If today was your last day
Little over 10 miles from One Infinite Loop, Apple’s headquarters, is the city of Palo Alto. It is a quiet place, serene and beautiful. There is a calmness in the air that permeates into you. The buildings and urban design give you the feeling of being in a township, a sort of modern village. Because a village at its core is about community and belonging.
Stanford is nestled here. It is surrounded by unassuming, almost zen like, gardens. For a place that is at the leading frontier, it dons no airs except a sense of timelessness emanating from the rough-hewn stonework, red tiled roofs, and palm trees adorning the landscape. You feel like you belong here and some part of you always remains there.
Certain events in life clear the fog and put things in perspective. If today was my last day, I would take the first flight to Palo Alto, go to Stanford, and spend my remaining time there. If I could attend some classes, any class, that would be fantastic. I want my last memories to be here, surrounded by the physical embodiment of the knowledge and ideals that push the human race forward.
“Massachusetts has been the wheel within New England, and Boston the wheel within Massachusetts.
It has therefore been the source and fountain of the ideas that have moved and made America, and is, in a high and honourable sense, the hub of the New World”
— Foster Barham Zincke
“I love Los Angeles, and I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.”
— Andy Warhol
“The missionary comes after the whiskey — I mean he arrives after the whiskey has arrived; next comes the poor immigrant, with ax and hoe and rifle; next, the trader; next…
…All these interests bring the newspaper; the newspaper starts up politics and a railroad; all hands turn to and build a church and a jail— and behold, civilization is established for ever in the land.
But whiskey, you see, was the van-leader in this beneficent work. It always is.”
— Mark Twain
“And it is awful here, there is no other way to say it. But I believe that Detroit is America’s city. It was the vanguard of our way up, just as it is the vanguard of our way down. And one hopes the vanguard of our way up again.
Detroit is Pax Americana. The birthplace of mass production, the automobile, the cement road, the refrigerator, frozen peas, high- paid blue-collar jobs, home ownership and credit on a mass scale. America’s way of life was built here.”
— Charlie LeDuff
“My advice for aspiring writers is go to New York. And if you can’t go to New York, go to the place that represents New York to you, where the standards for writing are high, there are other people who share your dreams, and where you can talk, talk, talk about your interests. Writing books begins in talking about it, like most human projects, and in being close to those who have already done what you propose to do.”
— Walter Kirn