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What's so funny about gentrification?


 The changing face of San Francisco is a source of controversy for many locals. In his latest one-man show, "Feisty Old Jew," local performer Charlie Varon demonstrates how the issue can be a solid source of comedy too. 

In the performance, Varon portrays an 83-year-old who rants about young people and old people, gentrification, techies, and the social changes happening to the city. Varon stopped by KALW to tell us about his show and share his thoughts on the tech boom.

CHARLIE VARON: Yes, everything is too expensive. Yes, rents have gone through the roof. Yes, people are being forced out. But it’s more complicated than that. And in my more hopeful moments, I see there is a tension between the different forces at play, and forces and tension can create good things as well as bad things. There can be creativity that emerges from it. I don’t think it helps for me to sink into some dreamy nostalgia and regret. I think it’s more helpful to try to look at what is alive and possible in this moment and work from where we are.

"Feisty Old Jew" opens February 8th at The Marsh in San Francisco. Click here for more details about the event.

Holly Kernan is the architect of the award-winning Public Interest Reporting Project. She is currently news director at KALW 91.7FM in San Francisco. In 2009 she was named Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Kernan teaches journalism at Mills College and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and has taught at Santa Rosa Junior College, Youth Radio and San Francisco State University's Lifelong Learning Institute. She lives in Oakland with her husband, Mike, daughter, Julia, and retired greyhound Benjamin Franklin.