Category: Photo

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Flickr a Week 23: ‘Black Lives Matter Protest, Seattle WA’

The series spotlights the current crisis raging across America for the second of three consecutive entries. To recap: Nine days ago, George Floyd died in the custody of Minneapolis police. The Hennepin County corner has certified the death as a homicide, and police officer Derek Chauvin is charged with murder. Since, protests in most major metropolitans are rife with looting, property destruction, and violence.

Black Lives Matter Protest, Seattle WA“, one of a collection of street shots using the same self-title, quite literally illuminates pent-up rage and resentment from some and attempts to create anarchy by others. America is at war, with itself.

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Feel Free to Flee, Bud

Raging riots—er, protests—across the country shine spotlights on law enforcement, following release of citizen-captured video showing the death of George Floyd under the knee of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. A lifetime—oh, yeah, just eight days—has passed since the incident that precipitated looting, property destruction, and violence in major cities across America, including San Diego.

Is surveilling cops the new thing, in the wake of the alleged MPLS murder and its aftermath? I wonder. Today, as I walked through the alley separating Campus and North, flashing cop car lights along Monroe near Park caught my attention. Approaching, I saw some dude apparently filming what looked like an insignificant incident—something to do with a car that would later be towed. His iPhone pointed at one of the two “Protect and Serve” vehicles. I circled and captured four shots of him, using Leica Q2, from two different vantage points. Apparently, he saw me take the last photo, pulled back the smartphone, and walked off fairly fast—to the corner, around it, and away.

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Flickr a Week 22a: ‘I Can’t Breathe’

The entry previously planned for today is now queued for mid-July, which reveals just how far in advance posts are prepared. I made the change around 9 p.m. PDT last evening, to make place for a provocative and timely street portrait by Miki Jourdan. Reason: Protests, riots, looting, and property destruction are underway in major metropolitans across the United States; Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, MinneapolisNew York, and Washington, DC are among them. City-wide curfew is underway in LA, as I write, while Minnesota’s governor has mobilized the National Guard to the Twin Cities.

The incendiary that set the country ablaze was the death of George Floyd, an African-American man arrested six days ago for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill and who died in police custody, while Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on the victim’s neck. The tinder is much more than racial tension; many millions of Americans already are frustrated by “stay-at-home” and “social distancing” orders; closing of most businesses and all schools; cancellation of many summer events; and sudden, explosive unemployment—sacrifices meant to slow spread of  SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19. What had been economic and viral pandemics adds another: violence.

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The Incident on Cleveland Avenue

The overflowing mailboxes outside the US Post Office in Hillcrest seemed afternoon walk-reward enough until I came upon the ruckus along Cleveland Ave. between Tyler and Van Buren, which are in University Heights. As I approached from Washington Street, my eyes couldn’t reconcile a black mass moving amoeba-like on the sidewalk nearly two blocks ahead. Closing in, a line of parked cop cars hinted to what could only be a rather large number of San Diego police officers.

Residents looked on from the sidewalk, apartment stairs, and balconies at the commotion. As one gent exited his building, I ask if he knew what happened. “A murder”, he said, “in one of the apartments”. He pointed up the street. Yikes! But further along, I observed a policeman talking to another neighbor. I asked him the same question. Someone attacked one of the officers. Possibly a homeless person, he speculated.

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So This is Why They Call It Snail Mail

I rarely have reason to go to the local US Post Office—even less so during a pandemic—but there was need today and the weather was fine for walking. The journey made me wonder about the organization’s creed: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”. Yes, but what about swift retrieval of outgoing mail?

As you can see from the Featured Image and its companion, the boxes outside the building were overstuffed—like they hadn’t been emptied for days. This at 3:52 p.m. PDT, when I clickity-clicked Leica Q2, and nearly an hour after the most recent scheduled emptying. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm. The other is same except for 1/160 sec. I prefer the second shot, which deliberately crops out the bird poop. But its inclusion, in the first, adds ambience of neglect.

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Flickr a Week 22: ‘Ladywell Street Art London’

Mechanic Loco Steve brings us back to the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19pandemic. According to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, there are 5,594,175 confirmed cases and 350,531 deaths. The number of dead in the United States should surpass 100,000 within a few hours of our 12:04 a.m. PDT posting time.

“Street artist Lionel Stanhope has painted an image of Jan Van Eyck’s red-turbaned Portrait of a Man with a twist—a mask covers his nose and mouth”, Steve says about self-titled “Ladywell Street Art London“. He captured the moment on May 8, 2020, using Nikon D5500. Vitals: f/9, ISO 200, 1/320 sec, 18mm.

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Gateway to Mid-City

When the Wilcox family moved to San Diego nearly 13 years ago, we encountered many things that at first puzzled but then made sense when thinking about how Southern California is portrayed in movies and on television. About 9:30 in the evening, during our first week in the University Heights neighborhood, my daughter and I encountered the sign on El Cajon as we turned off Park and drove to a nearby 7-Eleven. Rustic! Neon! The thing brought to mind 1973 (set in `62) film “American Graffiti” and cars cruising city streets. A few lowriders would have punctuated the moment.

The sign made quite the impression, lit up at night. But I hadn’t given it much attention during daytime until last week, when my wife wanted to walk over and take some photos of the thing. She used iPhone XS. I joined in, but with Leica Q2. Strange how novelty wears off and an object that so captivated becomes little more than background blur. The Boulevard charm returned as I looked into the camera’s viewfinder.

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Sunflower Skies

Sunflower season returns to San Diego, and splashes of yellow reach upward everywhere. The Featured Image is unremarkably composed—and that’s being polite—but the moment means something to me nevertheless. I tried to contrast one thing […]

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Traffic Detours, Pandemic, and Makeshift Cul-De-Sacs

The so-called “traffic calming measures” along Meade Ave. at Alabama and Louisiana are nearly complete. I will be sorry to see the “road closed” signs come down—and I won’t be alone. California schools and many local businesses (still) are shut because of the COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2) pandemic. Semi-blocked Alabama—and to lesser degree Louisiana—is a makeshift cul-de-sac where kids bike, run about, and skateboard. Soon, the party’s over, following nearly six month’s construction.

As of this week, all 50 US states are partially to semi-completely reopened. Meanwhile, the Novel Coronavirus rages on. According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, there are, as I write, nearly 5 million confirmed cases (4,996,472) in 188 countries and 328,115 reported deaths. Soon to be 100,000 of the dead are from the United States (93,439 currently).