Montreal, with its brutal winters and expansive underground infrastructure, is where I lived in the winter and spring of 2009, during the second semester of my junior year of undergrad. One of my fondest memories of the city is, oddly, riding public transportation. Even after six years away, I often dream of hearing “Prochaine station: Berri-UQAM” as the San Francisco trains approach a stop. Perhaps my affection persists due in part to Montreal being the first place I lived that had public transportation, by which I mean reliable, expansive public transportation.
If you’ve been following along, you may have noticed my praise for Gloria Steinem’s book My Life on the Road; *I blazed through it last week and haven’t yet stopped reflecting on certain passages. Furthermore, if you were to have spent any serious amount of time with me in the past six months, there’s a strong likelihood that I’d have given you an earful about David Foster Wallace and *Infinite Jest (humans in their 20s reading and raving about Infinite Jest is practically becoming a stereotype in its own right, but the thing is that the hype is justified, the man had a remarkable sense of foresight).
Inspiration seeks you out in the strangest of places.
This is one. Arrive home, quarter past three, not a single idea of what to write about. Reminisce on the evening. Drinks at Southern Pacific. Then “emo night” at Knockout, with Brand New blasting out the speakers. Cheap beer and rounds of shots. Photo booth captures and post-bar burritos across the street. Classic San Francisco. Late night cab home with four stops between the Mission and the Richmond. Blissful sleep.
In 2012 I landed at San Francisco International Airport with one suitcase and a carry-on. Henceforth I was one among 800,000 others living in this spirited, weird, warmhearted city. In time I would come to acknowledge that I was unwittingly joining the ranks of what some call the “tech elite”, a blanket classification used to typecast any person working at a company that makes software. In 2012, though, I was wide-eyed and awash with awe to be in the midst of such talent and innovation. San Francisco, after all, was founded on this very spirit of innovation. I threw myself headlong into the world of startups.