I’m a year late at a true update. So, as 2007 comes to a close, it’s high time for a general update on my new scene – especially since I’ve not sent out holiday cards. Some of you have been following along here (thanks!), but most of you haven’t had the time, so here’s an abbreviation.
I exited fama PR last spring and spent the summer of ’06 in Boston enjoying sweet drinks, Atlantic sushi, the Big Dig and sunshine. I then went to Maine (home sweet home) for PopTech in October, and shipped all my stuff to California on a hunch. Then I wandered around Europe for a while: London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, Paris… then, home to Maine again for holiday time with family and old friends (hard to believe it’s that time again). Then, I took the only material possession I had remaining on the east coast – my little Audi S4 monster – and spent a few months driving it around the lower 48, taking pictures and getting speeding tickets. I made extended stops in places like Austin and Tucson.
When bored, you can peek at some pictures I made along the way.
This past April, I landed in coastal Los Angeles – in Venice – a part of the world I really love. I signed a one-year lease on a neat loft space (which you can also see in the pictures above). Venice is funky and eclectic – showing scars from a much more difficult past and offering quite a neat mix: crack shacks, art galleries, celebrity homes and everything in between. My place is just a few blocks from the ocean and legendary Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The exterior design around here is bold and vibrant, and the architecture gracefully blends Gaia, humankind, lifestyle and technology. Venice has a zeitgeist of unapologetic live-and-let-live individuality – just the right blend of artists, old hippies, good food, music, young babes, technology, culture and creative expression. Besides, don’t you just have to love a place with street names like Zeno, Horizon, Ozone, Breeze and Clubhouse?
Yanks with the wrong idea of Los Angeles: you’ve got the wrong idea. I have hummingbirds, crisp clean air, and palm and citrus trees. I never deal with traffic unless I get the strange idea to drive into the city. I’m treated to hours of afternoon sun that coats everything with gold. The sunsets seem to linger all evening, and are so warm and comforting they could be baked into pies. They’re often followed by cool Pacific breezes that wrap around you like a sheet as you doze off to sleep. I already find myself hoping our fragile economy might be good enough to me that I could someday call both coasts home.
I have my own lemon tree inside. It will make striped lemons that are pink inside. They’ll probably make the best lemon drop cocktails within 100 miles.
I’ve already bought two bikes (one of which was stolen in Santa Monica last week; good story) and am biking a great deal. In Venice, it’s either a bike or a dog and I’m too selfish to want the latter. I can bike almost anywhere I need to go, and have access to dozens of miles of oceanfront bike trails that run from Torrance Beach north to the foot of Temescal Canyon.
I have a good batch of friends here – some from years past and some newly made – and am working on more. I’ve found some great restaurants, museums, hiding places, hiking trails, and miscellaneous other places that keep me discovering and feeling alive.
When I first did this – moved out here, that is – I felt pretty frightened. I’m a big risk taker but this nonetheless felt really scary. I spent a month or two with my head down making house and home and as things began to fall into place the fear subsided. I am so glad I did this – I feel really lucky and happy and alive.
I’ve been writing a lot, commentating, and making pictures. Professionally, I’ve been playing in the space where innovation and communication intersect and have also invested in a couple of young companies. I recently helped a friend with the public launch of an exciting company called EdgeCast. I plan to continue helping them, and will launch my own consultancy in the coming months to give me a corporate umbrella under which to operate all this stuff. At that point I’ll tell you about some of the other ideas brewing.
I’ve been volunteering as a mentor at the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, helping young entrepreneurs move their ideas from dream stage to reality.
This will be my second winter outside New England, and I’ve acclimated (or de-acclimated) quite quickly. The cool, early-winter evenings here feel cold to me although they pale in comparison to a New England winter night. While I don’t miss the cold, I do miss the rich, light-painted sky of those New England nights. Even this far from the city, there’s still too much light pollution for me to get the gorgeous sky I’d see at home or out in the desert.
To all you east coasters – if you need a break from winter, I have a nice big guest room here that’s open for visitors (but booking fast!)
I hope you all had an enriching 2007. My best to you and yours for the holidays and 2008. I hope that if you haven’t been in touch, you will be soon.
Love and light