People to Avoid, San Francisco
Lots of street people (homeless). It's time we start refering to them as what they really are-drunks, addicts, street-smart con artists, mentally unstable. For many, not all, begging is a chosen lifestyle. If they truly ARE homeless, there are so many goods and services available for those who are sincere about finding help. Beggars...Avoid them. If they ask for change, ignore them, or pretend like you're a deaf/mute. Do your best to avoid engaging them in any conversations. Avoid eye contact. They're street-smart and know all the tricks to distract you. Look straight ahead and keep walking steadily away from them.
Be careful when you book with expedia - if your flight is cancelled then you lose your booking fee - refunds can take 90 days - they wont call you back - constantly hassle with flight changes and incompitent service --- they give the wrong information - you might as well book direct with airline as you end up having to call them anyway to get things sorted
So, as I was leaving my car today in Nob Hill, a man missing his teef approached me and simply asked for the time. Next thing I know, we're engrossed in conversation, and he happens to mention that he's going to see some good bands at a small venue in concert tonight. Who wouldn't get excited about that?! So I asked if it were possible to purchase tickets for this event, and he offers to get me in on the guestlist because his band "Heaven's Gate" had backstage passes. At this point, he hadn't even asked for any money. So, besides the missing teef and slightly shabby attire, his conversation and sparkling white shoes ... you know, kind of sent some relatively positive, yet mixed signals. After about 30 minutes of talking, which I must say was good conversation, we agreed to meet at a neutral location later on that evening. Feeling slightly suspicious about this whole situation, I came home to google the band name and latest album name, and I came up with nothing. Next, I googled his band name with his name which is what led me to this wonderful site. So yes, although there was a serious shortage of windowless vans driving around my neighborhood with men offering little children candy, I'm still lucky enough to have websites like this! THANK YOU Tenshi angel for the post about the tricky Danny Greene!
this is the major warning i have been receiving before and after visiting SF or the bay area in general!
although SF is considered one of the richest towns in a very rich state, you may see lots of people and gangs hanging around certain areas, and perhaps engaging in gang-related fights! interesting yet contradictory, and wonder why!
gangs usually fiddle in the Mission, part of Haight street, and West Oakland but the latter is on the side of the bay.
personally i never had a problem, always be the good girl. but one of my guy friends was stopped by one of these people. the least he did was just to avoid him and kept walking.
some people may ask you for change or ticket exchange in the street or the BART stations. they mostly look teenagers or one of the hippies. so just ignore them.
Home of the Homeless!
San Francisco hosts an enormous homeless population. Some are just plain down and out due to financial or other problems, some choose the lifestyle, but many have substance abuse or psychological issues. It is common to see shopping carts driving down the street or sidewalk loaded with anything except groceries. Homeless people can be located anywhere within the City. Only in a few residential neighborhoods are they rare. They are far more abundant in certain areas like downtown, Civic Center, the Mission, the Tenderloin, portions of Golden Gate Park, the "South of Market area", and the City's few remaining light industrial districts.
Their claim to fame is panhandling. Sometimes several apply their trade on a single block. A few have organized into collectives, and spread out to cover a territory more affectively. Some are aggressive in their approach. Others are more courteous. Nowadays, the phrase "Brother can you spare a dime" has been replaced by "spare change, do you have a quarter, or got a dollar." Use your common sense in any dealings with these folks. If you come to San Francisco and are not hit up for change, you have spent too much time in your hotel room.
We were walking back to the hotel from a long day of sightseeing, when a man approached us. He said he had left his jacket on the trolley (or bus) and it had his wallet and cell phone in it. In order to get home that evening, he had to have $2.35.
I gave him a quick look over. He was dressed business casual--he even had a brief case strapped over his shoulder. Shoes weren't scuffed...looked like he might be telling the truth and for that small amount of change, why quibble?
The man dashed away as my husband said, "He looked a little scruffy around the collar, I don't think he was telling the truth." Sure enough, we saw the man stopping another person a couple blocks away, apparently telling the same story.
Californians generally embrace individual freedoms. With the Castro, semi-legalized drugs, political protests, a huge and welcome homeless population, anything goes, right?!? WRONG! One freedom you should not exercise in San Francisco is voicing verbal displeasure over Barry Bonds. Sure, he's always been a punk, and yes he admitted to taking "the cream" and "the clear" which are steroids, making him a fraud and a cheater, but don't mention that to San Franciscans who are infatuated with baseball's new home run king. Don't bring up that fact that he gained one inch in height, 50 pounds in weight (mostly muscle) and an average of 20 home runs a year since he first supposedly took steroids... Their response? "Everyone else does it! Why not?"
