Saturday, July 11, 2009


“Such was life in the Golden Gate:
Gold dusted all we drank and ate,
and I was one of the children told,
’We all must eat our peck of gold;”

-Robert Frost

As a team coming from New York, we felt it would be best to engage in a dialogue with a cross section of Tenderloin residents to get a sense of the people who choose to live in and frequent the neighborhood. It was striking how little the activity on the streets reflected the wide ranging diversity of the residents. The character of the street and the people using it seemed to change dramatically throughout the day.

One of the perplexing elements is that a neighborhood like this could be at the center of such an expensive and affluent city.
Puzzled by the contrast of this neighborhood to the rest of San Francisco, we posed the question of its existence to the people we met at the Tenderloin. The answers were varied; some surprising, some not. The stories we discover through this process will be communicated in a variety of ways as Stake.

Stake reveals essential – often intangible – spaces, objects and moments, by exposing the boundaries between the public and the private as related by residents of San Francisco’s Tenderloin. Throughout world history, gold has been the common international standard of value. The pieces of the Tenderloin identified by Stake will be unified with gold paint; their story, significance and location will be recorded on a plan of the neighborhood. Stake will serve as a walk able mental map, stitching the stories, boundaries, and faces of the Tenderloin together.

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