By Johanna B.
Back when I was growing up in Bayview-Hunter’s Point in the 1960s and ’70s we could go out and play morning and night. Bayview-Hunter’s Point had fewer people and was less crowded. More space; more room to roam. There was a sense of connection and belonging. You were called by your family’s last names—so you were a Brown or a Bridges or Sears. Families had credit at the grocery stores and clothing stores that were lined up on Third Street. Kids were able to shop for their families and use their families’ credit.
Blacks owned the businesses on Third Street. Families worked on Third Street.
There were more activities for kids, and boys’ and girls’ clubs. We even had a neighborhood center where we could go and hang out. We’d play cards or pool. They’d give us lunch and took us to various activities and field trips. We visited Alcatraz, Playland and art museums around the city. It was fun and cultural.
By the time I became a teenager, the city started rebuilding the projects. The projects in Bayview went from looking like projects to looking like townhouses. It seemed like a lot of families had been feeling down and depressed, but then working-class families started moving in. Welfare families started living next door to working class families.
I remember exploring different neighborhoods. I took the bus everywhere. There was just MUNI, but it was cheap, less than 25 cents, and there was no BART. Cost of living was more affordable. Families could do more paid activities for their dollar.