“The Turning Point” (markbittner.net) is the web site for Mark Bittner. I’m best known for my participation in the documentary film The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. I’m also the author of a book of the same title, which was a New York Times bestseller.
Besides basic biographical and contact information, the site focuses on four areas of my work. One is The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, which includes my book, the film, and my photographs of the parrots. This is a new site, and the writing on the flock will be scanty for a while.There are photographs in the gallery, and I will be adding more.
A second area of focus is my current and primary project, a memoir titled Street Song and an accompanying set of recordings, Street Songs. The two works tell the story of the unusual turn my life took when I abandoned everything—work, home, friends—and ended up spending 14 years as a homeless seeker on the streets of North Beach in San Francisco. Prior to that I’d been a street singer, and the one state slid into the other. Both projects are nearing completion.
A third feature of the site is a blog. I call it “The Turning Point,” and it gives the site its name. It’s my contention that we’re at a major turning point in history, one that has been a long time coming and that at the moment we can scarcely imagine. I believe my 14 years on the street provide me with a perspective that few people have today. Some will find my views startling. But they are not wild ideas. I didn’t dream them up all by myself. I heard most of them from others first. They have kept my attention for decades, and I’ve found confirmation for them over and over. The 2016 election in particular verified much of what I’ve been seeing. I will write about other areas that interest me, but the coming changes and what preceded them will be my main focus.
My intention is for the site to be text heavy. I’m interested in ideas. But, for relief, the site’s fourth area of focus is a gallery of photographs—of the wild parrots, some documentation of my Street Song project, as well as some general interest photos.
This site is in part an effort to escape the shallow confines of Facebook, which for several years has been my main arena for trying to talk about what I see. I encourage reader participation in the blog. We need a change. Let’s talk about it.