Do you know Genie at The Inadvertent Gardener? Last June, my friend Kalyn emailed me to say that Genie was moving to the Bay Area from Iowa City, and that she thought we might like each other.
I was in a hurry that day, and didn't think much of shooting an email off to Genie inviting her to a group event that I had planned for the next week. I didn't really think Genie would show -- I probably wouldn't show up to hang out with a group of people where I knew no one. Well, Genie showed up, and she has been showing up ever since.
At some point, a blogger friend asked his wife, "Who is this person named Genie?" The wife answered, "I'm not sure, but I think we need to know her because she seems to be great friends with all our friends now." And it's true. Genie has charmed us all and been a great cohort in our Bay Area adventures.
A testament to Genie's influence, and the general spirit of our group of friends, is that she convinced several of us to participate in the 4 am project this weekend. On April 4, people around the world woke up at 4am and took photos.
At first we all grumbled a bit. "Why can't it be 4 pm?" one asked. We all talked about September 9, 2009 at 9 am being a better fit numerically. But we did it anyway.
And something interesting happened: I learned about the magic of 4 am. I learned that it's a time like no other. Most late night partiers have gone home, and most early birds are not awake yet. It's the quietest hour.
Genie and I explored Oakland, taking some photos at the produce market and near the Tribune building. Meanwhile Anita climbed Bernal Hill (with a very fashionable headlamp light that her sleeping husband insisted she wear), Jennifer checked out 13th street, and Dottie took this fantastic photo on Market Street. We all met up afterward and sipped 5 am bloody marys and shared our experiences.
Kudos to the 4am project for encouraging us all to leave our warm beds to take photos. It was a blast to explore that time of the morning with a photographer's eye.