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Cabin fever is consuming us. Weve all gone a bit stir-crazy. Like many before the pandemic struck, I had plans, but they were dashed in February. Or was it March? The months dissolve into each other. I was supposed to touch down in the Garden Island on Hawaiian Airlines in mid-November, flying into Līhuʻe from Oakland International Airport. A Hawaiian November would have been quite unlike a San Franciscan autumn, when the Bays chill blankets the city and its coastline.
In the spring of 2020, as the plague was sweeping the city, I found myself several times a day staring at an Instagram page dedicated to the furniture and household goods New Yorkers were tossing to the curb. Amongst the flotsam and jetsam were steamer trunks, benches of reclaimed lumber, numerous upright pianos, boxes upon boxes of books, a fainting couch with flower upholstery, glass vanities, bar stools, two Noguchi coffee tables, stand-up globes (I counted at least three) that hatched open at the meridian so you could store liquor inside, seemingly every fiddle leaf fig tree in the five boroughs, and other bric-a-brac and impedimenta and whatever else could be quickly discarded in a desperate effort to get out of New York as fast as possible.
In the summer of 2014 an NYPD officer choked Eric Garner to death in an altercation that began because the officer suspected that Garner was selling loose cigarettes. Garners last words, I cant breathe, were caught on a video that captured the attention of the country and, along with the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, catapulted the Black Lives Matter movement to the forefront of the nations attention.
In between shifts of exploring the world with my nearing two-years-old son, I managed to finalize my latest film, Mapping Lessons, this summer. I spent four years deeply enjoying exploring a world history of local governance as alternatives to the nation state, particularly in the Levant, trying to answer the question, how do we prepare now for the next time?