(photo via BeyondMusing)
(photo via BeyondMusing)
It’s good to have goals.
Adam Victor Brandizzi
Hovertext: I mean, maybe a sense of one's place in the universe also leads to happiness, but power is pretty great.
Pacific Heights, known for its panoramic views and quaint Victorian houses, is quickly being overrun by Maseratis and massive ultramansions. The neighborhood has historically been a bastion of rich San Franciscans, but is now being increasingly populated by the even ridiculously richer.
Around 2000, the dot-com boom produced a generation of techies who gentrified San Francisco neighborhoods. The dot-com rich, as well as some old-moneyed families from outside the Bay Area, settled predominantly in Pacific Heights. Yet an even more resurgent tech industry in nearby Silicon Valley has produced a new wave of billionaires whose fortunes dwarf those of the mere millionaires before them.
Darius and Nina Ebrahim have been living in the same house on Buchanan street for more than a decade. Both became multimillionaires during the late 1990s: Darius as a venture capitalist, and Nina as a CTO of a startup that made personal websites for pets. They live humbly, with only 3 floors, floor to ceiling windows, and a home theater room. “We bought this place for only $3 million when we moved in,” says Darius. “Just yesterday, we had a real estate agent knock on our door and offer to buy our house for $20 million. That’s almost two-thirds of my net worth!”
Many of the Ebrahim’s neighbors have taken the offers of real estate agents looking to flip mansions to noveau tech rich. They’ve used the extra money to pay for a new Tesla, to fund their children’s private school tuition, and to hire a full-time butler in addition to their full-time nannies, cooking staff, doctors, and drivers. The Ebrahims used to be able to sit outside with their neighbors on a Sunday afternoon, drink mimosas, and smoke Cuban cigars lit with hundred-dollar bills. Now, many of their new neighbors are reclusive, sometimes living in their new properties for a few months out of the year and spending the rest of their time rotating between Shanghai, London, and New York.
“Recently, we’ve been harassed by a Facebook billionaire who wants to tear our mansion down and replace it with an indoor swimming pool extension to her supermansion next door,” says Nina. “Why can’t she just buy a vacation home in the Bahamas and put a swimming pool there like we do?”
The Ebrahims say that they barely recognize the neighborhood anymore. The 1-star Michelin restaurant around the corner, where the Ebrahims used to eat at every day, was forced out of business by ever increasing rent. It has since been replaced by a 3-star Michelin restaurant that they can barely get a table at. “The maître d’ will only seat you if you show proof of ownership of at least two senators,” says Darius.
Walk from Green Street to California Street, and it’s easy to see how the quaintly wealthy neighborhood is rapidly transforming into a glitzy haven for the ultrarich. A local Barney’s closed down, and in its place is a showroom for Gulfstream private jets. The Porsches and Mercedes in the neighborhood have been replaced by Ferraris and Maseratis that speed recklessly through the streets, driven by owners who can more than afford to pay for a speeding ticket.
Mr. and Mrs. Ebrahim initially wanted to stay in Pacific Heights, but they’ve started to reconsider as they’ve watched their neighborhood undergo its radical transformation. They say they might take that Facebook billionaire up on her offer, and they’re thinking of moving to a more “up and coming neighborhood” like the Mission.
Hovertext: Actually, you don't collapse anything. You just observe one of a multitude of flavorverses.
To get a signed Weiner!
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Artist Nicolas V. Sanchez fills entire sketchbooks with drawings of the world around him rendered in precise color ballpoint. Portraits of families page by page, sprawling scenes of rugged farms and livestock, and near photographic recollections of people and places from residencies in the Dominican Republic and China. Sanchez often explores the roots of his own identity, delving into a bi-cultural upbringing that spans from the American midwest to his family’s rural history in Mexico.
In addition to his exacting pen work, Sanchez is also a painter and works in a distinct style that’s quite different from his ballpoint pen sketches. The sketchbooks help him work through ideas to determine if they eventually meant for a larger canvas, or if they’re meant to exist only in the pages of a book.