We wanted it to be like the San Francisco we remembered and first fell in love with - a puddle of light that led you to a doorway you'd never noticed before.

We schemed for a long time. Would it be a garage with a roll-up door? Would it be a tent that we could set up in a vacant lot and then roll up and disappear with if we attracted too much attention? A tech entrepreneur offered us free warehouse space as long as he could use whatever we built for orgies during the off hours. We declined. It sounded sticky.

The simple act of looking for something means that strangers begin to offer you things, even if the thing they are offering you is not what you are looking for. In their secret hearts, people love puzzles, and will go to great lengths to find solutions. In this story: we met someone.

She had a key to a four-story hotel, she said. The hotel had a solid fourth floor and ground floor, with two rotted floors in between.

It was a ghost in the middle of a crowded city - remaining only because the governor had just eliminated every redevelopment agency in California, and it takes cash and governance to knock down something that large. At the moment, no one had either.

The project became something else - an exploration of where you're not supposed to be and who you are when you get there.

For two nights, guests gathered in a public plaza nearby and were brought, secretly, to an exhibition of photographs taken of other people who had arrived there, secretly.

The police came. They seemed more amused than anything else. We were also fortunate that they left before the stairwell broke.

The stairwell was rebuilt by a chivalrous opera singer. We swore never to do it again. Not until the next time.