Category: Leica

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Who Skewered Teddy?

Yesterday, as my wife and I approached the blue-and-white house where flew the American flag at half-mast in September 2021, a tiny teddy came into view—back-to. As we passed, I stopped, pulled out Leica Q2, adjusted the aperture, and snapped the sole shot that is the Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/2000 sec, 28mm; 12:51 p.m. PST.

The front-view of the stuff bear looks across Lincoln near the corner at Alabama in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. I want to know why the plushy is so unceremoniously placed. Is it meant to signal something? Was it found on the sidewalk or street and put up where more easily seen?

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Big, Boastful Branding

I smile—and occasionally chuckle—when walking by this camper sticking out into the alley separating Cleveland and Maryland, not far from our old University Heights apartment. My Maine hometown is the same name, which I admit is part of the appeal. Brrr, in Caribou, its 3 degrees Celsius (37 F) and raining as I write from warmer San Diego, where the evening sky is partly overcast and the temperature is 13 C (56 F).

The camper’s vintage is unknown to me, and who could guess from the little visible from the alley? But the thing is loved—looking at the pristine wooden door—and source of the owner’s pride. Otherwise, why let the branded top front boastfully hang out in view?

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Tick-Tock

What an unexpectedly appropriate Featured Image. Being the first day of the year’s last month, I am thinking about time and how to meaningfully fill the 31—okay, now thirty—days that remain. Expect my report in early 2022.

My wife and I passed by the wall clock along the alley separating Louisiana and Texas streets behind the liquor store and its parking lot located on Meade Ave. I often see Princess Leia in the vicinity, but not today. She joined my “Cats of University Heights” series in June 2018.

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Abandoned

On Veterans Day, I passed by this pair of abandoned boots alongside the Monroe Avenue wall of LeStat’s on Park in the San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. Perhaps some street person lost them or they were left for one of the area’s homeless.

I stopped for the Featured Image, taken with Leica Q2, thinking to update illustration for a 16-year-old post. The footwear’s good-looking condition and odd location tweaked my interest. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/30 sec, 28mm; 10:33 a.m. PST.

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‘Kiss Me on the Bus’

A few weeks ago, I spotted this green bus seen again today. Then, I was sheepish about photographing the thing. But with clearer line of site from my eyes, and no obstructions, out came Leica Q2 to take the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 1:10 p.m. PST.

Converted school buses aren’t rare sightings, but they’re uncommon enough to rouse my attention—particularly when an air conditioner hangs out the back window. Now that’s something new. Someone clearly lives in the vehicle, which bears New York plates (I obliterated the numerals in post-production). Welcome to San Diego!

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Homeless in Hillcrest

This gentleman is one of the many street dwellers seen today, when I walked from University Heights to neighboring Hillcrest on an errand. He caught my attention for what the Featured Image fails to reveal: The large load of belongings on the cart and spread somewhat down the sidewalk. He also was overdressed for the unseasonably warm day—25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit), when I used Leica Q2 Monochrom to take the street shot from the hip. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 2:20 p.m. PST.

While you might think otherwise from the profile and apparent skin color, he is a white guy. Anyone living long under the San Diego sun will become darker, with respect to skin tone; dirt and grime contribute to the change. This characteristic distinguishes the truly indigent from people begging for money; the grifter will often send off a benefactor with “God bless you”. The others offer thanks, with a sincerity of appreciation that is unmistakably authentic.

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Fit to Survive

Hard to imagine that a year ago, Californians freaked about rising SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 infections, with Governor Gavin Newsom imposing additional lockdown restrictions that essentially cancelled Christmas. Thanksgiving already was collateral damage.

Some small businesses, like Boulevard Fitness, resisted closure and defied threats of fines—or worse. The city (or county) could pull permits, particularly related to public health. For eateries and pubs, liquor license could be yanked instead or as well.

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Pedal the Pacific

Is it irony that an organization that cycles for its cause advertises on the side of a van? Maybe somebody will get the message about “trafficking” when stuck in rush-hour traffic beside the vehicle—or perhaps consider that an unmarked, white, windowless van could be carrying sex-trafficked men, women, or kids. Shiver the thought.

The group explains its mission: “Pedal the Pacific exists to educate all people about sex trafficking. We use bikes as a platform to raise awareness, educate peers, fundraise for leading nonprofits, and develop leaders who believe that no voice is too small to make a difference”.

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Have a Seat, Bring Books and Friends

Whether or not intentionally done, these giveaways are arranged like an outdoor living room. Comfy chair is the centerpiece, with stool and fold-up seating for entertaining guests. The bookcase could occupy real reading material—and surely one of the nearby lending libraries could provide a novel for personal perusal or perhaps poetry to share with the group. The other standing shelf would be place to put out food and drinks. The orange cones could cordon space for the gathering.

The setup is exactly how I found it yesterday in the alley separating Alabama and Florida Streets. Seen nearby and previously profiled in my “Cats of University Heights” series: Boxer, Pixie, and Spry.

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It’s Fake!

My wife and I came upon this sign, affixed to a utility pole, today, along Mission Avenue between Louisiana and Mississippi streets. Call me surprised, for having seen no other in our San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. So I got to wondering if a resident attempted a little scare tactic to get dog owners to clean up after their mutts. More effective: Place the notice higherand above, out of reach, a mock surveillance camera.

I walked about several streets inspecting every sign of every kind and all others shared in common: Tiny print somewhere indicating that the thing is the property of the city. By comparison, this one’s credit is “SmartSign.com”, which sells the warning, with a stake kit, for 27 bucks on the website.