Blog3: Haighters Gon’ Haighted
One… one time I visited the Haight this week. My mind was clear and calm as I rode my bike through the park, passing by the track runners at Kezar stadium and through the skater’s at the lot converted skate park on Waller and Stanyan streets.
I had no plan in mind. It was just another day in the Haight for me, with my notepad and camera tucked away in my bag, ready when I was. My keen sight and eager heart shone on my face and I rode into the Haight like I owned it.
It was as if everything calmed and moved in slow motion when I reached the social hub of Golden Gate Park at Haight and Stanyan. I stood there and remembered my first days reporting this semester. I remembered just how terrified I was.
Blog1: Haighters Gon’ Haighten‘, was my first published article on my very own neighborhood blog. I remember I read through it, over and over, just to have a feel for the flow of the language I used, to see which words appealed to the senses and what worked in placing a reader in the middle of the bohemian neighborhood.
I remember how the overwhelming mix of characters, colors and voices—although unique—seemed to have a uniformity to their presence. They were/are—all Haighters.
Back at Haight and Stanyan, standing where it all started, I saw the Haighters. They were a mass of people that moved through the streets with the fluidity of a body of water. Every body that entered or left the flow, was like a ripple in the stream.
I approached. Seeing the creases in people’s squinted faces shading their eyes from the sun, I noticed that their expressions were unwavering. I had entered unnoticed and unbothered.
I, myself, have become “Haighted”.
This semester in reporting has been a great challenge in overcoming the fear of approaching people. Especially in a neighborhood like the Haight where the abundance of loud personalities is quite overwhelming.
But once I got over that fear… once I realized that everyone I interviewed is a person with some human quality in which I could relate, I couldn’t stop.
I love reporting. I love writing. I love what I do.