Hello World!

Posted on by Jeff Lagasca

Me

Today’s the day! My new Web site is finally complete, and I can finally exhale all my collective, rampant and random bursts of personal creativity to share this long labor of love wrapped up in a few handfuls of my corner of the World Wide Web!

For those of you who know me personally are familiar that I’m not quite new to blogging… in fact, think way back to the days of b2, right when Blogger and WordPress were taking baby steps. I had been part of the nacent cultural phenomenon that was known as web logging. Back then, blogs were more personal, soap-box-like platforms where the reach of your literary wit was only as good as the small’ish community that shared your views; mininal magnetic forces drew overactive digital telescopes that, if you were lucky, stopped scanning the web long enough to pause and read your rants and raves; or, like me, your blog was a personal space to share your life with friends.

Back then, I was a student in Davis, California, a tree-shaded, sleepy valley town where bikes outnumbered cars three to one. I studied Psychology and Anthropology at UC Davis, was a student activist within the ranks of the campus’ and state’s LGBT community and was also a fledgeling Graphic and Web Designer for the campus’ office of Information and Educational Technology. My winters were spent snowboarding around Tahoe, summers often passed on the beach or exploring the coastal forests around Bay Area, and school year working with friends and mentors to make Davis comfortable place to live for fellow queer students. Though I loved Davis, I never really took off academically, BUT, I managed to make a lot of progress outside the classroom the last few years in school. I guess you can say that my tuition went to a more worldly education, I still look back on those years in school proudly and affectionately!

Soon after leaving Davis in 2005, I aimed my dreams on San Francisco, confident my passions layed in building community and graphic design, however, after a year searching for work in both fields in the Bay Area, I was still jobless! A few bites, freelance gigs and opportunities to volunteer with San Francisco community orgs that basically turned into dead ends or second bests (either my degrees were not appropriate, or I had been competing with fellow designers with 5-15 years of work, victims of the 2001 dot-com bubble bursting). I even distinctly remember auditioning for a Verizon TV commercial around San Francisco’s Potero Hill, but didn’t get a callback.

Times were a bit rough and confidence testing. I knew I had the talent and that just needed to be recognized and given a chance to shine outside of the academic arena. Then the idea of New York flooded into my conscious…

I spent a lot of time in San Francisco during my college years and enjoyed the foggy city’s big city look, but also appreciated the lax attitude that accompanied skyscrapers and steep hills. Twice, I visited New York City while in school, and I enjoyed the visits both times, the East Coast was bursting with an intense energy, scary by Davis standard.

However, two important personal qualities hung in my mind: ONE, I was ultimately an explorer, traveling to other parts of the country and world really exposed my interest in understanding different cultures; even my time as a student activist, learning about and working for the Queer movement in California ultimately turned out to be a learning experience for me; and, TWO, I was young enough that uprooting and replanting myself across the country was something I may never be able to do once I accumulated more years. I felt an urge for change and was willing to gamble on striking out in an exciting city which seemed half a world away at the time!

I arrived in New York at 6:15am on August 14th, 2006, fortunate enough to have incredibly generous friends who were willing to take me in while I searched for a job and get familiar with my new city. I remember looking out of my hosts’ kitchen window in Queens, the sky was semi-lit by the rising sun, Manhattan’s skyline glimmered in the distance. Everything seemed new, California far away, physically, but still rapt in my conscious and heart, I had never been so homesick in my entire life… I clearly remember thinking to myself that New York City would either strengthen my faith in humanity or completely destroy it!

The next few weeks, I spent my days applying and interviewing for work, exploring as much of the city as I could and learning the ins and outs of New York culture. I walked and subwayed and ultimately found an appreciation for living without cars. Ultimately, I spent so much time immersing myself in New York, and loving the city that my previously subscribed forms of entertainment (namely TV) became an afterthought.

By my fifth week in New York I had landed several interviews with Non-profits, community art magazines, the Apple Store (I thought it would be a good way to meet fellow transplants) and at a barely started internet start-up. My sixth week brought four offers! I accepted one, and, this is where my tenure at Sosauce began. I took two weeks to vacation back in California, and then arrived back in New York on Halloween 2006 for work (for some reason, some of my most significant life events have happened to land on Halloween. More on that later.)

So yes, my “Hello World” post largely sums up my pre-New York life, but I figure I can queue you in on the last two years and more over the next few? Let’s get the party started!

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