Tuesday, February 9, 2010

KQED: Making Sense of SF

For the past year, Julie Michelle has been photographing city residents and posting their portraits on her deceptively simple website I Live Here:SF. They are a mix of Bay Area natives and transplants from across the States and beyond. In short texts the subjects write themselves, some tell linear stories that begin with where they were born or grew up, while others talk about specific moments or events, like how they fell in and out of love, or found their calling. Many describe the journey that brought them to this city. Some entries are fragmented to the point of poetry, like one person's random snapshots of the city.

This city, any city, has as many narratives and perspectives and ideas of itself as it has inhabitants, which means there is no shortage of tales to tell. My favorite is by Travis, the writer, photographer, and skateboarder who is pictured above. The story he tells revolves around the homeless guy who used to hang out in the street outside his Victorian in the Lower Haight. It is touching and beautiful, but its emotional punch sneaks up on you from a place you might not expect -- a description, like so many, that could just as easily apply to San Francisco itself.

By Keith Laidlaw. Read the full article here.