February 21, 2015

Made It

by Jude Feldman

Hoo-kay.  Y'all are challenging my heavily-ingrained cynicism here, people.  And I have never, ever in my life been happier to have been dead wrong, so THANK YOU.

I don't even know where to start.  Since we came to the conclusion that we would not be able to keep the bookstore open last November, I have been through all the stages of grief, and I had finally hit acceptance.  And then, just three days ago, we thought that maybe, just maybe, if the stars were right and crazy miracles occurred, we might not have to close.  I didn't want to hope too hard and be disappointed; it would be too awful.  I have said before in my editorial pieces that this is the best job I have ever had and the best I could have hoped for.  The idea that I wouldn't be able to do it any more was frankly breaking my heart, but I'm a realist as well as a dreamer, and I do understand that when things are inevitable, it's better to just deal with them.  It's my mantra when stuck in traffic: "I can be late and upset, or I can just be late".

Still, I felt like a part of me was dying.  And on top of all of the other changes and losses in this city, I felt helpless and angry.  I moved here because San Francisco was WEIRD.  It's meant to be for the dreamers and the poets and the artists and the people who think it's a great idea to unicycle naked down the street, or dress up as foliage and scare the tourists.  It's meant to champion diversity and the little guy and the crazy people who have big ideas.  Emperor Norton's city -- that's MY San Francisco, and that's Borderlands' San Francisco. I felt like it was slipping away, and there wasn't anything I could do except try to remember the good times, accept it with grace, and to ensure that our employees landed on their feet.

And then all of you spoke up.  Borderlands has always been more than just a store, or just a job, for me; I've poured heart and soul and time and even a bit of blood into it - OF COURSE it's vital to me.  But I didn't understand how vital it was to other people, too.  I didn't understand that it represented the same (or similar) things to you.  And I apologize for underestimating you.

I'm a mess right now, in the best way I can be.  The last three weeks have been literally unbelievable - if you'd described them to me in advance, I would have laughed at you.  I am extremely under-slept and hyper-emotional and thoroughly dazed.  I was joking with Alan that "The next time we're going to hit the national media, let's not, okay?" (And I _wasn't_ the one who had to talk to all the reporters, and out-fence Fox News, who were asking "Have you stopped beating your wife?" - style questions.)

I'm having a tough time being linear, let alone eloquent, right now.  I'm crying all over the keyboard.  But thank you.  Thank you so much for letting me keep doing what I love best in the world; thank you for doing your part to help keep San Francisco weird; and thank you for helping to preserve space for the dreamers.  I have never before thought that loving something as hard as you could was enough to change anything -- that sounds like something that only happens in stories -- in fantasy.  But you proved me wrong.  So thank you for letting us continue to champion imagination, because as you've proved conclusively, it really can change the world.

(Note - As of approximately 2:30pm today we reached our goal of 300 sponsors.  Borderlands will remain open until at least March 31st, 2016.  Thank you all and please feel free to keep signing up for sponsorships - there is no maximum number of sponsors. -- A.B.)


  1. All I can say is YESSSSSSS!!!!!

  2. I can't quite believe that it's already happened! If we get the store 3,000 members can we have the bookstore *and* the cats back? (I can always hope.)

    1. Dear Lady Laura,

      If we get to 3000 sponsors, I will personally build a cat visiting room where sponsors can hang out with bald cats to their hearts content. That's a promise. I'll even give up my shop in the basement as space for it, if necessary.

      Thank you for the support and the cat-love. Frost, Hudson, and Newt all appreciate it . . . and now they want you to give them treats.


  3. I can't stop crying either! I am so happy for you guys! And the rest of us! :D I couldn't stand the thought of there being no more Borderlands. That just didn't seem possible.

  4. Party like 60s Berkeley http://www.berkeleyside.com/2015/02/20/film-of-1965-party-at-moes-books-found-at-berkeley-dump/

  5. Very glad that this worked out (my husband and I are in the 300 club). Hope this continues to be a working solution for a very long time.

  6. Congratulations, Jude and Alan! So glad to hear the news!

  7. And you didn't need a Kickstarter, just a phone, and a door people could walk through. See you soon, and see you later!

  8. So glad you made it. Congratulations! I will stop by the store in a little while to congratulate you all in real life today!

  9. This made me cry, too :)

  10. Congratulations, I'm so glad you made it! (With luck I will see the store some day, far, far in the future.)

  11. This is wonderful news! I'm thrilled for you. I will make sure to visit sometime very soon.

  12. YAY! So glad to hear this; you deserve the best!

  13. Beautiful! Fantastic! I'm absolutely thrilled to hear this. SF wouldn't be the same without you guys, you're one of my favorite bookstores in the world. More than that, I LOVE how the community turned out to save a piece of what makes our city still such a wonderful place to live. I'll be in this weekend for my next Culture novel and to say congrats in person :D