Friday, April 20, 2007

Coffee, Crime, and Community Development

This morning on the way to work, I read Scam #5 1/2, a March 2006 issue of Erick "Iggy" Lyle's wonderful DIY zine. Subtitled "The Epicenter of Crime: The Hunt's Donuts Story," the zine celebrates the history and passing of a donut shop that was once a nerve center in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood. Originally written in 2004 for the Guardian (the article never ran), the piece doesn't seem dated at all, and Erick's handwritten introduction adds quite a lot to the article.

The story is multi-faceted. On one level, it's an epitaph for a beloved hangout. On another, it's a metaphor for the racial and economic tensions that can accompany gentrification. And on yet another, it's an untold history of an entire neighborhood via a single retail establishment. Erick did a ton of research and interviews, and it's surprising how much could be wrapped up in and influenced by a donut shop. For example, did you know that about 90% of the independent donut shops in California are owned by Cambodians? Isn't that fascinating?

One of the best zine offerings I've seen from Erick, and albeit a little old, still worth the $2 or $3. You can order from Last Gasp -- linked above -- or direct from Iggy hisself: Erick Lyle, P.O. Box 40272, San Francisco, CA 94140.

1 comment:

Richard Nash said...

FYI, we here at Soft Skull will be publishing a book by Iggy, based on the SCAM zines, in February 2008. No definitive title yet, but we'll send you a copy of it Heath for your archives...