Must bravery or stupidity underwrite every bold life decision?

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Illustration: Jeffrey Fletcher

When I shared my intention to move across the country, the questions began coming as if on a conveyor belt. Predictable and uniform. Are you keeping your job? Do you have an apartment yet? Why?

I imagined myself as a mysterious figure giving a press conference. With a twinge of vocal fry and a twirl of black, drapey clothing, I announce that I will take no further questions at this time, thank you. But it’s not really considered polite to tell friends and coworkers that you are taking no further questions. My life is not a press conference. …


Mask Envy

Daftboy designer Timothy Cochran created this fabulous piece

Man wearing LED light-up face mask at night.
Man wearing LED light-up face mask at night.
Photos courtesy of Daftboy

This story is part of our new series “Mask Envy,” where we showcase San Franciscans’ creativity and take a look at some of the coolest masks spotted around the city. Have a look you want to submit? Email info@thebolditalic.com.

There’s a lot you can do to make a mask stand out — patterns, paint, embellishments — but to make a true standout among the strongest standouts, you gotta make it shine.

That’s what Timothy Cochran, founder and designer of Bay Area-based company Daftboy, decided to do with this fiber-optic mask. The fiber-optic fabric and battery are fully contained within the mask, so you can light up the room wherever you are. …


The Bay Snapshot

Not all that spooky, really

3 lawn decoration headstones: Kellyanne Conwoman, William Barr, Rudi Guiliani.
3 lawn decoration headstones: Kellyanne Conwoman, William Barr, Rudi Guiliani.
Photo: Elliot Trifilo

The Bay Snapshot is a new TBI series that showcases the current mood of the Bay Area in one picture. If you have a picture or tip for a future post in the series, email us or DM us on Twitter or Instagram.

A rising second wave of Covid-19. Rushing a Supreme Court nominee through at the 11th hour. Voter suppression. Zoom dicks. There’s a lot of scary stuff in the news lately, and I’m tempted to wrap up in blankets and mainline anxiety relievers.

It is Halloween, though, and while my tolerance for spookiness this season is pretty low, local Bay Area photographer Elliot Trifilo recently shared some snapshots of these seasonal decorations on a local front lawn that hit just right. …


SF Throwbacks

It was like a spaceship had landed in SoMA full of the latest cutting-edge technology

View of the Metreon building taken from the street.
View of the Metreon building taken from the street.
Photo: New America Media via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

This article is part of SF Throwbacks, a feature series that tells the stories behind historic photos of San Francisco in order to learn more about our city’s past.

The Sony Metreon opened in San Francisco the week of my sixth birthday. It was 1999, at the height of the dot-com bubble, and Sony’s new attraction in downtown SF felt like an entirely new kind of destination. Even though people were tempted to call it one, it was decidedly “not a mall,” as one Metreon staffer told SF Gate. It was an “urban entertainment destination.”

If you moved to the Bay Area in the last 10 or 15 years, you may only know the Metreon for its movie theater, food court, and Target. Tragically, it is a pretty basic mall these days. …


SF Throwbacks

October 17 marks the 31-year anniversary of the worst Bay Area quake in recent memory

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An apartment building in the Marina District damaged in the quake. Photo: Otto Greule Jr./Stringer via Getty Images

This article is part of SF Throwbacks, a feature series that tells the stories behind historic photos of San Francisco in order to learn more about our city’s past.

Everyone in the Bay Area remembers where they were on October 17, 1989, just after 5 p.m, when the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake struck.

Not me, though—alas, I wasn’t born yet—so I called up my mom and asked her what she remembers about that day 31 years ago. …


My reality is the pandemic but video games are where I dream (about pleasant strolls)

A screenshot from the video game ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ featuring a cowboy character and his horse walking into a valley.
A screenshot from the video game ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ featuring a cowboy character and his horse walking into a valley.
Photo courtesy of IGDB

I left base camp at dawn, leading my horse through a sparse forest and across the plains. The sun is already high and hot by the time we reach the foothills. The horse is dusty, so we trot upstream through the creek instead of following the trail alongside it.

I’m actually not horseback riding toward a majestic mountaintop in the wilderness. I’m playing Red Dead Redemption 2, in which the player guides cowboy-outlaw Arthur Morgan through an alternate version of 1899 America. Since I’ve been cooped up in my 1-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, avoiding the coronavirus, this action-adventure Western video game is the closest exposure to real nature that I’ve gotten in months. The year 2020 has been a long slog through one disaster after another. …


Great Escape

I didn’t ask for the job, but I didn’t quit it, either

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Illustration: Glenn Harvey

I was at the grocery store when my phone started blowing up. I already knew what it was. Anytime I got more than a couple notifications in a row, I could almost guarantee it was a group chat of moderators overseeing a small, private Facebook group for sharing memes.

As I stood in the cereal aisle, scrolling through the discussion, I tried to skim the rehash of something big that had just happened in the group. Our friend and fellow moderator, whom I will call Gabby*, left the group after being antagonized by a man I’ll call Drew, one of the members. I tapped away from the moderators’ private group chat and checked out the offending post. …

About

Sophia Smith

associate editor @Medium // Ⓥ // I like to pick up heavy things. Sometimes I write.

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