Timeline & findings
Make a prediction!
The history of Somerville, 2010-2100 Contact

Between February 2009 and December 2010, we spoke to hundreds of people about the future. A few dozen of these people were nice enough to make predictions about the future.

Some of these predictions took the form of elaborate short stories, or intricate drawings or maps.

Click on their names to see what these participants submitted to the project. (Note: to see these predictions in context, click on "Timeline & findings", above.)

Adam Olenn
Alain Jehlen
Alana Kumbier
Alex Pirie
Amara Good
Andrew Lynch
Auditi Guha
Ayanna B
Bambi Good
Ben Husk
Bill Rankin
Bill Ritchotte
Columbine Phoenix
Emily Arkin
Hannah Beynon Strutt
Heather Berlowitz
Heather Pena
Jay O'Grady
Jenn Harrington
Jennifer Mazer
Jessica Straus
Jim H.
Josh Burchord
Julia Fairclough
Karen Krolak
Lauren Schumacher
Lawrence Paolella
Linda Frye Burnham
Linda Haviland Conte
Louis Epstein
Maureen Barillaro
Neil Horsky
Pam Summa
Paul Johns
Rachel Strutt
Robin Wilcox
Sandra Day Smith
Seth Itzkan
Stacy Hill and Erin Leiman
Steven Popkes
Ted Bach
The Dan Crary Fan Club
Tim Devin
"Tinkerbell's human companion"
Wesley Heidi
and a number of Anonymous people


hey ben,
dark now, or rather, the sun has set---billions of tiny blazes bobbing in the sky, sometimes i imagine they're fireflies, sometimes i imagine they're fairies, tinkerbell; sometimes they come in, the crack in a window, the bathroom drain, a vent, hovering, teeny little lights blinking, wee propellers buzzing, some're blimps, zeppelins, others're jets, pistons, cargo crafts, copters, yachts- it all started, they say, with some safety now referendum, video taken to flight, into wind, drifting down sidewalks and side streets, got smaller, got sneaky, sly; to placate crowds ranting, raving, they gave the power to 'em---'stead of those model cars of old: model spybots...what a way to gain model citizens...we've always wanted to be the fly on the wall-now we're on the wall, in the cupboard, the closet, under the bed, a pinky-toe-sized muck truck, snowblower, chrysler windsor convertible, a plow-

yeeeeeaaaah, they brought me back to life- after that first year, after the fog had gone, this hazy ache, when i realized what those nutters had done, i was no less than bloody pissed, thought i'd been wick'd to cinder, ash, 'deed that's where my body had gone, but some mortuary creep plopped my brain in a bucket, gave it to the scientists- it is not that i was unique, just timing i suppose, good'r bad, finally won that lottery, random select- hell, don't even know how I died, in order to bring life back, gotta excise death outta mind, they're still trying to figure out how to do it, minus superfantastic-nanoscale cell lobotomy, to the now living-

i was never one for tears; maybe it's this body, an overload of emoticons, but i wailed all through the second year- then they told me i could be blue and the wailing became a moan; then they put this new blue bod in my old brick building, best view in the world, and the moan became mumbled murmur; then they told me what they had in store, i only whimper, slightly, a small sigh, now and then- they're calling it the great un-rebuilding- things got complicated in these years past, more more more the motto---so boom went ball square, broadway; unique left union; teele's tarnished; quaint got run down on quiet streets; only davis survived- the change wasn't bad necessarily, just wasn't what it was- sidewalks smoothed, trees upheaved, modern molded into those empty spaces; little things, creaks of doors calmed, a platitude of new-hyper-pantone painted porches, somerville high school's a museum now, classrooms swept of students: the server schools-

we're always on this race towards perfection, thinking change will bring it, but i always thought somerville, my somerville, was the perfect place- if change in a person is at all possible, it is not people that provide for the change---nanas can nag all they wanna, we ain't revising ourselves forever for 'em, no matter how deep our love---but place has power and we all have a sense for it, every breath of every breath of every breath gets taken in by every breath we breathe; the very sound of a city, our womb- but it's not to say nothing came from it all- history erupted right here in this town, f'r good (the nave's nine hundred and ninth exhibit; the rococo-boloco period, the miracle 5 million)...'r bad (recessions of '52...city hall cut to condos, sac got sacked, the libraries went to lettuce; the great brain barn burning, burned and burned and burned, the stench of thoughts turned to toast...last straw for the carnivores), there's just too much to catch up on-

but this i know: although i did not stay here, gasped my last (the first time) elsewhere, i became a better person in this city i once knew; it gave me opportunity to try- wandering streets---morning: bulldozers grazing on somerville ave., salvia smiles of pups romping in their park, so many single socks strewn to the sides of things; nights: counting slugs, racing from that same damn skunk, stoop sitting in the dark, streetlights beaming on tops of tips of leaves, hearing that hum underneath the sound of cabs passing, the hollerers hooting, buses belching by---could cure any heartache-

some things can never change, i don't bother telling them this, and some things can never change back, don't bother telling 'em this either---we've always known: we're horrible...just hurts too much to accept we'll always be---no matter how much we're spied on, no matter how "safe," we'll find more sneaky ways to commit to bad intentions---but we still crave to be saved, our only grace---so's our fate to always strive for something different (to be better) all the while looking over the shoulder, yearning for what we left behind (when it seems we were)-

won't be around when they wake you up- put in a request to end my time- i've had some years watching them rebuild some of those things I love---all those coffee, omelet, and cupcake wars reassembled; knit trees; crumble bits under the mcgrath; they even brought back the better half of the abbey...p.a.'s stayed (always the tougher)- and I may have gotten a few white lie requests through too---the fact checkers of the future are weak---but i really do think there should be a del's lemonade and a big blue bug in every town, don't you?

fug. gotta go now. there's a pink mini malibu barbie convertible staring in my eye, trying to find my soul---i won't let it.


postscript: watch out walking behind the aliens, they poop fluff.

(source: Jenn Harrington)