During the game, just after he broke the career home run record, I exercised my freedom to boo poor Barry Bonds, which I quickly discovered to be taboo, especially if you sit in the left field bleachers at AT&T park, just a few rows from the bloated slugger. I had one old guy with a mini-mullet get really upset, call me an a**hole, and defend Bonds with every breath for about two innings. Oh well, I continued to boo anyway, much to his displeasure.
Unfortunately Bonds homered on this chilly night by the Bay, but he also dropped a line drive that hit him square in the glove, proving his decline in ability over the years.
The usual warning you get in most large cities:
Be wary of some of the more aggressive homeless types along Market street and near the Tenderloin. If they are drunk or high, staring aggressively, shouting, etc. I make myself scarce.
Pic above/right is of a lady I see occasionally (not that she's homeless, .. I have no idea)
and sometimes stop & chat briefly with on Columbus in North Beach, usually somewhere close by Cafe Vesuvio.
She never yells, she doesn't rave; she just sits on the sidewalk, and she says thanks and squeezes my hand - if and when I give her some dough.
I know lots of people cringe and get tight jaws when bleeding-heart wimps like me cave and give people money.
To each his own:
it is a very complex issue and everyone has a right to an opinion.
I hope you never get either verbally or physically assaulted by a homeless person in the City.
I also hope you & your family never have a major life / health crisis that bankrupts you financially, mentally and spiritually.
So beware of the homeless in San Francisco, and also be even more wary of a hard heart. I read somewhere it can be terminal.Here is a link
Shame of the City
to an excellent in-depth series of personal articles in the SF Chronicle about the homeless in SF, where they live, the areas they inhabit, and some personal stories about many individuals living on the street and what they deal with every day.
What would have otherwise been a near perfect evening turned into a very stressful all night affair! Just as our hot dogs were sizzling and you could smell the corn roasting, we realized that the Mercedes coupe next to us had blacked out windows, 20" chrome rims, and a very loud sound system. As Sheila came back from taking the pictures, she said some of the people were making her uncomfortable, and she got into our car. I looked up from the grille where the food was just about done, and noticed that several other similar cars had pulled into parking places near us. And a growing number of 18-22 year old males were gathering around the cars and talking in loud voices and cranking up their sound systems. A park patrol drove by and stopped to tell them the park closed at sunset. As he drove away, they shouted profanities, lit more joints, and just got louder! As the croud of 'ruffians' got larger, louder, and nearer I too became uncomfortable, and hurridly gathered up the food to take and eat in a less threatening setting. We drove part way up Mt Tamaplais and stopped at a scenic overlook and tried to finish our picnic. By this time the "mood" was gone and we decided to head back to the hotel. Arriving at the hotel, I wanted to upload the sunset pics, but when we looked for the camera it was no where to be found! In our haste to leave we had apparently left the camera on the picnic table! So I drove two hours back to the park, now pitch dark with no streetlights. Not surprisingly the camera wasn't there, so I drove back feeling very dejected. Sunday, when cleaning out the car before returning it, we found the camera way up under the seat! We were VERY THAKFUL to have the camera, but still don't appreciate the anxiety we experienced from being exposed to the unruly druggies that were allowed to hang out in the park. The beach was beautiful, and we might go back. But, be very cautious about your "neighbors", especially close to sundown.
Myself and a friend (From Scotland) have just had the same problem tonight. We meet him on Third on Mission.
We both knew deep down that he was a fraud. But part of us wanted to see what he would come up with next. ( He was entertaining)
He said to us that his band had just gone back to LA. Him and his wife were about to go this Paul Young recording which was going to be a special on HBO. He had seven tickets back stage. Though, his band has just gone back to LA. So he had extra tickets if we wanted it?
After a long chat a little walk with him into a posh hotel lobby. Where he then asked for money. $12.50 each. It's at this point that I said I don't have any money so would need to go to an ATM. We said we would be back in 2 mins. It was at this point he said: "Oh, don't worry...I've got money for one....so you only need to buy one
So we told him to wait a couple of mins....and we didn't go back.
I can see how easy it would be to be taken in by him. He seems very well educated and had a story about anything we mentioned.
