"It's a mom-and-pop operation with just Mom," says Pat (last name withheld) of North Park antique-and-collectible shop Pat's Corner.
The boutique has been at its current location on 30th and Upas for eight years, offering an anachronistic assortment of furniture, crafts, clothing, and knick-knacks. Now, Pat has until January 1 to clear out, by order of the property owner, or else face a $600 fine.
"The property was leased to some supposedly high-end architecture guy," says Pat, who is looking for a new location. "It was a month-to-month lease, so [the landlord] can do that."
Pat says the property owner also sent a letter to the cottages behind her store stating that they were over the property line.
"I've been here eight years, and the owner has not done a single thing," says Pat. "The roof leaks, there's asbestos in the back, there's mold. I haven't complained at all to her. I even had the building painted myself because it looked awful."
In response, musician and Pat's Corner regular Cervantes Magaña started a Facebook event to rally supporters, writing: "She isn't being evicted because of a lack of business, but instead big business has decided North Park is San Diego's 'it' spot…. I found out yesterday, and my heart broke…. She is optimistic and resilient, she is like family to many of us and she could use our resources."
The thread has sparked a long discussion pointing fingers at primarily "hipsters" (whatever that means) and gentrification — accusations that have been lurking on the lips of North Park advocates for some time now.
"It's definitely a bummer," Pat says. "If you lined up everybody who wanted to help us, it would go down to El Cajon Boulevard."