On the last stop on their road trip through California, Maria Bustillos and Elizabeth Fladung discuss inequality and gentrification in San Francisco, heart of the tech industry and one of the most unequal cities in the country.
This podcast is an encore posting from our State of Inequality series.
Maria Bustillos is a journalist and critic living in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Fladung is a Brooklyn-based, CalArts-trained photojournalist. Her work has appeared in The Nation, La Repubblica, The Fader and Wax Poetics Magazine.
For Catherine Green, home for the last three decades has been a comfortable apartment in the sprawling 43-unit Boulevard Villa near Crenshaw and Venice boulevards in Mid-City Los Angeles. Her alert gaze, energetic demeanor and perfect posture give no hint of a life that’s spanned 90 years. “I was one of the first people to move in here,” she says with a strained smile. “I’ve seen ’em come, and I’ve seen ’em go. This is my community, my village.”
Tanya Rhodes, a retired nurse, and her disabled daughter also call this place home, and have done so for the last 22 years. Louis Gates, a sturdy man with a steely glare, is a Vietnam vet who relocated here five years ago. Between nervous puffs on a cigarette, he expresses how happy he was when he moved in, and says sadly, “I thought this was going to be the last place I would move into.” If the winds of fortune do not change soon,