Instant City developed out of a conversation between co-editor Gravity Goldberg and myself, while I was working as webguy and book buyer at City Lights Books & Publishers, and Gravity was working part-time as a manager at the beloved, if occasionally unkept, Adobe Bookstore (and community institution) in San Francisco’s Mission District.
We were both seeing a tremendous amount of great writing and art coming out of our communities, and there seemed to be few outlet for publishing it all. We decided to publish a magazine that would be an exploration of San Francisco in writing, art, and all-around amateur urbanism. The stories Instant City publishes are all set within the city– all of them hopefully adding up to a specific, subjective vision of the city. We also made the decision not to make a distinction between fiction and non-fiction, historical fact and urban lore, believing that all of these various stories of San Francisco add up to the how the city is imagined by those who live here.
This iteration of the website is the 3rd we’ve created so far. I, along with a colleague from Jschool, Lisa Pickoff-White, adapted the design from the Mimbo theme in WordPress. I’m still busy putting up some of the older content, and working on a few multimedia programs that I hope will take form online.
The print edition of Instant City is going on its 7th issue. You can check out a PDF of the interior of Issue 2 (2004) here