When Baking and Real Estate Collide

For The New Yorker, Anna Wiener explores the cuisine-real-estate business model and traces the rise of Tartine, the artisanal San Francisco bakery known for its delicious breads and pastries and hip, airy spaces. How did this beloved spot in the Mission become a world-renowned brand? And is this food empire really what it seems?

Certain gentrifiers, who consider themselves culturally savvy, “don’t want Le Bernardin, or some four-star restaurant, moving into their neighborhood, because that would ruin the charm,” Sharon Zukin, a sociologist and urbanist at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center, told me. “That would ruin the ‘authenticity.’ They might have a lot of economic capital, but they still want to have that authentic cultural capital that Roberta’s, or Tartine, signifies. Now, for me, and maybe also you, we’re asking: How can something still be artisanal if it has six branches in Seoul?”

“We’re perceived to be something bigger than what we are,” she told me. “There is no there there. It’s a water sandwich.”

According to Prueitt, Tartine is in debt and struggling not to sink further. Still, outside the Bay Area, it continues to grow.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 16, 2022
Length: 15 minutes (3,777 words)

Four Years in Startups

Wiener recalls working for a variety of tech companies earlier this decade, observing the men who ruled Silicon Valley.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Sep 23, 2019
Length: 29 minutes (7,268 words)

The Lonely Work of Moderating Hacker News

How two moderators are trying to make a popular Silicon Valley forum a thoughtful and productive space to have a conversation.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Aug 8, 2019
Length: 24 minutes (6,226 words)

What It’s Like to Wallow in Your Own Facebook Data

Anna Wiener explores what 13 years of the data she’s given Facebook can give back to her.

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Aug 8, 2018
Length: 6 minutes (1,513 words)

Uncanny Valley

Anna Wiener on the hollow promise of San Francisco’s startup life. “’I just hope this is all worth it,’ she spits in my direction. I know what she means — she’s talking about money — but I also know how much equity she has, and I’m confident that even in the best possible scenario, whatever she’s experiencing is definitely not.”

Source: n+1
Published: Apr 27, 2016
Length: 25 minutes (6,416 words)