I am sad to announce today that Fer­al has left San Fran­cis­co. What began as a noble quest to reshape con­ver­sa­tions around tech­nol­o­gy, life, and cul­ture has end­ed in frus­tra­tion, acri­mo­ny, and one small civ­il suit regard­ing the keep­ing of live­stock with­in city lim­its. Ulti­mate­ly, San Francisco’s dra­con­ian munic­i­pal reg­u­la­tion codes, par­tic­u­lar­ly as they relate to def­i­n­i­tions around what is and isn’t a dwelling, were too much to over­come. Tim­my and I’s grand idea to fash­ion a new, future for­ward mixed-use devel­op­ment met resis­tance at every turn. Our ini­tial design, an exot­ic clus­ter of tem­po­rary struc­tures, anchored by a 42’ Fleet­wood Prowler fifth wheel fused with a decom­mis­sioned fish­ing ves­sel, floun­dered with lit­tle pub­lic back­ing. This, despite its obvi­ous poten­tial as a dynam­ic and mod­u­lar live/​work space in the heart of the city.

Feral mixed used office coworking rendering edit image

We can’t say we didn’t try. As Tim­my and I lived in the fifth-wheel half of our new devel­op­ment off the cor­ner of 19th and Valen­cia, across from the Mis­sion play­ground, we made numer­ous attempts to fos­ter pub­lic good­will and build sup­port for our bold vision. We reg­u­lar­ly per­formed a vari­ety of out­door musi­cal acts and even went so far as to have a com­mu­ni­ty cook­out once a week, open to all. Despite our best efforts, we quick­ly became per­son­ae non gratae through­out the neigh­bor­hood. On Decem­ber 6th, then 4 months into our stay, we were shak­en awake and star­tled by a vocal group of con­cerned cit­i­zens” attempt­ing to over­turn our mobile home. Owing to Fleetwood’s supe­ri­or build qual­i­ty, we with­stood the attack, and beyond the shat­ter­ing of a win­dow by a con­tain­er of hum­mus, remained safe. 

This trau­mat­ic event forced us to ques­tion the nature of San Fran­cis­co itself, with Fer­al hang­ing in the bal­ance. We had migrat­ed there expect­ing to find a bas­tion of accep­tance and pro­gres­sive thought, and yet our own expe­ri­ence told a far dif­fer­ent sto­ry. After sev­er­al more meet­ings with city coun­cil mem­bers and var­i­ous home­own­er asso­ci­a­tions, Tim­my rec­om­mend­ed we revise our devel­op­ment plan and make some key design changes. Rather than con­struct an intri­cate, liv­ing net­work of aban­doned struc­tures and lean-tos we would instead pro­pose a crisp, Scan­di­na­vian-inspired glass and met­al office build­ing, with the boat and trail­er con­nect­ed below as a hip­ster café called Back­woods.” This design, which you can see below, was met with unbe­liev­able enthu­si­asm. We were told by one coun­cil mem­ber that this idea had some real legs” and that she would fast track devel­op­ment should we secure real estate around the Dog­patch area. 

Feral mixed used office coworking rendering v2 edit image

I left that meet­ing with a sour taste in my mouth, incensed by what I had heard. My blood began to boil at the notion that my per­son­al his­to­ry would be so thought­less­ly cul­tur­al­ly appro­pri­at­ed, while the essence of my design vision would be reduced to blah. In an impas­sioned, some­what ram­bling speech on the side­walk out­side the meet­ing, I implored each and every passer­by to stand for true cre­ativ­i­ty and inge­nu­ity in all its forms. Nev­er sur­ren­der to that face­less borg of gen­tri­fi­ca­tion,” I bel­lowed. This amoral slime bot wants to drown us all in its putrid vat of same­ness. Resist! Resist!” 

As we walked home that night, I told Tim­my that we must vote with our feet” and stand up for what we tru­ly believe in.” I rec­om­mend­ed we pre­pare the fifth wheel for imme­di­ate depar­ture. Tim­my agreed, tak­ing me by sur­prise, not­ing that while he wasn’t clear on exact­ly what my point was, he did not like the high price of piz­za in the city. For him, that was enough. To see Tim­my stand by me with such a strong, unwa­ver­ing resolve near­ly brought me to tears. The fol­low­ing morn­ing, we rolled up our awning, took our lawn chairs down off the roof, and with the help of my Aunt Edna and her pow­er­ful Dodge Ram dual­ly, head­ed west towards Stockton.

For now, Tim­my and I have returned to the only place vast enough for our many ideas, the inter­net itself. While we can no longer wel­come clients to our for­mer office, we are excit­ed to announce that come Spring we will begin host­ing vis­i­tors at a new loca­tion: A Dave & Buster’s Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty Expe­ri­ence. Here you will be able to not only inter­act with Tim­my, myself, and the team in real-time, but also play a huge assort­ment of online games using any num­ber of real­is­tic avatars. We look for­ward to build­ing this new com­mu­ni­ty with you, and chal­lenge you in advance to an inter­ac­tive game of skee ball. 

If you made it this far, you may also like

About that Web Designer Job

Job post illustratoin

Our job search has concluded. Thankfully, you were spared.