A couple months ago, I read this post on Craisglist.
Here’s an excerpt:
THOUGHTS FROM A HOMELESS GUY NOW THAT I’M BACK ON MY FEET
I was homeless for about 4 years until the manager of a car dealership took a chance on me and now I am the manager of our detailing department.
Okay, so what are the things that I really appreciate?
- Weather: I don’t pay much attention to weather anymore. On the streets, weather is your life. A homeless guy rummaging for newspapers only wants one section, the weather report. If you can read, and you know the weather, you will have every dude you know asking what is coming.
After reading that, I began to think about how simple it is to tell someone the weather. I love weather. I read the weather in four cities every day: San Francisco, CA, Palo Alto, CA, Richmond, VA, and New York, NY. I used to check more cities, but I’m whittling down. And if someone on the street asked me what weather was coming up, I could probably tell them. The weather is available to me at the push of a button: on my BlackBerry, on my Mac’s dashboard, on the internet at any hour, delivered to me on NPR every morning. The weather is around me just like stock reports or the time of day: basic information that I take for granted.
So I thought it would be nice to make some modular weather fliers to post around SF. A little project to make something in black and white that could be cheaply and easily produced week-to-week, but that would give all the information necessary to know the weather.
The flier is a grid of two weeks, in 7-day rows. Each day has four weather options—sunny, cloudy, rainy and windy—that can be highlighted or circled. Highlighting looks the cleanest, but it also fades in the sun. Depending on the location (and sun exposure), I’ve been using different markings. There’s also room to write-in the date range at the top, the days’ dates on the grid, and each day’s high and low temperature. I designed this specifically for San Francisco, which is why there is no sleet or snow or hail. We just don’t get that kind of weather here.
So I’ve been posting…
Some of the fliers remain for awhile after I post them, others disappear. A homeless man who sometimes sleeps on my block refers to them, and my first post sparked questions from a couple of tourists curious about SF weather. It’s been a nice little exercise.
If you’d like to post weather reports in your own neighborhood, you can download the flier here. For now, it’s SF-ish weather types only.