This story is a fiction piece, and it was created from my imagination.
As Pandemic Continues, SF Gets Creative with Office Spaces
All around the world, people are preparing to “celebrate” the one-year anniversary of shelter-in-place orders, restaurants and bars closing, and the end of public gatherings indoors as we know them.
In San Francisco, the business and retail real estate markets have plummeted in the past year. So, with all that empty office space in the Bay Area, real estate owners are throwing a bit of a shin-dig.
Want to join in? Here are the details you need to know to have a really out-of-this-world one-year pandemic “celebration.”
How Businesses are Observing One Year of COVID-19
“We’re ready to throw the biggest block party this city has ever seen,” fictionally said the fictional mayor of San Francisco. “And we’re partnering with local businesses—and let’s be honest, huge corporations—to make it happen.”
Details of the block party are being leaked by Marc Benioff at Salesforce via his Twitter.
“Get ready for the biggest everything EVER!” said one tweet.
“Parades, balloons, at least one hundred DJs, free drinks, all of my celebrity friends, and so much good food in single-serving containers,” said Benioff, again, fictionally.
This shin-dig is looking like a real end-times gathering. What do religious folks have to say about it?
“It’s bacchanal. It’s atrocious. It’s going to be really fun and I’m definitely going,” said one East Bay resident who prefers to be unnamed.
“For all we know, it could be the End Times, which is why there’s no point in worrying about it,” said one pastor.
“We have really no control. We have so little control that we can’t prevent all the commercial real estate in San Francisco to be turned into an interoffice water slide super-party. And that’s a great thing.”
The Greatest Act of Cooperation in History
You read that quote correctly: interoffice waterslides. Partnering with Disney and Six Flags, the city of San Francisco will engineer special slides to flow from corporate HQ to corporate HQ in the Financial District.
Children and adults of all ages will be welcome to enjoy an entire day of fun in San Francisco—wearing masks and socially distancing, of course.
Children who dream of working at Twitter and Google will get the chance to tour vacant, echoey offices where dark shadows scurry from corner to corner.
The time is ripe for an office-based horror film, we’re just saying.
“The offices are empty and we’ve lost so many millions of dollars, so it’s whatever at this point. Let them enjoy the chic, sustainably architected office spaces.” Said one west coast real estate mega-owner.
Ah, Market Street. The street where, in the past, cars could stop to let passengers out, but no more once Uber and Lyft arrived. The street where, in the distant past, horses and carriages clattered through toward The Embarcadero.
Now, there will also be carnival games down Market Street—pin the tail, petting zoo, that one where you throw coins at bottles and are disappointed. The F line bus will be packed full of clowns making animal balloons for all who pass by.
In addition to waterslide and carnival games, national politicians will compete for the title of Comedy Champion in a stand-up comedy tournament. Will President Biden take the crown? Or will it be Mitch McConnell?
“We don’t want to participate in this competition, but we didn’t want to do anything relating to the pandemic at all,” said Governor Gavin Newsom, fictionally, of course.
All of these fun activities are in “celebration”—more, semi-somber observation—of the fact that it’s been one year since we thought we’d have to stay home for a week.
Can you believe it?
The People Respond
San Franciscans and even people in Oakland and Berkeley simply cannot believe it’s been a year since the pandemic turned everything upside down, then remixed it.
Here’s what they said when we asked how folks felt about it being a year:
· “Honestly, I think we can all agree that the last year doesn’t count. There was no 2020. So, sure, I’ll take a party. Why not? Nothing matters.” – 65 year old man on the street
· “My whole life is irrevocably ruined. I have mask-rash and I’m addicted to social media. Of course I’ll go to this party. It’s been a while since I had something to look forward to.” – 38 year old person on the street
· “It’s been a year? I just hopped out of my time machine. A year of what? Hey, you guys have weird looking cars here.” – Marty McMann hopping out of the Delorean
What they think about San Francisco’s upcoming celebrations using empty office buildings and the silent Financial District (FiDi):
“Good riddance and finally! I hope they become waterslides and never go back to being office buildings.” – a Berkeley woman on the street
“Wouldn’t it be better if we turned these offices into affordable housing? Like, clearly it’s possible to build an amusement park in downtown San Francisco—so wouldn’t it be possible to just change these buildings into apartments?” – 25 year old person on the street
Of course, the recent transformation of downtown San Francisco raises interesting questions. On the subject of the city’s new amusement park, which opens next week, changing from amusement park to local community, the San Francisco Unified School District School Board had some fictional words to say:
“We would love to help you with this very urgent and timely matter, but we are very busy right now. We’ve been tasked with naming this very amazing, hip, and popular event and we’re stuck. Do you think we should call it:
· COVID-19 Amusement Park
· Pandemic Playground—no, that sounds like everyone will get COVID-19 if they go there
· Safe and Inclusive Adventure Zone
· Down with Expensive Real Estate in SF Party
· Block Party in Observation of One Year Since Shelter-in-Place
· Really Big Party
· Abraham Lincoln Block Party
· San Francisco Fun Zone
“What do you think?
“We’re really stuck.
“We’ve been trying to figure this out for weeks.
“To be honest, we can’t remember how we got here. What did you call us? School? Oh, I don’t know what that is.” Said the representative.
See you at the party!