Right here’s what APEC attendees considered SF

Right here’s what APEC attendees considered SF

Some APEC attendees mentioned they felt secure at Moscone Heart throughout the conference however fearful about being on the streets of downtown.

Jessica Christian/The Chronicle

Vietnam resident Desmond Lin first visited San Francisco in 1988. “Earlier than, it’s the greatest metropolis,” he mentioned. “At the moment, Union Sq. is sort of a dream come true with these fancy lodges, retail.”

“This time, I believe, is means worse,” he mentioned. “Tourism is a key issue for one metropolis’s momentum to develop. Right here the momentum is, I’ve to say, fading.”


Article continues beneath this advert

Lin was amongst greater than a half-dozen APEC attendees who instructed the Chronicle that San Francisco has deep flaws and challenges comparable to homelessness, although many additionally touted its magnificence and points of interest. The blended emotions have main financial implications, with town’s financial system extremely depending on each leisure tourism and enterprise conferences together with APEC.

On earlier visits within the 2000s, Lin didn’t see safety guards outdoors outlets. This week, Lin noticed them in all places, and witnessed an tried shoplifter get deterred by safety at a Walgreens on Market Road. Different Walgreens places and retailers comparable to Nordstrom have shuttered.

“It means this metropolis goes down,” mentioned Lin, who lives principally in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis and Taipei and is deputy CEO of funding agency Sovico Group.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed introduces “Charting the Path Forward: The Future of Artificial Intelligence” discussion during APEC CEO Summit in San Francisco on Thursday, November 16, 2023.
FILE - President Joe Biden greets China's President President Xi Jinping at the Filoli Estate in Woodside, Calif., Nov, 15, 2023, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative conference. China has agreed to curtail shipments of the chemicals used to make fentanyl, the drug at the heart of the U.S. overdose epidemic. Experts say it's an essential step, but it's not the only thing needed to be done to stem the crisis. (Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)

Even different close by cities comparable to San Jose, Cupertino, Palo Alto and Santa Cruz, the place Lin owns a house, have safer downtowns, he mentioned.


Article continues beneath this advert

He famous that the United Nations was based within the metropolis in 1945 in its final main worldwide gathering earlier than APEC. However United Nations Plaza close to Metropolis Corridor is now filled with homeless folks, he mentioned.

“I personally dare to not stroll in that space,” Lin mentioned. He felt secure within the Moscone Heart safety zone, however not outdoors.

Regardless of his considerations, research present that homeless persons are extra prone to be victims than perpetrators of violent crime.

Some APEC attendees said San Francisco feels different than it did a few years ago.

Some APEC attendees mentioned San Francisco feels totally different than it did just a few years in the past.

Jessica Christian/The Chronicle

Attendee Daniel Ilinca from Romania, CEO of Softbinator Applied sciences, spends just a few months every year within the Bay Space to satisfy purchasers. He prefers staying in Silicon Valley and finds downtown San Francisco “fairly unsafe” and “not very clear.”


Article continues beneath this advert

“I actually like town as a customer, to not stay right here,” he mentioned. The world across the Golden Gate Bridge is gorgeous, he added.

Eri Sorimachi, a videographer from Japan working on the CEO Summit, was visiting town for the primary time.

Earlier than her journey, she had a “good picture” of San Francisco, “however after I got here I felt a lot anxiousness,” she mentioned. “I noticed many sad folks. … You simply really feel so uncomfortable to see folks on the road having no meals and clearly … on medication.”

“I perceive that they’re OK so long as you don’t have any enterprise with them,” she mentioned, nevertheless it nonetheless added to a sense of being unsafe.

Tokyo has only some homeless folks, and “they’re principally simply sleeping on the road,” she mentioned.


Article continues beneath this advert

Regardless of her considerations, Sorimachi was excited to purchase California wine and Ghirardelli chocolate, and take a look at Mexican meals. Sorimachi additionally mentioned San Francisco’s native Daiso was pretty much as good as Japan’s.

A person who gave his identify as Andres was visiting from Peru after beforehand residing within the Bay Space from 2012 to 2015.

“I arrived Monday, and it’s an empty metropolis. It wasn’t like that in 2015,” he mentioned. “It was surprising to see.”

“They only cleaned up in a single or two blocks, however the points are nonetheless there. We’re close by Union Sq., and you’ll see it. I got here within the morning, round 10 or 11, and it was blocks and blocks (of individuals on the streets). The resort concierge instructed me, ‘Don’t go left,’ ” he mentioned. “Properly, I went left immediately, and I do know why he instructed me to not go left.”

Although he felt secure, he mentioned, “It’s a disgrace to see San Francisco in that state of affairs. I simply received again from Europe and also you don’t see (it) in Paris or in Barcelona, you don’t see areas like this.


Article continues beneath this advert

“In case you exit of town middle, specifically, it’s as stunning as all the time,” he mentioned. In fact I’d suggest San Francisco, however not as earlier than, perhaps.”

San Francisco streets were cleaned up to host APEC this week, but several attendees still had critical things to say about the state of the city.

San Francisco streets had been cleaned as much as host APEC this week, however a number of attendees nonetheless had essential issues to say in regards to the state of town.

Jessica Christian/The Chronicle

APEC attendee Haisu Tao recalled having protesters say “disgrace on you” for coming to the convention.

“Properly, within the constructing, (Moscone Heart) is secure. Whenever you stroll on the road, our folks remind one another … watch out,” he mentioned.

Tao, Asia govt director and chairman of Mecuria (China) Funding Co., has lived in Kansas Metropolis suburb Olathe for about 30 years.

He feels extra secure within the Kansas Metropolis space, regardless of that metropolis being extra harmful than San Francisco. In 2020, in accordance information gathered by the FBI, Kansas Metropolis had 1,558 reported violent crime incidents per 100,000 folks, almost triple San Francisco’s charge.

Whereas Tao mentioned “in fact” there may be crime within the Kansas Metropolis space, it’s “principally within the middle of town.”

“It’s not as crowded as San Francisco,” he mentioned. “We stay within the suburbs.”

Tetsuo Oyama, who has lived in San Mateo since 2017, mentioned San Francisco felt unusual throughout APEC.

“In case you deal with this week, it’s safer. I don’t really feel that is pure,” mentioned Oyama, CEO of Skylight America, a division of a Japanese consulting agency, although he nonetheless noticed some homeless folks.

What can remedy San Francisco’s ills? Lin believes supporting evening economies like markets and procuring like in Asia may assist revive town. San Francisco has just lately had profitable evening markets within the Sundown and Chinatown, with hopes of doing extra.

“In case you do deal with the infrastructure funding, you additionally create jobs,” Lin mentioned. If there are 24-hour subway and companies, that might give extra causes for folks to be out, he mentioned.

Laura Waxmann and Joe Garofoli contributed to this report.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: