Irvine. The Train. Yes, a train. We have them here, but the platform is empty. Sitting isolated in what was once open land, then farmland and now a world of manmade madness. The intercom is broken. The trains aren’t marked and passengers ask each other if they are on the correct train, but after a short delay we head south.
The water is the only thing. Alluring in it’s blue. Turquoise to be precise. Small swell, empty lineups. Wetsuits but no hoods or booties. Bare skin here and there from the rowdies. This place was so beautiful, IS still beautiful, in those rare places that man has left alone. You can feel society and the dreaded “progress” moving in. Clack, clack, clack. Concrete, stucco and the promise of the banal.
A friend calls. Says he is leaving California. He wants to know what I know. Like minds making plans about days we may or may not ever see. Sobering but still a prize worth fighting for. The train is whisper silent. Clean. Filled with Latinos. Spanish fills the air after the mobile buzz. I try in vain to understand, eavesdropping just for practice. Nothing salacious.
I first came to San Diego in 1993. It felt like a frontier town compared to now. Many of my landmarks are gone. Replaced with chain restaurants, trendy little facial hair bars filled with those too important to look up from their phone. But there is something I like about this place. San Diego has a specific pride, always has in my experience, and it’s got a feel unlike any of the other urban centers further up the coast. Small town? No. But active.
I walk the downtown area with a filter from the middle 90’s and realize quickly my filter no longer applies. The pipe and needle are further out now. Pushed blocks away as the gentry moves to the once unfashionable downtown. The occasional smell of the dispossessed, hinting that all things are not well once you peel back that outer layer.
This is fighter town, a border town. A blend.
I’m here for Adobe Max. Along with the connected masses. I’ve been to this event before, and enjoyed it, so I’m anxious to have a look around. I don’t come to something like this needing or wanting anything. I just come to do my Blurb work and observe. I’ll be in my hotel at night, designing my latest “things,” some of which I’m very excited to share with you in the coming weeks.