Sunday, September 20, 2009

Self-Storage: The Museum of Me

Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA, August 2009

While I have no financial interest, or known relationship to the owners of McGee's Self-Storage (pictured above), I do have an abiding interest in the intersection of personality, self-identity and expertise.

So I was happy when we were able to snap this photograph where those three elements come together, and even more pleased when journalist Jon Mooallem took up the topic of America's pre-occupation with self-storage in a recent feature in The New York Times' Magazine earlier this month.

Self-storage is something we've discussed on this blog before, but Mooallem's analysis linking American identity, consumer culture, and the proliferation of self-storage companies nationwide was a welcome and extended commentary.

Mooallem shows how self-storage companies profit by creating a space where we can preserve our multiple selves, a sort of uncurated private and enclosed museum of me.

And now the mini-storage industry even offers to bring us happiness: this, from the downtown 3 train on the IRT this past week . . .