Yes, I admit it. I’m a social media junkie.
I have a MySpace profile. And Facebook. And LinkedIn. And FriendFeed, SocialThing, MyBlogLog, Seesmic, Flickr, Upcoming, Yelp, Twitter (well, through Twhirl, at least). And that doesn’t count the posting that I do here on my own blog or for Seesmic or LeWeb.
If the hypersensitive hyperlinked nature of the previous paragraph hasn’t put you off too badly, hopefully you’ll read this item I just rediscovered – on my own MySpace page.
To be perfectly frank, MySpace isn’t really my cup of tea. I find the interface to be overly complicated and busy, the pages take too damn long to load, and most of my day-to-day social media environment leans into other platforms anyway.
The only reason I reactivated my stagnant account two years ago (because like any good early adopter I signed up and set a basic profile page just about when MySpace started … and promptly let it go fallow) was because someone in whom I was a bit interested used it as her primary channel of communication. So if I wanted a response to email, that was where I had to go.
That friendship proved relatively short-lived (for reasons of which I’m not entirely certain) but in any case the profile once again went to seed.
But on my recent trip to LA for Digital Hollywood, I connected with some old friends and made some new ones – all of whom tend to use MySpace a bit more often. So back there I went … cleaning up some photos, adding a bit of fresh content, and reviewing things I’d left there.
And I came across this item.
I wrote it in July of last year and while the weather patterns don’t yet reflect the deep fog and damp of San Francisco summer, there’s something about the air today that feels … well … like another season altogether.
So I wanted to share it again, and this time in a place where a few more people might enjoy it …
As originally posted on MySpace – July 11, 2007:
Current mood: contemplative
It’s on nights like tonight that it hits me particularly hard.
It’s late and I was going to step outside with Truman for his pre-bedtime constitutional. The front door of my building is a heavy one – my building being one of those early 1920’s Edwardian sorts that are so prevalent in San Francisco.
First the low squeak of the hinge, then a nearly silent whoosh as it swung back, and then I caught it – that unmistakable scent …
There’s nothing like living near the ocean. Granted I can’t see it from my window – not unless you count the teensy sliver of bay that, on clear days, I can see between two high rises to the south. But the ever-present sense of sea wraps around me daily, just as it edges San Francisco on three sides.
Recently I made a trip to San Francisco City Hall. It was time to renew my consulting business license. I stood in the City Collectors office and stared at the towering photograph stretching about 10 feet across the wall. It was an aerial shot of the San Francisco skyline taken from somewhere above the Bay Bridge, circa 1963.
Besides the conspicuous absence of now iconic images like the Transamerica Pyramid, the Embarcadero Center and AT&T Park, it was shocking to see just how much of the waterfront area at that time was dedicated to shipping and warehouses – a city living from the sea.
Not any more. Now San Francisco is largely an information economy town. As the northern civilized anchor to the digital breadbasket of Silicon Valley, San Francisco’s bread and butter comes from technology. There is still a vibrant waterfront, but largely now landscaped with terraced stone benches sporting weird brackets in the shape of sea creatures designed to both decorate … and dissuade skateboarders.
Every day people trundle to their buses, cars and trains heading for offices where they toil merrily (or not so). At day’s end – especially in summer months when the fog comes in – they retreat from their cubicle cages to some other location to while a few hours before starting it again.
How many people take the time before or after engaging in that work to take a moment and pull in a deep drink of that cool sea-tinged air? How many people are so disconnected from their environment that they can’t even catch that scent as is wafts past them on their way to work, to the market, to get the kids at school?
I stood in my old Muckrakers softball jersey and sweatpants, silky cold marble of the front steps under my feet, waiting as Truman took his treeside stroll. Slightly humid air with a cool whoosh of breeze passed by. Truman returned, but I remained still, long swallows of the briny scent filling my lungs, wishing that instead of heading back inside and up the elevator that I had a hammock or Adirondack chair so that I could fall asleep wrapped in the downy comfort of the sea.