I'm on a train to Ottawa after spending three weeks at CB's BlackBerry 10 launch campaign headquarters in Toronto, and naturally, the idea of coming home is on my mind. I can't help but think that there are a lot of people in the same position as me: I started the smartphone journey with BlackBerry, flirted with other platforms, but returned thanks to the prospect of the BlackBerry Z10. Even though I kept using my Bold 9900 throughout my time on Android Central and iMore since starting at Mobile Nations a little over a year ago, it was easy to feel out of touch with what was going on in the world of apps without an Android or iOS device nearby. That said, the last week has been really great, if only because I can go back to carrying one phone around again and not always have one foot out the door.
The story of a plucky Canadian underdog that revolutionized an industry, fell on hard times, and made an inspiring comeback sure is compelling, but I think for individual users that are picking up BlackBerry Z10s, it's going to be something much more personal. Pretty ladies all over the place are likening the situation to meeting up with an old boyfriend. They had a good thing going for awhile, but she got distracted by a little somethin'-somethin' on the side. The original couple drifted apart, but bumped into each other haphazardly down the line. Hoo-whee, had he been working out. They got back together and happyfunsexytimes were had by all.
To me, the BlackBerry 10 situation is much more like our living arrangements at CrackBerry headquarters in Toronto. When we told locals where we were set up, reactions ranged from mild surprise to genuine concern. That part of town had a reputation for being sketchy and run-down. Behold the shock of visitors when they arrived to find that it wasn't the place they remembered at all. Significant investments had been made, the work had been put in, and now in there was a gorgeous landscape of modern condominiums. The surrounding neighborhood still had plenty of the old shops open, which would both be unwelcome to the new people moving in and the last vestiges of familiarity for the locals that had stayed there through the hard times, but a few promising new businesses were getting in early and already seeing plenty of success.
Some braved snowstorm conditions to visit the area based solely on the BlackBerry-lovers they knew in the area, while others, understandably, couldn't justify the effort of hauling ass across town in a blizzard. Maybe next time. While I'm excited for the new people moving in, the visitors checking things out, and the new stores opening, I can certainly appreciate the dramatic (not necessarily good or bad) changes that have to be consolidated by the people that have been living in the neighborhood for decades. It's a lot of construction to have to deal with, even now with the core residences built. Though development firms are no doubt trying to retain what gave this neighborhood its character, many things are bound to be lost to the sands of time.
They say you can never go home, and under those conditions, it's easy to believe. After a lengthy time away from home myself - both Ottawa and BlackBerry - I'm eager to discover exactly how much has changed and how much more is due in the coming months.
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