Journal Journey

Week 12: 20 March 2016

Garage days, revisited.

I sold my car this week. I’ve had it since 2005. I’m going to miss it tons, but we’ll always have this story to tell:

07 May 2010
Hello Friends,
Last night, 06 May, at around 9:20 p.m., someone entered our three-floor apartment building on 29th Street between Dolores and Church Streets in San Francisco. They went into our garage — while we were home — took two bikes, and stole our car, closing the automatic garage door behind them. We heard the tires squeal as they pulled out of the garage, and ran downstairs to see what was going on. We discovered an empty garage, and our car speeding west on 29th toward Church Street.
The car is a black, 2003 Acura RSX with a California Arts Council vanity license plate, F6X. There’s a picture of the license plate below. Our frustration is compounded by the fact that the night before, 05 May, the building was broken into, and two of my neighbors’ bikes were stolen. I want to get the story out to as many of our Noe neighbors as possible so that we can look out for each other. 
In the meantime, if you see this car around, please send me a message on Twitter: @F6x, or give me a call at 650.605.3696. Until then, please take care of yourselves, and keep an eye out for each other.

I wrote that on Posterous (before it was acquired by Twitter) and Flickr (before Yahoo! ruined it) to try and get the word out as widely as possible.

But as I ran down the stairs, I hollered back for Katrina to call 911 while I Tweeted about the theft.

This was the moment I personally experienced the power of Twitter. Within minutes, strangers where sharing my Tweet. Neighbors I’d never met were offering us help. Friends from far away sent notes of encouragement.

Then, something amazing happened: all of that Twitter attention started spreading the word farther than the platform itself. Our hyper-local guide to Noe Valley posted my story. Next, SFist wrote about it. The following day, we ended up on the local news.

I was in love with Twitter well before this. But when the Tweets led to blog coverage, and blog coverage led to news coverage, and news coverage led to a plainclothes cop recognizing the car in the Mission as a meth-head shoved stolen sleeping bags into the hatch back — well, now we’re inseparable.

But more important than getting the car back is the way Twitter brought me closer to my neighborhood — people like John and Ellen and Rosé Gal. I consider them friends, even if I don’t get to see them as often as I wish. But I always see their Tweets.

As for the car, like I said, I’ll miss it tons. But we sold it to a kid I know is going to enjoy it as he takes it back to school in SLO.

And now, I don’t have to worry about moving it on street-cleaning days. I won’t have to make sure to start it every other day so the battery doesn’t die. I won’t have to check on it every time I walk the dog to make sure nobody broke out one of the windows. And I can stop trying to get Recology to pay for the driver-side mirror they destroyed.

But I do still have to pay that last parking ticket — I should, right?

I spent my last moments with my RSX doing exactly what got it back to me: sending a Tweet about it driving west on 29th toward Church Street. However, it wasn’t going nearly as fast this time.

Twitter is turning ten years old today, and I’m unbelievably excited to be part of the 10th birthday celebration. You’ll see #LoveTwitter floating around all day. It’s a thank you note to everyone using the service. But I don’t want the day to pass without me saying thanks to the people who helped restore my faith in my followers. So, thank you, #LoveF6x.

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