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  • $10.88. That's how much I'm set back for cake and coffee here. Yes, the cake is conscientiously made with all-organic ingredients and the coffee hand-picked and roasted. But the cake sticks cloyingly to the roof of my mouth and the coffee is served in a six-ounce tumbler. Six ounces of overly sour taste that this city seems to love.

    I'm tired of talking about tech-driven gentrification and its various derivatives: Google shuttles, housing shortages, yuppie vapidness. Don't talk to me about lifestyle farmer's markets, tonight's underground party, or Sunday brunch. Don't utter ::hipster:: to me; it's an empty descriptor, a simulacrum of a simulacrum.

    There are days when I lap up the city, intoxicated by its singular beauty. I love its pride in standing out, the lush greens and enveloping blues intermingled with gravel and steel, the irrepressible California optimism seeped deep into the concrete.

    But today, today I bought coffee and a slice of cake for $10.88. The sun is shining too brightly and there is a bitter taste in my mouth.
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