I work in the heart of SoMa
so I'm right in the belly of the beast and feel like committing murder on practically a daily basis. And as depressing as *reading* about gentrification is, imagine how it's been for SF natives like me to actually experience it. I'll admit that SF natives can go a bit overboard with romanticizing the old days at times but it really used to be an amazing place and is merely a shadow of its former self, though still has a lot of natural beauty (as you mentioned) and other stuff to offer which is why I'm still here but like all SF natives, there's always an internal conflict. And yes, similar changes in the East Bay (Oakland and Berkeley in particular) are less extreme but it's still changed quite a bit as well.
It's still cool that you were here though, even for a brief period. Sounds like it wasn't *all* bad and that it was at least an education, albeit a somewhat depressing one.