Neighborhood Type

If a sign is not read, does it convey a message? Do letterforms have souls? We explore the Castro City neighborhood in our beloved Mountain View, looking for clues, for signs from the past. What happened here?

As we search for the universal, the minutiae is examined, along with the cosmos. Imagine finding an imprint of the letter “D” on Mars. Earth would tilt on its axis in celebration of Great Discovery. Now, YOU, turn off Project Runway, go outside and look at the space between the letters on your street sign. Do you see it? Keep looking.

Letters on things. Numbers on buildings. Mocking the human condition. There YOU go with friends to an unfamiliar place, looking for an address, faith escapes you, trembling. “I’m lost. I am afraid. We’ll never find IT.” — then, on an unkempt condo, the numerals you seek — “We’ve arrived. We are among friends. God is with us.” The “7633B” never even blinks.

Bully type. Waving its motionless flag. Standing its own ground. Words stamped stay their course. Designed to be viewed at a predetermined distance by type designers, landscape engineers, motion study activists, and the wanderers among us.

Loneliness is relative.

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