Invented Nostalgia

March 6, 2007

I only moved to Davis Square, future home of CHIPOTLE, at the end of last summer. I don’t have too many memories of life here, as strange as that may seem. It’s all very routine. I rarely go out to the bars in Davis; my friends mostly live down at Harvard, and outings usually take place there or at a random apartment on the way to Inman Square (my apologies to anyone unfamiliar with Massachusetts Bay geography). My life in my neighborhood is very much yom-yomi.

Looking, as I always do, for great salad pictures (here’s one: 291935187_14403a71a2.jpg

), I somehow saw a picture of Davis on Flickr. After that I was hooked. I scour through pictures; I go through a complete slide-show of Somerville/Cambridge pictures, filling up with a nostalgia for Somerville moments I never had. There was the blizzard I never got to see; there were the live bands I watched in the square instead of angrily listening to in my appartment; there was “Sideways” playing at the Somerville theater. It was a strange feeling; all the markings existed to give me a stronger identification with my surrounds than I had before, yet it is almost hyper-real, an imagined, invented identification. I am both more at home here and less so.

Here is a picture of the old One Davis Square. It was torn down shortly before I moved here. I only saw it once, when I came to look at my apartment. 253695888_b83532c53f.jpg

It’s almost like a ghost. I can remember it, if I try, but I have no attachments to it. My internal map of Davis is very much shaped by the empty space, now rising into a CVS.

Still some pictures really do make me feel at home.

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The photo itself is a mess, but the scene is unmistakable.

The significance of space: impossible to tell in writing.

YS Web Comic?

March 6, 2007

In an attempt to diversify our postings, here is the first foray into a YS webcomic.

The first comic is drawn akin to one of Natalie Dee’s comics (click for example) or Toothpaste for Dinner‘s. At least, that’s what it’s supposed to be like, seeing as I don’t have my scanner hooked up, I’m drawing with a mouse, and I’m still shaking from my trip to the gym. My apologies for the comparison, but here goes (click to expand…):

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I apologize in advance.

Salad in the Morning?

March 6, 2007

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Saw this in the times today. It appears that there is now a contest for regular readers of Yesterday’s Salad to quiz each other on their vocabulary intake, and it’s even being broadcast by GSN. I’m glad there is finally a forum to recognize voluminous verbosity, but I wonder if it is only virtuating [obs. trans. To render efficacious; to invest with a particular virtue or quality], kitsch, or perhaps fetishizing intellectual acumen for entertainment purposes. I’m also angered by its exclusion of obs and nonce-words. It’s not like any of these words can really be called vernacular, anyway. Overall, the contest is clearly not as cool as–and obviously a rip-off of– the National Spelling Bee. Oh well, at least it gave mayor Bloomberg another chance to shine, as he managed to drop “coruscating” in reference to the contestants. Obviously I don’t need to include a definition…

Care of hashbrownsandtoast care of Ivygate comes this link to a blog a cut above the rest (non-Yesterday’s Salad edition). Elm Rock City is a blog after my own heart, focusing on literary theory and the actual analysis of literature (we usually only apply theory to American low culture). Ms. Rock-City’s (lo the joys of modern marriage) current post is an interesting example of excavating why we love what we love. I’ve done that a bunch of times at the Salad, my favorite being my impromptu analysis of the first sentence of The Crying of Lot 49.

And lastly, as I should really be working on my French right now, virgin-vacations recently posted their ranking of the top-11 Metro systems. While it’s sure not to cause any controversy, the new rankings did drop Seoul from the top-5 in favor of Madrid. Perhaps Orientalism–and its paternalistic Occidental counterpart–is alive and well at Virgin. A lot of cool photos and videos.