I’m on the road this week, at The Seybold Publishing Conference in San Francisco. I’m giving a half-day workshop tomorrow morning on “Learning Unix for Mac OS X”. Yes, the glories of a 30 year old operating system hidden inside the latest and greatest Macintosh OS.
It’s interesting to be here in San Francisco too; a city I love. Probably my favorite big city in the world, outside of Rome. But like any city, the time of day dramatically changes the face of San Francisco. Here on Market Street, the main east/west artery, daytime offers an engaging mixture of cultures, ethnicities, and SES (socioeconomic status). Tonight, though, it’s a dirty, gritty corner of the city where there are tourists, homeless people (surprisingly many) and young 20-somethings who are either gang members or wanna-be gang members. Sunglasses at night are a giveaway…
As I walked around this evening, I couldn’t help thinking “this is so not a place for little kids”, but I don’t even know if it’s a place for people at all… at least, it makes me feel more and more like a midwesterner, living in a quiet, protected small community in Colorado.
But is it really such a great thing to be “tough enough” to be able to live within the midst of the grit and be able to ignore the aggression and pathos? Or is there an inherent “turning off” that comes with this kind of territory, a hardening of the heart that lets you walk past the begger asking for “any change you got so I can get some food, man” without a second thought?
And how about you, dear reader. Do you live in a tough neighborhood or a quiet peaceful town? And why?