We’re on the brink of a nationwide rent crisis

A for-rent sign in front of an apartment building in San Francisco, California, on September 1, 2020. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California (and the rest of the country) is on its way into a massive rent crisis. Eventually, the thousands and thousands of overdue rent payments that are currently on hold because of Covid will come due.

Nationwide, one in four Americans report someone in their household losing income, or having lost their jobs themselves, during the pandemic. Here in the Bay Area, the unemployment rate hit 7% in December 2020 (compared to 2.7% in January). That means scores of people have struggled to pay their rent at some point over the past year. …


Some employees may co-work, but WFH is here to stay

A person with a blanket draped around them sitting in bed working on a laptop, surrounded by books.
A person with a blanket draped around them sitting in bed working on a laptop, surrounded by books.
Photo: Windows via Unsplash

After nearly a year of sheltering in place, the way we work has fundamentally changed. More than 40% of American workers are working entirely from home, and some Bay Area tech giants have already announced long-term remote or distributed work policies, including Apple and Google. As vaccines roll out across the U.S., some elements of life may return to pre-pandemic norms. Will working in an office be one of them?

Future of work experts say: Nope, probably not.

“Silicon Valley’s heyday is over,” said work expert Lauren Razavi, a former Google consultant, and author of Global Natives, an upcoming book…


SF Throwbacks

If your quarantine sweats are feeling uninspired, check out these styles from a century ago

Four young women dressed in the high fashion of the day pose in San Francisco. Photo: by Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images Archive

This article is part of SF Throwbacks, a feature series that tells the stories behind historic photos of San Francisco in order to learn more about our city’s past.

As we enter our fifth month of shelter-in-place in the Bay Area, it’s fair to say our collective style has taken a hit. Once known for our creative and unique streetwear, lately the Bay Area is more of a sweats-and-pajama-lover’s paradise. We have fully embraced lounge chic, or maybe not so chic. Personally, I have worn jeans approximately five times since March 16.

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SF Throwbacks

Pride has always been more than a party — it’s a courageous act

Motorcyclists get ready for the start of the San Francisco’s 2007 Pride Not Prejudice pride parade, led by a contingent of riders called the Dykes on Bikes. Photo: JasonDoiy/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images

This article is part of SF Throwbacks, a feature series that tells the stories behind historic photos of San Francisco in order to learn more about our city’s past.

Since we won’t be attending the Pride parade in person this year (which happens to be San Francisco Pride’s 50th anniversary), we at The Bold Italic wanted to celebrate by taking a look at the parades of the past, honoring the legacy of the LGBTQ community in the Bay Area, which many iconic queer activists have called home over the years.

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And how to help make sure these icons will reopen when it’s safe to do so

Aunt Charlie’s Bar. Photo: Vilen Gabrielyan

Pride Month has arrived, and we here at The Bold Italic are celebrating our LGBTQ community by taking a look back at its roots in our city. If you’ve ever been out for drinks in the Bay Area, you know our gay bars are a blast. But they’re more than that — many are among the most historic gay bars in the country and served crucial roles in the early days of the gay rights movement. Today, they remain important community gathering places for LGBTQ people to safely connect with each other.

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SF Throwbacks

Historic photos give us a look back at our region’s legacy of racial justice activism

A Black Panther funeral in Oakland in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Photo: Harold Adler/Underwood Archives/Getty Images

This article is part of SF Throwbacks, a feature series that tells the stories behind historic photos of San Francisco and the larger Bay Area in order to learn more about our region’s past.

In 1961, two students named Huey Newton and Bobby Seale met at Merritt College in Oakland. Together, they went on to form the cornerstone of the Black Power movement: the Black Panther Party. …


SF Throwbacks

You can see parallels between the community response to the 1918 Spanish Flu and Covid-19

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command/Thoughtco Picture

This article is part of SF Throwbacks, a feature series that tells the stories behind historic photos of San Francisco in order to learn more about our city’s past.

Covid-19 has completely changed the way we live, and it feels unprecedented. But the world, and San Francisco, has actually been here before, a little over 100 years ago during the deadliest flu epidemic in American history, referred to as the 1918 Spanish Flu. …


SF Throwbacks

This SF Throwback shows the start of modern worker organizing

Photo: Unknown via Jack Tillmany Collection, courtesy of a private collector

This article is part of SF Throwbacks, a feature series that tells the stories behind historic photos of San Francisco in order to learn more about our city’s past.

San Francisco’s radical leftist politics didn’t start with the hippies in Haight-Ashbury or even the beat poets howling in North Beach. No, our counterculture leanings date back even further, to a group of sailors looking for fair wages. In what’s known as the General Strike of 1934, workers initiated an unprecedented labor strike that shut down San Francisco — the first time this took place in a major U.S. port city…


San Francisco’s Market Street is just the beginning

Photo: Kris Wong/Getty Images

Market Street, San Francisco’s most-congested promenade, is finally going car free. The move is long overdue—as it stands, it’s one big confusing cluster of cars, bikes and pedestrians that makes up a perfect environment for accidents to happen. And they do: there were 123 injury collisions on the street during the last year alone.

Starting early next year, though, things will start to change under the Better Market Project (approved in October). Although it will take a few years to get the project fully up and running, many of the proposed changes are slated for early 2020, part of San…


I can’t believe we are nearing not only the end of the year, but the end of the decade as well! It has been a year since I went full-time freelance (and about a year and a half since I graduated from college). It has been such an amazing adventure! In the spirit of reflection and celebration, I have collected my ten favorite bylines from the past year below (It was hard to choose just ten!). I hope you will give them a read!

In addition to writing, I have also done contract work for: a nonprofit, a podcast, an…

Casey O'Brien

Journalist and freelance writer based in Berkeley, Calif. Feminist. Spoonie. Dog lover. I write about the environment, healthcare, equity, justice and community

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