Busy, crazy times. I am moving, to Portland
, Oregon, in 2 days. So I've been packing and having going-away gatherings and wrapping up loose ends. I'm trying not to be too sentimental about it, and mostly suceeding, but whenever I think too hard about it I wonder if I should be paying more attention to my last few days in San Francisco
- at least as a resident. I plan to come back and visit often, but that won't be the same.
I'm excited, but also annoyed by all the actual work of moving. It's been almost 6 years since I've moved. The longer you stay put, the harder it is to go. I've wanted to move for about 3 years now. But the work was too good, the girlfriend didn't want to go, etc. etc. And she still doesn't. We're going to try the long-distance thing for awhile. We both need the space anyway. We've done it before, lived even further apart before - Ann Arbor and South Carolina, Iowa and Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Seattle. We've bounced around the country relatively independantly of each other, till we settled here in SF for the last few years.
But even when I first got here, I knew I didn't want to stay in the Bay Area forever, contrary to a lot of young hip people who arrive here. So many of them think San Francisco is the best place in the Universe, the most beautiful, the most cool, etc etc. I think it may have something to do with a lack of experience to compare it to. If you live in Boondock, Ohio all your life and then go straight to Bagdad by the Bay, of course it's going to seem like a hipster heaven. But I've lived in many places and a few them have been pretty great. I think Ann Arbor and Austin are easily as "cool" as San Francisco, so when I got here I wasn't blown away like many people, I already had some referent for this. SF is just yet another of the small number of enclaves in America where some semblance of alternative living and indepenant thinking can happen. But it sure as hell ain't the end-all be-all Mecca that lots of residents think it is. Now that I've been to Sydney, I don't even think SF is the most beautiful city.
So anyway, I am so over San Francisco. And I'm excited about Portland. It's funny getting the variety of reactions from my friends here. Some of them I've been griping about this place for years to, and mentioning my like of Portland. But even amongst those that weren't prepared, some are totally not suprised. Some are even thinking about moving to Portland too. Some others are wanting to move elsewhere. It's sad the way the city is emptying out, but for the most part the city did it to us. The crooked politics and NIMBYs which made the city unable or unwilling to properly deal with the internet boom, and the even longer history of provincialism and elitism all add up to the transformation of this once great bastion of counterculture into a place that is ultimately just hostile to artists, slackers, free-thinkers, and the poor.
hmm. I didn't really plan on this being a rant about San Francisco. sorry. My original goal was just to describe my last few hectic days, packing, painting, transferring utilities and dsl lines and blah blah blah. And amidst all of this, interestingly, I'm trying to finish a really great book loaned to me by a friend, which is the newest work of his former philosophy professor, Mark C. Taylor. When I finish it, I'll try to do a node on it. It's called The Moment of Complexity: Emerging Network Culture, and I think the Slashdot/E2/hacker/otaku crowd would really get a lot out of it. It's a fascinating theory of just about everything, and really is a good read, though it's hard to concentrate on it when I'm supposed to be filling boxes up with all my worldly possesions.
Anyway, my next writeup will probably be written from Portland. If you live there, /msg me....