05 February 2010

The Infinity, 365 Main, and the USPS Embarcadero Postal Center

                                        photo by Author.  downtown San Francisco, January 2010.

Here is a pretty interesting urban juxtaposition to be found in downtown San Francisco.  On the 300 block of Main Street, between Folsom and Harrison, there is a luxury condo complex at 333 Main called The Infinity, the original and namesake 365 Main data center at 365 Main, and across the street, the Embarcadero Postal Center, which is entered around the corner at 226 Harrison.  The luxury condos provide downtown living for some agents of gentrification, 365 Main houses a portion of the  the Internet, and the USPS facility organizes then delivers non-electronic mail.  This situation is representative of 21st century San Francisco's digital city.  It is a mixture of high-tech economy, housing that is out of reach for much if not most of the city's populace, and an analog holdout in the form of the Postal Service.  While it is likely that someone who works at 365 Main lives at The Infinity, I would be surprised if anyone at the USPS facility could afford to live there.

By the way, if anyone walks by 365 Main to take a picture of the building, be prepared for security to come out and tell you that you cannot photograph it, even if you are on the public sidewalk, which San Francisco defines as such:  "Public right-of-way is defined as all City roadways and sidewalks bordered by private properties, (improved and un-improved.)" Source

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