There’s an exciting energy brewing at the intersection of 6th and Market in downtown San Francisco. Young entrepreneurs are opening up shop in one of the most poverty-ridden parts of the city. When I asked small business owners if they chose their location based on redevelopment incentives from the city, most of them just laughed. Maybe the funds were there at one time, but the people I talked to settled in the area based on personal motivation.
Documenting 6th and Market for The Bold Italic’s upcoming Mid Riff microhood event on February 9 was an eye-opener for me. I witnessed a powerful community growing, and also met some of the most inspiring small business owners in the city (including the owners of Burning Man, who have taken up residence on the corner!) Despite the struggles of the area, they are proud to call it home.
I asked them all the same question: Why 6th and Market?
"Because it’s the core of the city."
"Because I am here, there, and everywhere."
"Because anywhere else would be uncivilized." – Chris
"Because the neighborhood is worth it!" – Valerie
"Because it’s dedicated to encouraging creativity and culture on the 6th Street corridor, and it’s helping to keep San Francisco a nexus of arts and innovation." – Skot
"Because ... why not?"
"Because it is ripe for innovation from the bottom up."
"Because it’s been a powerhouse year for the art program at this location!" – Ivan
"Because the neighborhood is vibrating with life, the creative energy here is beginning to erupt, and we all want to be a part of the explosion." – Amanda
"Because it’s the sweetest place on earth."
"Because there is no better challenge than improving yourself and the quality of life around you."
"Because once in a while you can get shown the light in the strangest places if you look at it right."
"Because you can witness profound change in the neighborhood thanks to established anchor businesses and arts organizations, along with new murals that beautify the street and green bike lanes."
"Because it's the best place in the city for us to revitalize our organization while also engaging in the revitalization of the neighborhood." – Marian
"Because it's the place to be."
"Because it’s a combination of expanding our business and giving back to the local community."
"Because it's as real as it gets."
"Because… there are 1,000 cyclists per hour on Market Street. Need we say more?"
Come on out for The Bold Italic's Mid Riff microhood event tomorrow night, February 9, to meet the business owners profiled in this story. You'll find discounted eats, complimentary libations, special deals, art openings, and live performances, all around the 6th and Market area.