Many moons ago, Hillcrest’s Hub plaza converted the choicest parking spaces to charging stations for electric and hybrid vehicles. That’s wonderful for the young, wealthier customers careening into Starbucks or Trader Joe’s but terrible for […]
I can’t imagine why we have come to either the fourteenth or fifteenth black cat—depending on whether or not Betty and Betty, Too are the same animals—without one being named, or in this instance nicknamed, Lucky. The others: Black, Fang, Farfisa, Frenemy, Mika, Pee-Pee, Peohe, Siesta, Skull, Sky, Token, and Wink.
My wife and I encountered Lucky on April 11, 2018 by the same apartment complex where Blue Too and Chub hang out—and presumably live—along Campus Ave. beyond Madison approaching the overlook. I used Leica Q to capture the Featured Image at 8:41 a.m. PDT. Vitals, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/5.6, ISO 320, 1/250 sec, 28mm.
San Diego’s Hillcrest and North Park districts are local cultural and nightlife hotspots, much more so than the neighborhood where my family lives—University Heights. Because of zip codes—92103 vs 92116—there is sometimes confusion, which admittedly may be intentional, about what business belongs to which of the three. For the record, according to the official maps, UH extends outside 92116, well past The Boulevard all the way to Lincoln, which is the last major parallel street before University Avenue and the main Hillcrest and North Park strips.
The historic, and entertainment lively, Lafayette Hotel claims to be “tucked snugly in the vibrant North Park neighborhood”. That would be the case if located on the other side of Texas Street. But the place is “tucked snugly” inside University Heights, I say. Also, El Cajon Blvd is more ghetto than “vibrant”—no disrespect to the businesses along the strip or people living on or around it (I am among the latter).
What a lucky Friday the 13th find is this adorable white, which my wife spotted six days ago as we walked by Carmelita Drive where it meets Mission Hills. Aylin, or so her tag says, stood quietly in the grass of one house before coming out into the street to greet us.
I captured the Featured Image and companion using Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens. Vitals for the first: f/8, ISO 100, 1/60 sec, 50mm; 9:30 a.m. PDT. The other, taken four minutes later, is same except for 1/125 sec shutter speed.
As I walked along Georgia from Howard towards Polk, a hobbling feline approached on the sidewalk. As you can see from the Featured Image, the kitty that I nickname Amble is missing part of the front right leg. The shorthair moved behind cars, found a place to relieve itself, then continued along the wall to the sidewalk, before going up stairs to a dwelling and disappearing beneath.
I captured the moment with the iPhone X second camera, which acts like a 2x optical zoom. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/2558 sec, 6mm; April 14, 2018, 10:43 a.m. PDT.
Along Lincoln Ave., near Vermont Street, a black shorthair stared out a window as I passed on April 2, 2018. The beastie is the twenty-second to appear in the series from behind a window. The beauty that I nickname Sky (can you guess why) is either the thirteenth or fourteenth Halloween cat, depending on whether or not Betty and Betty, Too are the same animals. The others: Black, Fang, Farfisa, Frenemy, Mika, Pee-Pee, Peohe, Siesta, Skull, Token, and Wink.
I captured the Featured Image using Leica M (Typ 262) and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4.8, ISO 200, 1/250 sec, 50mm; 10:33 a.m. PDT. The companion photo is the uncropped original.
This beautiful kitten earns nickname Blend for being somewhat camouflage-colored against an area in the neighborhood known as the Point. My wife and I encountered her quite unexpectedly on April 10, 2018, frolicking about and seeking attentive pats, which you can see Anne giving in the Featured Image and its companion.
We were both concerned about the calico’s interest in the canyon below. Anne and I have often joked about scaling down the hill to Wendy’s for a burger; the fast food place looks so close. There be coyotes, which wouldn’t bother us but could make a snack of our new-found friend.
My wife and I unexpectedly encountered two 18-year-old felines on the same afternoon, April 12, 2018. The first, Precious, lives on Alabama Street. Anne called my attention to the other, on Louisiana between Madison and Monroe; I crossed the street to capture the moment—and unexpectedly meet her owners. Her name, Gracie, comes from the Bible. Appropriately, perhaps, her owner choosing it is called Kitty.
Gracie came to her owners as a pregnant stray, who would bear four kittens. The married couple of five years (at the time) kept the momma—and from the litter one male, who later died. He was a brat, whose misbehavior led her to be somewhat shy and reclusive. But after his untimely passing, she found herself, warming greatly to her caretakers.
We welcome this fine Caturday with the first of two 18-year-old kitties met on the same day, April 12, 2018. Precious resides next to Smokey, who lives, or did, next to Monkey, before his recent passing. Laramie and Lupe are across the street. Those are real names all. Holiday is the other furball from the same block of Alabama. Precious is the seventeenth furball featured in the series from this street.
Her home is undergoing renovations, which presented uncharacteristic sighting opportunity. The owner explained that Precious typically suns behind a grated security door, which makes her difficult to see from outside. But with the enclosure temporarily removed, she sunned in the open doorway while he talked to construction workers.
Along Golden Gate between Cleveland and Maryland Avenues, on April 8, 2018, my wife and I met two kitties that appeared to be companions. I nicknamed the other Bushy. A neighbor says, and I can’t confirm, this lovely calico is Cali.
The shorthair was friendly enough with the neighbor—and her dog Shelly—but kept distance from me. I used Leica Q to capture the Featured Image and its companion, 8:29 and 8:37 a.m. PDT, respectively. Vitals for the first, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm. The second is same, except for shutter speed: 1/400 sec.
The day after seeing E.T. (for Exotic Tail), my wife and I returned to the same place, as I sought another portrait and maybe a name (from the owner). The kitty slept far back in a driveway, and unaccessible. We later came upon two other furballs, along Golden Gate between Cleveland and Maryland Avenues. The first is another tiger tabby with fluffy tail. What a lucky segue. I nickname him Bushy.
The other cat, a calico, will be the series’ next profile. Bushy kept his distance, flanking from the bushes along several houses, while his companion was fairly friendly.
As my wife and I approached the Adams Ave. overlook on April 7, 2018, she spotted a beautiful, bushy-tail tabby skulking behind two cars parked before the canyon. The furball then lay low beneath one of the vehicles, barely visible in the shadows. I have only ever seen one other cat, Grand, in this location— most recently in July 2017.
I am a deliberate shooter, who typically captures an average three photos per subject. But in this instance—laying down on the ground wearing sunglasses and manually focusing Leica M (Typ 262) on a darkened subject—I shot blindly about a dozen-and-a-half portraits from two vantage points while turning the focus ring (and adjusting the aperture). Among them, only one is truly worthy, while denying you glimpse of the magnificent tail (sorry about that).