Category: Food

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Sonic Boom of Behavioral Change

Around lunchtime today, when walking home from Von’s supermarket with cheap canned cat food, I got a hankering for a Sonic burger. We rarely eat out and the fast-food place was one of my father-in-law’s favorites. I thought to simultaneously see how the take-out experience has changed and to venture down memory lane. Surprise doesn’t enough express what I found or—stated differently—didn’t.

I stepped inside the restaurant to see chairs stacked on tables in fashion to cordon off most of the dining room. The menu screens were dark, as was the overall ambience. I could enter because roller-skating servers (e.g. carhops) exit through the same doors to deliver meals to parked vehicles. I vamoosed.

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The Innovative Urban Garden

Around front of the property where I observed “Carport Lettuce” in July 2020, the hydroponic operation has grown to include chickens. In August 2021, a trailer took the setup on the road. Somebody is an ambitious and clever urban farmer.

The Featured Image is for the birds, while the companion shows off some of the growing apparatus. Vitals, aperture manually set for both: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 3:20 p.m. PDT. The other is same but two minutes later.

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A New Vision

We begin a series of posts looking at what was along Park Blvd between El Cajon and Meade in San Diego neighborhood University Heights and what replaces it. On most Friday afternoons, New Vision Christian Fellowship opened its doors to give away food. Long lines formed, with recipients largely making up two disparate demographic groups: The elderly and Hispanic families.

I used Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens to capture the Featured Image and companion on April 27, 2018. Vitals for both: f/5.6 (guess), ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 50mm; 5:06 p.m. PDT.

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Serve One Up for Linus

Shouldn’t September 12 be considered a wee bit early for Halloween? Can we not wait until October? But marketing seasonal spicy drinks knows no bounds. The sign stands on the corner of Alabama and Mississippi, outside Mystic Mocha, which is an iconic coffee shop and eatery in my San Diego neighborhood.

The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2, today, but I first saw the advert on the eighth. I made shots at two different apertures and fiercely debated with myself about which to share. In the end, I prefer the wider depth of field of the narrower aperture, which keeps the University Heights sign and storefront in the range of focus. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 1:02 p.m. PDT.

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Not One Crisis, But Two

Two days ago, I looked upon something surprising inside the Grocery Outlet, located in San Diego neighborhood Talmadge: An empty display case for Mexican Coca-Cola. Shall we blame supply chain disruptions that every fear-mongering pundit has blabbered about for months? The beverage, sweetened with cane sugar instead of corn syrup, is popularly stocked by many grocery stores in this area of SoCal.

But far more unsettling is the price. Mexican Coke, sold in glass bottles, is perennially priced 99 cents. A buck sixty-nine puts inflation and rising food/beverage prices into piercing perspective. That’s a 70.7 percent increase, by the way. Yikes!

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The Public Market

Before California’s governor shut down businesses, organizations, schools, and other establishments under the guise of combating SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19, my wife and I frequently visited Liberty Station in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood. The former Naval Training Center offers great space to walk around; I relished the green outdoor area with dirt paths, flanked by buildings of intriguing architectural style.

Nearly 30 months after the first of several “stay-at-home” orders and about a half-year since the last meaningfully oppressive mandates, we have yet to resume some pre-pandemic habits—like Liberty Station, which visit was so long ago that I can’t recall when.

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The Obstacle

File the Featured Image in the category of “look up”. Because, until this evening when conducting an online image search, I had no idea that this hanging thing—upon which I repeatedly bonked my head over several months—is a banana flower. If I understand rightly, and someone correct me if mistaken, bananas should have been seen growing above had I turned my eyes upward.

I don’t exactly recall over which sidewalk the bulbous object hung, but it would be somewhere on the East side of Park Blvd in San Diego neighborhood University Heights. My guess: Louisiana or Mississippi street.

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Beyond Lemons

We turn back the clock to the early days of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns—to when flatten-the-curve meant about two weeks of home confinement and business closures. Instead, some states served up seemingly never-ending mandates; yes, California among them.

The Featured Image is a reminder and portender of future events, should food shortages become commonplace. What interests me here, though, when reviewing my archive tonight, is the juxtaposition of free lemons set inside a Beyond Burger box.

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Mary Poppins Would Approve

From Sept. 22, 2020, the outdoor patio of El Zarape beckons for customers during SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns. I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/2611 sec, 26mm; 10:30 a.m. PDT.

The Eatery is along Adams Avenue at the edge of San Diego neighborhood Normal Heights. Vantage is 32nd Street.

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Leggo My Eggo

I dismissed the Featured Image, after taking it using Leica Q2 on Sept. 3, 2021. But tonight, while looking for something to share, I reconsidered the street shot.

My wife and I passed the discarded instant waffle, while walking along either Alabama or Mississippi on our way to Smart & Final in San Diego neighborhood North Park. Who left it, and why? Did someone accidentally “leggo my Eggo”, referring to the long-time marketing tagline? Blueberry!

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Will the Meaning be Lost?

So-o-o, should I presume somebody’s sidewalk message is meant to be sarcastic? According to the good folks at Merriam-Webster, a factory farm is “a large industrialized farm, especially: a farm on which large numbers of livestock are raised indoors in conditions intended to maximize production at minimal cost”. Presumption: Animal cruelty—or so claims fourteen of the first fifteen results to my search query.

Let me ask then: We should eat less food as a means of not supporting factory farming? That starvation will put the entities out of business and thus diminish livestock hardship? Timing is odd, given all the warnings about food shortages.

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Grow Your Own

Along the fence of the house from which grapevines draped over the sidewalk (August 2021), today I saw something unexpected and presumably quite new—as the Featured Image and companions reveal. Little lending libraries with books are all over my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights (Examples: One, Two, Three, Four). But this is the first seen sharing seeds. Small supply there may be but hopefully growing. I know. I know.

Vitals: f/4, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 6:24 p.m. PDT. The trio comes from Leica Q2, and this one is composed as captured. I chose the angled view to diminish glare and reflection off the glass.