As we will undoubtedly hear little tidbits picked and chosen from the archives of yesteryear in regards to how marvelous Mid-Market used to be, our friend Bluoz is showing what entire articles from the 1980s were actually saying such as this one from 1985 by the ever so to-the-point Herb Caen. For anyone who has moved to California in the last decade, you probably have no idea who this was or why people reference him. I grew up on his columns and loved his quips including the response as to what he thought of Oakland, “Well, the Bay Bridge had to end somewhere”.

Go over to Bluoz and read the whole article by Herb Caen about Mid-Market titled “Eau de Vie” to get an idea. Here’s how it starts, talking about the obvious shortage of toilets in downtown:

Pardon my French, but downtown San Francisco, especially in the seamy streets of the Tenderloin and around Hallidie Plaza, has turned into le grand pissoir, an infortunate fact the recent hot weather made all too evident. Part of the problem, of course, is the paucity of pulblic restrooms, which the authorities are against as “cesspools of human behavior,” to quote a police official. Ergo, as your nose informs you with noisome precision, the downtown streets, doorways, phone booths and even the rear sections of Muni buses have become cesspools, too. It’s a fact of life that nobody seems to want to address, but something has to be done if we don’t want to acquire the title of Latrine-by-the-Bay.

Bluoz also points out that everything in Mid-Market really started to make it to print only when Randy Shaw came in to the scene (in the 1980’s). It’s also the case (and as Bluoz points out, there are photos to prove it) that Mid-Market has steadily become a gigantic craphole since Mr. Shaw popped up and started working on creating an industry out of housing the homeless. I can only hope that Bluoz will continue his library archive digging and release more gems like this one as time goes on.