I saw this piece of interactive art on the streets of SF (you can visit it yourself: it’s on the even side of the 800 block of Duncan – between 814 and 892 Duncan St, San Francisco, CA 94131) & left a note asking the creator if they had thought about vandalism before creating the art. They hollered back with some pics and their musings – you can find those both below!
This is not a guide to jaywalking. It’s a humorous story; I lied.
Now that I’ve got your attention, please enjoy this anecdote. ‘Twas written by a dear friend of mine, Archibald Smittens*, who is a real person** who actually exists***.
*: Not his real name.
**: Not true.
***: Censors have attempted to verify this for years. None have, as yet, returned alive.
[Your Humble Editor also feels obligated to preface by saying that the low-fat version of cream cheese DOES NOT taste the same. He does not wish to spread such malicious lies. Anyway, without further ado…]
3 Perspectives on Jaywalking
The red hand. Just great.
9:27—three minutes left. The coffee shop’s only what? three, four blocks away? I can still make it…
The woman next to me just quickly skimmed the empty road and then jaywalked. More like a leisurely jay-stroll. What’s she thinking? Back home, no one would ever do that. Ma would’ve killed me. It was either jaysprint or jaysplat.
Still no cars, and that red hand’s still there.
Well, maybe it is time for a jaysprint.
But I’m in a suit; that’d look weird…right?
Middle-aged guy checks his watch, gulps down a half-chewed bite of bagel, and then rushes across the street. Didn’t even look both ways. Actually looked kinda cool doing it.
Well, until he dropped the bagel.
Maybe I should bolt across too. Like one of those guys from the movies.
Oof, curbside puddle. Just great.
Ah a dry patch. Perfect.
Who am I kidding. I can’t.
My foot returns to the curb, defeated.
The empty road stares back.
Maybe… Just maybe…
My foot lifts off again.
Maybe just this once…
And the red hand turns into the white man.
Oh well. Right. Left. Empty road.
At least, Ma’d be proud.
Damn good bagel today. Think I’m gonna stick with this low fat stuff. Tastes pretty much the same as the regular cream cheese.
Countdown stops. But that stupid hand’s still there.
Chunks getting stuck in my teeth? Gotta check before I walk in the office.
Oh wow, now dumbass over here walks across the intersection. No hesitation. No urgency either. The hell’s wrong with her?
No cars out there, but seriously, lady? Can’t wait like two goddamn seconds for this light?
What’s the deal huh? Late or something? What’s the time anyways?
It’s only 9:28. Really? C’mon lady?
Shit! Move people, move!
Yeesh. Took ya long enou—
Shit! No time to pick it up.
Right. Left. No cars.
Start: Parked on the corner of Marias & Governor Nicholls St, in the Tremé district of New Orleans, Louisiana.
End: Parked on the corner of Marias & Governor Nicholls St, in the Tremé district of New Orleans, Louisiana.
- “Have you ever had a New Orleans sweet potato? You don’t have to add anything. They come out the ground sweet.” -[Redacted], my waiter at Willie Mae’s Scotch House.
- “I wonder if a Chihuahua with Parkinson’s just doesn’t move.” -Me.
- “People in New Orleans all get along. If you come to New Orleans and you can’t get along with anybody, there’s something wrong with you.” -[Redacted], my Uber driver.
- Awoke at 1pm. My first Day in New Orleans and I was out til 5am…
- Wrote a reply to [redacted] letter.
- Ate incredible soul food in the Tremé district.
- I asked an Uber driver how the city is different after Katrina. He said “it’s not.” And pointed to a pothole that’s been here since before the storm. He evidently isn’t impressed by any political change.
- [Redacted]’s after-party
- Apropos of nothing, a man [redacted] on the couch next to me,
- I ask a woman why she spends time around these people. She says, (paraphrase) “because all the women tell me I’m beautiful.”
- Halloween party with intense [redacted] demonstrations (like [redacted]), where the band played Pink Floyd for an hour.
- Video call with [redacted] both right before he went to bed (my 9pm) and right after he woke up the next day (my 5am).
- The people I’ve met here live to party. It’s cheap and exciting and pacifying and hollow.
- I’ve been [redacted] but all of it feels empty [redacted].
- Completed [redacted] outline: another [redacted].
- Fried chicken and sweet potato fries at Willie Mae’s Scotch House, New Orleans.
- The best chicken tenders of my life, at Key’s Fuel (the gas station near my friend’s house).
- All That Jazz sandwich: ham, turkey, cheese, shrimp, mushrooms, and a white sauce. So good! Shockingly so! I expected it to be weird from the shrimp but it was not.
- Everything I’ve eaten in New Orleans has been delicious.
- Afterparty with [redacted] tonite. Do I go? It only starts at 2am…