Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Have Seen the Future

Three years ago, I placed an order with Neighborhoodies. Black hoodie, front zip, teal letters slanting in rounded capitals on the back: I Have Seen the Future.

This was well before I knew what my future would actually contain—before I started college, before I decided to concentrate in history, before I knew that the next four years would contain countless yellowing magazines and aging photographs. At the time, history meant one thing to me, and one thing only. And that thing was world's fairs. Also known as My Obsession.

The Trylon and Perisphere at the 1939 New York World's Fair.
Photograph from the New York Public Library.

It started with a term paper on world's fairs during my junior year of high school, but soon my fascination had spiraled out of control. I remember stumbling into a used bookshop the sleepless afternoon after finishing a world's fair paper draft, and blearily asking for artifacts—anything to mark the moment. The store owner found me a pamphlet from the 1939 New York World's Fair—by far, my favorite—and handed it to me in its sturdy plastic sleeve. It was out of my price range, but I was well beyond logic. I bought it anyway.

The hoodie came the next year. Unsurprisingly, it was a world's fair reference—visitors to the 1939 New York World's Fair who attended General Motors' Futurama exhibit received "I Have Seen the Future" pins on their way out. One day, not long after I started wearing my future hoodie, someone stopped me on my way to class and asked me, "How is it?" I was startled, and fumbled, "How is what?"

"The future," he replied.

Of course.

Inspired by this Wired article on The Original Futurama, which today caused me to just about explode with happiness.

1 comment:

Matsonian said...

Very cool. If you don't mind I am going to link your hoodie story to my site at www.neighborhoolemds.com