Armand taking a photograph of Shalwah Evans for her column.

Sunday was Armand Emamdjomeh’s last full day in the Mission before heading south this morning to begin a job at the Los Angeles Times.

Photography is how most readers have gotten to know Armand, as he’s recorded the neighborhood over the last two years, keffiyeh tied around his neck, a camera always slung over his shoulder.

Armand instructing Andrea Valencia on how to use a video camera.

What you might not know is that Armand was one of the founders of Mission Loc@l, one who stayed around the longest and had an early and important influence on the look, feel and success of the site.

He approached that task with a lot of respect — roaming the place, talking to people, observing, taking his time here and then moving to the Mission. The latter, he said, was a decision he made after sleeping in the office and discovering that even though it had been cold as hell, it was still better to wake up in the Mission.

Armand created — unasked — the 24th and Mission Street logo. I sent him file after file of Rini Templeton’s work to add, and he chose her sweeper. Others hated the sweeper, but we didn’t care, we bonded over our love for it (and a shared stubborn streak).

In those first months, when readers were scarce, Armand was key in figuring out the blogging world — reading them and reaching out.

Armand on his last day in the Mission.

Good Morning, Mission? Ha! Armand rarely wakes up early, yet he created this column — without asking.

One morning it was just there.

We have to do it, he said, explaining later how it was smart to aggregate what others were writing about the Mission. He didn’t suffer and rise early to write it — he just stayed up later and he wrote it better than any of us.

This was that first column:

Welcome to a new – experimental – feature from Mission Loc@l, where we attempt to gather everything the web has to offer on the Mission District each day.

The Mission blogosphere is ablaze today with one thing: Mission Street Food’s inauguration gala.

Mission Mission, Beer & Nosh, and of course, Burrito Justice were all at the Lung Shan restaurant for this week’s event.

Meanwhile, Mission Mission also points us to a map of the old Mission railroad. Nice work, Adrian.

Nice work, Armand.

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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