It's a strange process. I lived in the Mission District of San Francisco which is the poster neighborhood for gentrification. It is a very real effect and observing that is one of the reasons that after nearly seven years there I decided it was time to leave.

I have no idea how to stop the process. It's going to happen no matter how many of us (meaning hipster kids) take Spanish or get to know our neighbors.

I think economic darwinism is a cause. People like me move into a neighborhood with cheap rent. We could afford to live elsewhere but can buy more toys with cheaper rent. Pretty soon the landlords get wise and start warehousing vacant apartments or just raising rents regularly. Businesses start moving to that neighborhood to suck up the disposable income of the new residents. Before long there are no grocery stores or laundromats just coffee houses and galleries. Where do the people who lived here because they literally couldn't afford to live anywhere else go?

So I chose the easy solution and moved away. The irony is that I had the option to do that in the first place. I wonder where all of my old neighbors live now.