Three days ago, my wife and I spotted a meeting of Ofo bikes, at the medium triangle where Alabama, Mission, and Monroe intersect in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. Today, walking past, we saw them […]
I am no fan of Daylight Saving Time, which commenced today. Grumble. But warm breeze and sunlight pouring through billowing clouds, following heavy rains, made me want to walk—and carry along the Leica M (Typ 262); I need to practice manual focusing on the camera, which has been in my possession for a scant three days.
While the rangefinder pleases, a few gripes are unavoidable: Either my focusing skills are really bad, or the Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens that came with the Oberwerth Set isn’t as sharp as the Summilux 28mm f/1.7 lens built into Leica Q. The aperture ring is a bit too smooth for me, such that I inadvertently change the f-stop when moving the manual focus knob. Someday, soon hopefully, muscle memory will keep stray fingers off the Summarit lens. What did I say about the importance of practice? Eh?
Like mushrooms suddenly appearing after the rain, ride-sharing bicycles are popping up all around my neighborhood (University Heights East) as well as North Park—and from two separate providers: LimeBike and Ofo. The sightings started several weeks ago, one or two, here or there. Now these things are absolutely everywhere!
The Featured Image makes the point. In the foreground, at Alabama and Madison, two Ofos are parked, while across the way—go ahead, count `em—another four can be seen. Out of view are two more further along towards Adams Ave. Photo vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 8:31 a.m. PST, today.
This afternoon I took my Guerciotti bicycle out for what likely was a last ride. After long deliberation, I decided to sell the vintage roadster—and two prospective buyers are tussling for ownership. The bike was a self-given birthday gift in 2013 that I sadly part with. But I tend to walk more than ride, and the 12-speed takes up valuable space (blocking access to the closet in my office). This beast demands to be ridden. Often. And it deserves an owner who will do just that.
During that last ride, while pulling up to Adams Ave. along Mississippi Street, I spotted a set of keys on the ground by a black Toyota Corolla parked behind another vehicle by the Stop sign. After assessing possible places the owner might be, I asked the restaurant right on that corner to take them, reasoning: Likely place for someone to ask if keys had been found. I later posted just-enough limited information on the NextDoor social network, encouraging: “Leave a tip. It was kind of the eatery to take the keys rather than me put them back on the street by the driver’s door, which is where I found them”.
The workspace in our new apartment is something for me to be immensely grateful for this Thanksgiving. While the smaller of two bedrooms, one benefit is larger: The expansive window that looks out onto the street. Hehe, the cats and I share the view, which is on the same side of the building as our living room wrap-arounds. The dimensions offer better usable area than the larger room from our old flat.
The Featured Image, captured at 5:27 p.m. PST yesterday, using Leica Q, shows the view from the doorway. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 2000, 1/60 sec, 28mm. My vintage Guerciotti bike, held upright by Saris “The Boss” stand, is in the foreground. Looking straight down from the roadster to the wall is the Casabelle Mail Center, which I purchased from Pier 1 Imports in late-Spring 2009 for use as my primary writing place. I now mostly use the handsome piece for storage and as pseudo-standup desk.
I prepared, in changing residences here in University Heights, to abandon my beloved, vintage Guerciotti bicycle; the roadster was a self-given birthday present, four years ago. Our new apartment has no garage and, as such, considerably less storage space.
However, because we downsized the spare bed from full to twin, and because of the better dimensions of the room replaced, place could be eked out for my classic bike. Using a stackable stand, Annie could keep her bicycle, too. But she chose to let it go.
Talk to long-time residents in the University Heights neighborhood and ask if they remember my father-in-law, when yes, the answer typically is the same: Riding his bicycle. A lanky man of advanced age makes a long-lasting impression—must be since he gave up the two-wheeler five years ago. Here, he rides a new bike down Cleveland Ave., on Nov. 13, 2008. At that time, he rode 1.5 km or more most every day—including jaunts down Washington Street that even I wouldn’t risk. By 2012, he switched to a pedal-electric hybrid. A few weeks before Thanksgiving that year, someone stole Bob’s bike from his apartment complex’s laundry room, after failing to get coins from the washing machines. He never rode again.
Today, my wife and I closed out her dad’s apartment. He died on Jan. 11, 2017, the month after reaching 95 years-old. The last item to go was his kitchen table and chairs, which I posted for free to Craigslist. I stared long at the smokey-glass top table, reminiscing, while waiting for the pickup. Anne or I spent most of our time visiting her dad seated there together. Somehow it’s fitting the dining furniture should be the last belongings to leave his place.
I took my Guerciotti bicycle out on the road today—perhaps the first time in over a year. That’s a bad habit I must cure.
I bought the roadster from a shop in San Diego’s North Park municipality that sells older road warriors. Near as my limited research reveals, and please someone correct me, this is a mid-1980s Sprint built around an Alan-made Aluminum frame (Corsa 487 tubing). She’s light—I’d guess not much more than 9 kilos (20 pounds) as rigged. Major components are Campagnolo-made, including the rims.
If you followed this series for the past 52 days, a pattern may be obvious. Not all, in fact not many, of the photographers are professionals. That’s particularly true for Bob Mical, whom I hope won’t be offended by my expressing such. The best pics aren’t those that stand as works of art but which matter most to you and to friends or family; and the story each image tells about these people.
I see in stand-out photography, particularly events, a quality Bob demonstrates: Willingness to get in, and get down if necessary, for the best shot. That quality makes this photo of a racer during the 2014 VA State Cyclocross Championships today’s selection. Sports photography isn’t easy, and should be more than stopping the action with the longest lens.
I am quite reflective about San Diego Comic-Con on this fine Saturday. An hour from now, thousands of people will begin the registration process that, from 9 a.m. PST, will let them into the online waiting room where they might be chosen to purchase tickets. I will be among them, for the first time since moving to San Diego in October 2007. My attendance was always guaranteed, for being a news reporter.
But SDCC has yet to re-certify my press status, and as time drags on the likelihood diminishes. Earlier this week, I received email indicating eligibility to participate in Open Registration, for which I am hugely appreciative. I worried about my uncertain status locking me out from purchasing tickets. Press get free admission, which is a benefit I can take or leave; paying is no problem. It is the assured admission that matters to me.
At age 25, I begrudgingly got my driver’s license. How un-American, right? Or strange given I grew up in Northern Maine, where snow covers the ground seven months of the year. But anywhere I couldn’t walk, I biked. So it is with delight that today’s Flickr pic represents a bicycle enthusiast, and he has so many great photos posted (more than 26,000) choosing one is challenging. Self-titled “Style Over Speed” is by no means his best, not by any measure, but it’s such a poser I couldn’t resist.
Film director Mikael Colville-Andersen, who joined Flickr in August 2006, lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. His street photography is art. He writes: “Zakkatography is a state of mind. It’s a taste in your mouth, a warm fuzzy feeling. It’s groovy interior design shots, stunning architectural studies and it’s especially raw streetaciousness. Urban fragments with urban creatures. Zakkatography is your friend. Embrace it”. I will, and so should you!
My daughter broke down with our Toyota Yaris overnight. Waiting on AAA now. Lucky I have alternate transportation.