Technology, the toast of San Francisco

San Francisco voters took to the polls Tuesday for what was billed as a referendum on technology, specifically how techsters have ruined the city by driving up apartment prices, turning private homes into Airbnb hotspots and popularizing yoga pants.

And then there’s the $4 toast.

Available at the Mill, a self-dubbed “coffee and bread” place on Divisadero Street at Alamo Park, the toast has come to symbolize what has been called “the epic wave of money and entitlement” pouring off the campuses of tech firms that range from Adobe to Zynga.

That the Mill is just north of the city’s revered Haight-Ashbury district is especially hurtful.

Of course, the Mill’s toast is no ordinary toast. Freshly baked and sliced thicker than anything found anywhere, including Texas, it comes slathered with your choice of toppings, from almond butter to a housemade Nutella-like spread to cream cheese and jams.

The breads are also a wonder, including a dark mountain rye and loaves of whole wheat sesame-poppy. They change seasonally, with weekly specials.

Native San Franciscans, the ones being displaced by rising rents – a median $4,000 a month for a one-bedroom – want nothing to do with $4 bread, however perfectly browned and artisanally spread. But, alas, the city is now firmly in the hands of technology’s nouveau riche; San Francisco as the capital of counter-culture is itself toast.

And the referendum? Proposition F, which would have limited short-term rentals to the hordes of technology workers who need them most, was voted down, 55 percent to 45 percent.

On the odd chance that ridiculous prices are the hallmark of technological success, might I mention that I recently paid $7 for a side order of fries on Long Island.

Our innovation economy may be further along than we think. — John Kominicki