I’m from Boston, and Reginald Stuckey is not. But like him, I know what it’s like to be an outsider in a foreign city. As the community media person at CoLab, I travel all the time.
In his inaugural Boston video, Stuckey says: “The first thing I had to do, was find a band that wanted to rock it with Stuck.” Watch him find that band in his video below. Don’t short-change yourself; watch this video until at least 48 seconds in.
Stuckey’s videos take place in Cambridge and Boston’s most established places (Newbury Street, Boston Public Garden, Harvard, and MIT) where Stuckey displays distinctly un-Boston behavior (singing, dancing in public, and engaging with groups of people he doesn’t know personally).
In Boston, like most of New England, people don’t say hello to each other on the street or in the halls – an act of respect for the privacy of the passerby. The passerby who saw Mr. Stuckey at his work on Mass Ave., or worse, on Newbury Street, must have been taken aback. But on the videos, they seem don’t seem to react. Perhaps they are offering Mr. Stuckey his privacy.
His videos raise this question: What makes an insider and what makes an outsider to any given place?
Urban planners and scholars are often perpetual outsiders. They bring their expertise to places and make recommendations on transportation, street design, policy, a host of things. Planners have to ask themselves how to be ‘good’ outsiders. Planners are bad outsiders when they think they know more than locals, when they can’t get past data and design, and when they tell but forget to ask.
Reginald S. Stuckey is a good outsider. I like that he says SGYG in his Twitter tagline, because with that gesture, he made me an outsider to his world (Stuckeyville) rather than asking me for an in to mine (Boston). That is a Boston move. He’s prodding without forcing. If you listen to the lyrics, his prod is yet weightier than it looks and sounds.