He tried to make out he was lost and didn't know where he was....but the giveaway sign was when walking down the street. He told us all the local history (How could a man lost...know all this stuff?)
It was classic conman stuff.......keep talking.....not a second to think and he never left us alone at any point.
As the saying goes....if it sounds to good to be true....it normally is!
I'm just glad we weren't taken in by him.
There are a group of bums that drive to Clement Street in a white van, beg all day, then get back into their van and leave for the night. One bum was seen dressing back "up" in the van after a day of faking being homeless. We've seen them with different vehicles and they all communicate through cell phones--MUST BE A HARD LIFE!
Most of the bums on Clement St. are scam artists and all they do is bring down the neighborhood. And the ones that aren't scam artists are reaking with urine and feces. It sucks to have to plug your nose while walking down this street that used to be so clean. Now it smells like urine almost on every block. If you try and ignore the bums they just yell louder as if you're deaf, or they'll come right up to you agressively. Once I called the cops on an agressive bum who was harrassing customers coming out of a local market and all the cop did was buy him something to eat. I was furious! It didn't solve any problems. In fact, now they are coming in vans to see what hand-outs are coming their way! This "van group of scammers" just so happened to show up on our street pretty soon after this cop bought that bum something to eat.
I think when they did the homeless count, they forgot to come out to the Richmond District Clement Street area. It's getting worse and worse monthly in this once so nice and quiet neighborhood.
A friend and I have been watching this group of 8 bums or more pile out of a white van everyday for some time now. They would walk Clement Street begging for money. Then at nightfall they would all pile back into this van and leave for the night. Also, we've watched one of them get dressed back up inside their van after their day of begging. These same bums also have a Toyota 4Runner and cell phones. They are bringing down the neighborhood. Store owners are constantly being ripped off by these bums too. It really sucks to walk down Clement St. holding your breath because it smells like urine on every corner between 6th ave. and 12th ave.
Beware of the bum that sleeps in his sleeping bag asking "Can you help a homeless?" He is panhandling money and turning around and giving it to the 8 scammers.
There is also a deafmute who is part of this whole scam. We saw him motioning for his "buddies" to get back into the van.
The police won't do anything about it, we've already tried talking to the police about it, but they don't want to deal with it.
got us too, same old story.
we did smell something was off when he was asking for cash at the end of his 30min spiel.
but $12 doesnt sound much for even a 10% chance for that concert we figured.
probably overdose very soon i figure.
Many of the homeless people of San Francisco have come here from other parts of the country. I don't know where they are getting their information from, but many of them seem to think that being homeless in San Francisco is easy.
HEAR ME AND HEAR ME GOOD! If you, or maybe some kids you know, are planning on coming to S.F. thinking that the Haight is still a "peace and love" place, or that living on the streets is romantic and fun, FOR GOD'S SAKE READ THE WEB PAGE BELOW.
If you come here thinking you'll find peace and love, let me tell you what you're really going to find... alcoholism, drug addiction, scabies, lice, Hepatitis C, tuberculosis, "friends" who will rip you off, and cops and residents who will hate your guts. And that's if you're lucky!
If you're unlucky, you can wind up a prostitute, contract the AIDS virus, be beaten up or raped, or maybe even killed. Roughly 100 homeless people die on the streets of S.F. every year.
What ever issues you have at home, running away from them and coming here penniless may just destroy your life. Talk to other members of your family or your church or your local social services or somebody! The solution to your problems is not living on the streets.
He did it again...
We were conned today by the same guy, using the same name and the same lame story: Danny Greene and his band Melting Point.
I'am ashamed to admit that we believed him and gave him the money (only 10 $ this time). But this time he left his sunglasses and a couple of (pretty creepy) drawings in the lobby.
On one of the drawings was a local address: 1000 Mission St. San Francisco Ca. 94103.
On another one was a name and tel. No. (Bryan Rohen 621-0771)
The drawings depicted a junkie and got the sentence 'nothing's greater in all the heavens and earth then smack' on them.
So if you're interested in getting back to 'Danny', this might give you a lead...
Personally, I just cannot figure that guy out. I mean, he talked to us for about half an hour (a chat, that we even honestly enjoyed, as he was playing a quite funny and interesting character), and than he fools us for 10 $ and even leaves his glasses (which were pretty cheap, but still probably worth the 10 dollars)???
Pathetic if you ask me...but then again I'm the guy who let himself be fooled by Melting Point - Danny...