FolSoMa.

As I discussed before, we restored the Langton Street mural and held our first block party. Now, thanks the Friends of the Urban Forest, we have new trees.

Of course, this all raises the usual concerns that the neighborhood is gentrifying. (Fear not, we also got a reminder that things aren't really moving that fast.)

The trees went in this weekend. Elliot briefly supervised the planting.

Some confused botanists apparently tried to plant beer trees the night before. These had to be removed.

The trees will help soften the part of the street next to the oil-change place — a particularly gritty stretch marked by a chain-link fence.

In they go...

Hooray, what a difference.

You may remember a controversy in the mid-2000s when there was an effort to put more trees in the Tenderloin. The plantings were opposed by neighborhood activists, along with Supervisor Chris Daly, out of fear they would make the area too nice.

So everyone should take solace in this: The new trees made no difference in this fellow sleeping for several hours across the sidewalk today.

Actually, if you study the picture closely you'll see he's getting at least a little shade from the new tree. Everyone wins!