So the word is finally out – Pier 38 on Embarcadero is throwing out a lot of tech startups and some of my friends. Since I live around the corner and often pop in to see my mates I saw the eviction notice on the door of True Ventures’s SF office with mixed emotions. Long before it became a tech-hub, True was the first tenant and those offices were where me, Katie, Joey and Liz put up our shingle after starting out at a Starbucks near my old apartment. Later we would move next door and got our own office — though apparently I wasn’t around at the time of the move.
It was drafty and cold. The bathrooms reminded us of The Psycho. And late nights were scary quiet. But it was a lovely peaceful pier, with ample parking. We had our own yogi as well. And we often sat outside and did our phone calls with gulls screeching in the background. We had our NTV Pier Screenings and almost everyone in the video industry showed up to brave the chills and watch the funny videos.
In time others moved in and Pier 38 went from being a peaceful little place to a tech hub. A whole lot of startups can trace their roots back to this creaking, aging pier. It became a vibrant little village. We moved away to somewhere else, but Pier does live in our heart. It would soon be forgotten, replaced by some edifice to modernity and greed. Raw startup vibe replaced by architects, lawyers and something very forgettable. The sad part is that other cities would die to have such a hub. And instead we have San Francisco and the America’s Cup, which frankly is the real reason why I think the Pier 38 is being put down.
Photos by James Yu, Joey Wan and Kathy Johnson.