what brings me back to ramona after all these years? it’s so different than it was in 1993 when i first moved here.
and different than it was in 1995 which, as you’ll see if you google “webheads on ramona street” and read the rolling stone article, was when ramona’s 15 minutes of fame went down. but my connection here goes far beyond that. it is wired into walls and across roofs..
so it might well be this lovely punchdown block that brings me back
in 1994 a fire gutted this victorian. all the wiring had to be redone, and rick, aka mister 3-D, offered to do the telco wiring for the new owner for free. he put ethernet right in the walls, jacks in every room. ever since the building has been part of the ramona empire. it has been in the family, inhabited, like more than a dozen apartments in the neighborhood, by folks connected to this place through cyborganic. say what you will about cyborganic as a community, we were always proud of our wiring.
perhaps i am drawn back to visit the city by this fridge, by its magnets, poetry and clippings. postcards and new surprises alongside the eternal huey newton. huey has been sitting in that wicker chair, in that photo torn from a newspaper, on this fridge, since humans first returned here after the great fire.
if you look closely you’ll notice a set of square, electricity-themed magnets in pastel colors with such pithy questions as “What is your kilowatt-hour rate?” these were sent around 1997 to educate consumers about the deregulation of california’s electricty markets (ha ha), but might also work as pick-up lines.
maybe it’s the frothy coffee that brings me back, or the note from aunt caroline (visible to the left of huey) which came with the whisker and admonishes: “…don’t shove this in the back of a drawer, foam wildly, foam madly, foam everything.”
of course geeky artifacts of days past also have their draw.
for example, the specimen below, brought by pauline to a party where the price of admission was an item from a failed dotcom, has to be one of the most vacuous paragraphs of marketing jargon ever written. it is reported to be genuine, that is, written in earnest, though i can’t imagine how.