Inspired by Luke Waltzer’s screencast using Google’s Street View to experiment with digital storytelling, I decided to take a look at the neighborhood where I grew up in Baldwin, NY. This process was really trippy for me, and the possibilities for nostalgia in Google’s Street View is virtually limitless. And while Luke’s narrative is tight, reflective, and thoughtful, mine is overly long, distracted and self-indulgent. I have no problems with nostalgia, on the contrary I think it’s the basis for some of the most creative and generative work ever produced—William Faulkner being my cultural yardstick here. In fact, nostalgia has its roots in a Greek word which literally means homesickness. How appropriate, nostalgia as the almost perpetual sense of homesickness imposed by the passing of time that we all carry around with us to some degree. My work in this blog for almost three years has consistently been about searching for some kind of return to a symbolic home.
So here’s a series of reflections, stories, and musings on the neighborhood I grew up in, and as an added bonus you can hear about all the times I got beat up as well as gawk the boyhood home of BlackBoard’s co-founder Matthew Pittinsky—whom I mistakenly call Scott in the video—who actually grew up around the corner from me 🙂