Cynthia has been living in the Tenderloin since 1987. She was born and raised in New York and moved to San Francisco to go to college. She passes through the Civic Center every day for various reasons and lately has been staying to enjoy the sunshine. She thinks the area is clean and safe.
“I come pretty often. I don’t drive so I rely on public transportation so this is perfect. Generally wherever I’m going, this is the place I have to pass. You know if I’m going to Fisherman’s Wharf, if I’m going to the Fillmore or anything like that I pass here. I’m always passing through but lately I’ve been stopping here like a couple times a week. I go to the library every now and then, I come to get some sunshine, they used to have religious services up here, and then different parades, you know, the Gay Pride happens here. Different things happen here. I usually come out for some of those.”
“It’s always been kept pretty clean. I’m from the East Coast so that impresses me when the City keeps cleanliness as part of the planning…I’m from New York City so it’s not necessarily one of the cleanest cities; it’s OK to be born and raised there but I think they do a good job here.”
“I feel safe. I feel safe. This space is centrally located so a lot of different kind of people come in and enjoy the space. You can’t beat the sunshine. So it’s a good space and then you got City Hall right there. It’s scenic and it’s a good place.”
Cynthia primarily visits Civic Center to go to the library.
“I like the library. In the basement, the lower level, they have a nice little cafe and then they have different things going on in the auditorium. Sometimes they have, like, a movie set in the space. But I very seldom get over to see a movie but it’s nice to know that it’s here if you want to do that. And the cafe, I do drink a lot of coffee so the cafe’s a good thing to lure me.”
“And then a lot of shops on Market Street, so good location to walk around and get sun. There’s a market right there. The Asian Americans, they have scarves, I like scarves so I always look for their sale on scarves. They usually have pretty good deals and different crowds ‘cause I go to Chinatown a lot so that saves me from having to go all the way to Chinatown. And then you know, the different foods. Then they used to have, like, music; for a while they had like Friday night market.”
Cynthia likes the diversity of people that hang out and pass through the Civic Center, including people experiencing homelessness.
“Very nice, very well mannered. I don’t have a problem, I’ve never had a problem. Like I said, I’ve been in this area since ‘87. That’s part of living in an urban area. I was born and raised in New York City so maybe that’s why it doesn’t affect me. I’m accustomed to a large diversity of people but you do have to be flexible when you’re living in an urban area and you’re trying to accomplish a goal and you can’t allow pettiness prevent you from achieving what you trying to achieve. And not being able to choose the population you prefer; that’s petty, you know. And then you cut yourself short by being closed minded and not being open enough to see somebody’s perspective. I met a lot of good friends at City College because I did do that. I’d rather somebody else speak besides myself, but that’s who I am. I didn’t come from a background with a huge Asian population and that’s something I got to experience here in San Francisco. That’s a different community, the east coast and west coast. I’ve never really seen an Asian population, you know they have Chinese, Chinese Americans, Japanese…”
“It’s a nice place to get sunshine, very accessible to public transportation and a really nice library. One of the nicest libraries. One of the things I really come here is because they have a good library.”