Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back to Miami

I returned to Fukuoka Thursday, thirteen days before the official end of the retreat. It's been a mostly rainy weekend and I've spent a good part of it writing about my experience at Shogoji. I'll be posting some of that shortly, but in the meantime I wanted to share something unrelated.

Last night I took a trip back to the place where I grew up. I saw my old street, the houses where my friends lived. Like it was 30 years ago, I left home and walked to school. I didn't need to consult a map. The memory of the streets and the directions were still there in my flesh and bones.

And it wasn't a dream. You can do the same with Google Maps.

After you have Google opened in your web browser, type in your former address, hit return, then at top-left click Maps. You should then see a satellite photo of the surrounding area, with a pop-up box that includes a photo. Click on Street View and the pop-up reconfigures to a scrollable, 360 degree, photographic representation of that street. Click on the direction arrows to move north, south, east or west. You can also click-hold on the photo and by moving the mouse rotate your view.

Our house on NW 201st Street

Norwood elementary school

Our family church, what used to be Bethany Lutheran, now Grace United

I haven't been back to Miami since 1980. None of my family lives there anymore and I've lost track of friends. I sometimes wondered what the place looks like. Now I know.

Click the video below for appropriately nostalgic background music for your own search.