Writing

Poem, 5/6

[with apologies to Edna St. Vincent Millay's Recuerdo]

it was very sunny, it was very hurried

we drove back and forth across the city

and i rented a mini, and drove it down lombard street

and i tried not to think it was like us:

lush, brief, beautiful, pretty;

popular attractions among many.

 

it was very foggy, it was very quiet

at the pho place with delicious complexity

like a library, a chain of libraries,

a template of noodles and tea.

during the day we sent postcards to our mothers

and pointed down at greenways hiding cars.

 

it was very brief, it was very sudden

the snap of a sheet, a city engulfed in flames

but to know i got close makes my chest hurt less.

it came close, but it came.

it was all for you, lover. my all, and all that i had.

Poem, 2/1

the first

morning we awoke together broke

fast on the first day of the first

month we talked of dreams and

planned our next re-

union. talking to the thai

order taker i heard vocalized in the re-

peated numbers a credit

to your kindness. registered. we

ate and watched stupid teevee,

wondering what resonates

enough to laugh. these

days repeated their thrust, pre-

dicting a sweet opening.

NY/SF: A Hypothesis

Throughout 2013, I’ve been spending a lot more time both in New York and in San Francisco, for personal and professional reasons. I’m a native New Yorker, born in Riverdale and raised in the burbs, and still consider NY “The City.” And even though I’ve regularly frequented SF over the past 10 years, averaging 3-5 extended trips per year, this year I’ve spent months at a time here, working as I am now from a friend’s desk with a view of the intersection of Haight & Laguna.

Proximity is one key to relationship development (among many others, like doing great work, being kind, networking, and having a little luck), and my increased time in SF has happily resulted in building business here (yay travel write-offs!). The more people I meet, the more fodder I have for developing a hypothesis about the vastly different cultures of both places.

At the root of this hypothesis is the influence that the physical & natural environment has on its culture:

New York has miles of concrete and verticality, and is vast in size, which informs a directness and solidity of communication; maybe its history or tradition influences this, too. It has volume, noise, individuals feel competitive even for sidewalk space, and there are extremes of weather.

San Francisco has little bedrock and crazy hills, and its 7x7 mile environment is ultraconcentrated with immense variety; things are subject to shift around every corner, and at any moment. There is an almost cosmic openness and tolerance for individuality and range of expression. Conversely, or for balance, there’s less of a variation in climate.

Having written this, I feel like I’m just beginning to learn a new language, or two.

On iOS 7

I like iOS7. I’m inspired by its Powers of Ten-like zooming, and there are neat little things packed in — like the Clock showing the accurate time even without launching the app. I love the single-Note sound alert, and the charging chime. The shake of entering in an incorrect passcode was integrated from the desktop, and the fade in & out of viewing the lock screen nicely mirrors the smoothness of launching into or zooming out of an app. Nice work, guys. While it does have a few clunky considerations in just a few places, over the course of one afternoon it has managed to make every other interface I interface with feel outdated.

So here’s what’s next to reconsider (a wish list):

  • The Voicemail icon is left over from the age of cassettes. What if it were a speech bubble with lines?
  • The Phone icon is reminiscent of old school bakelite or plastic hand-held receivers. How about an iPhone icon?
  • The Alarm clock is from back in the day when there were two bells atop a bedside clock. I can think of other ways to show alarm.
  • Folders inside of Mail have bothered me for years. How can we make the leap from a desktop — even using the word desktop! — to a more virtual world if we’re still thinking manila?

Arguably, cameras still have the same form factor, so Camera can stay; Mail is still a nice attempt at taking over the USPS and has happily lost its Windows-like clouds.

But there’s still work to do. Want to collaborate with me on them?