Seeking a Renaissance in San Francisco
One of my favorite radio programs is Cross Currents, produced by the Bay Area public radio station, KALW. Cross Currents presents “context, culture and connection from around the San Francisco Bay Area” and is aired every day at 5:00pm.
Cross Currents recently did a story on Julie Michelle, a local SF based photographer, who has taken shots of nearly 200 San Franciscans and posted their stories online. She started this project, I live here: SF, in March 2009, to explore “the city through the visages and stories of the people who participate” in it. Her photos and stories bring out the “nano-neighborhoods and micro-climates” of San Francisco. Julie Michelle approaches people all over the city, photographs them, and asks them to write a short essay that’s then attached to the picture. After the site launch in 2009, several similar websites have popped up across various cities in the U.S. to view those projects, visit this site: Other I live here projects. You can also listen to Cross Currents’ original piece here: Meet Your Neighbor: San Francisco’s Living Diary.
It’s really amazing how diverse our small city is! We have so many personalities, perspectives, and stories packed into each neighborhood. Not only is Julie a great photographer, but she’s really taken on a project that lets us learn about the people we live amongst. Everyone operates in their own silos in their lives, and this project really motivates you go out and explore; try the unfamiliar, meet people you wouldn’t normally meet. I’m definitely inspired to do a little more of that!
Below are some photographs from Julie Michelle’s collection. Click on the names to read the story behind each photo. To view Nell’s story from the photo above, click here: Nell – Pacific Heights.