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Sign of the times(15 posts)

Sign of the timesMe Dot Org
Nov 19, 2001 3:01 PM
Today I rode my bike across town to the Mission District (San Francisco) which is heavily Hispanic with legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America.

I stopped at a burrito place for lunch. A local street band came in and started playing. This is not uncommon in the Mission. It is the way a lot of illegal aliens make ends meet.

After they finished playing, they pass the hat around. I put in a few quarters. After the guy thanked me he turned around. Attached to his belt was a cell phone, the green 'ready' light glowing.

It just seemed weird: A street band playing for change, and the guy has a cell phone...
Not really that strangemickey-mac
Nov 19, 2001 3:24 PM
The Boyle Heights neighborhood of LA is a hot-spot for Mariachi bands and other Latino bands. They'll often play around the neighborhood for extra money on weekends while waiting for cell-phone calls for last minute appearances at parties, restaurants, etc.
Probably with the CIAmr_spin
Nov 19, 2001 3:56 PM
They're agents, with a cover as a mariachi band. Happens all the time in the Mission. Fear not, Nash Bridges is on the case.
Probably with the CIAWoof the dog
Nov 24, 2001 3:27 AM
reminds me of that movie about aliens and a global warming thing. Do these guys jump off 5 storie high buildings too?
thanx
woof.
wait...gtx
Nov 19, 2001 5:45 PM
the Mission? heavily Hispanic? What happened to all the rich dot com kids? Oh yeah, I guess they all got laid off and moved back home with their parents on the east coast...

don't assume all those guys are illegals, and don't assuming playing music is their only source of income... Anyway, who doesn't have a cell phone these days?
Sorry...Me Dot Org
Nov 19, 2001 10:25 PM
...they must have been first generation legal immigrants who decided to come to America to become street musicians.

Actually, since the dot com bust, commerical rents have fallen significantly, and residential rents have slid slightly in some areas.
Sorry...gtx
Nov 20, 2001 12:08 AM
You just described it as such a quaint, precious little moment, out of a tourist book: "This is not uncommon in the Mission. It is the way a lot of illegal aliens make ends meet." Just thought it was odd. And yeah, the whole dot com thing really screwed up that neighborhood--forced a lot of poor people out. Doubt they'll come back now that a two bedroom has dropped under $2000...

Anyway, viva La Taqueria on Mission at 25th. I do miss it...
Damn! La Taqueria! That's IT!! Thanks!cory
Nov 23, 2001 5:03 PM
Ate their once by chance two or three years ago, and I couldn't remember the name or exactly where it was. Every time I go back to the City I mean to go find it, but I never get the time and the interest simultaneously. I'm sure that was it, though.
Damn! La Taqueria! That's IT!! Thanks!gtx
Nov 23, 2001 5:49 PM
it's the best. I go there every time I go back to SF to visit. Sublime. They usually make the top 100 Bay Area restarants list--on the same list with Aqua, etc. They have the best tortillas and don't stuff their burritos with a bunch of lousy rice. Mmmmmm.
Damn! La Taqueria! That's IT!! Thanks!gtx
Nov 23, 2001 5:52 PM
yup, here they are again:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/02/06/FD100J.DTL
everywhereDog
Nov 20, 2001 6:55 AM
I was in the grocery store a while back and a lady with kids was paying with foodstamps while talking on her cell phone. What's wrong with this picture? Does she get cell phone stamps, too?

My wife speculated that some people don't have regular home phones, and the cell is their only phone. Possible.

Doug
houseshoes and foodstamps in store, mercedes outside. nmJs Haiku Shop
Nov 20, 2001 7:43 AM
everywherebkennedy98
Nov 20, 2001 8:48 AM
Your wife is probably pretty much right - having worked in social services for several years I know that a lot of people on foodstamps, welfare, etc. have trouble getting regular phones because the phone companies run credit checks, require large deposits, etc. I bet with all of those prepaid cell phones out there its easier for some of those people...

Brian
wife's right!guido
Nov 20, 2001 2:10 PM
I've witnessed the same phenomenon. If you can't afford an SUV and a bungalow in the suburbs, you can at least keep in constant touch with a color co-ordinated Nokia. Cell phones are mobile, so why have a home phone? Besides, if you're not well set-up economically, a cell phone is just what you need.
newspaper guy on corner with gucci shoes and startac phoneJs Haiku Shop
Nov 20, 2001 7:46 AM
15 year-old on the corner selling the sunday paper to drive-up customers, standing in the cold and rain. drove by and asked my wife why in the heck a guy with gucci shoes and startac phone (and a $400 leather jacket) would be selling the paper on the corner for his $.20 per sale, or whatever. simple answer: it's a good, innocuous means of distribution. wonder what's folded into that paper.