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Not a Good Sign

I picked poor time to go to Trader Joe’s for organic whole milk—as you can see from the Featured Image, which comes from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 16, 1/160 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 4:54 p.m. PDT, yesterday.

Meanwhile, I prepare for a different outage calamity. Today, my webhost sent the dreaded, but expected, email that this site will, ah, migrate with 24 hours. I have no choice about the matter, and no amount of assurances about safe, seamless, and sure migration instills me with confidence that catastrophe isn’t imminent.

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The Flower Lady

Let’s start with a Happy Mother’s Day to the moms. Some of you work the holiday, as does this woman at her gift stand set up in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. She and her husband greeted me yesterday, and I had every intention of returning to buy flowers for my wife. But I waited too long. The lady sold out, and they were packing up when I arrived this afternoon.

I used Leica Q2 to take the Featured Image, which (sigh) is presented as composed, because I could create no crop that wouldn’t take too much context from the photo. Maybe you see something that I don’t. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 12:36 p.m. PDT.

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Bon Appétit!

In April 2016, I started to write “Why is Hollywood Obsessed with Viral Armageddon?” In June 2017, I shot a photo to illustrate the post, which wasn’t finally finished until March 2021—nearly a year after the World Health Organization declared  SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 to be a pandemic.

San Diego’s Museum of Us exhibit “Cannibals: Myth & Reality” must be ongoing because I came upon the same sign still in place six years later—as you can see from the Featured Image, captured using Leica Q2 Monochrom, on April 20, 2023. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/160 sec, 28mm; 3:23 p.m. PDT.

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Where the Crane Flies

Remember this: “The Teardown“, from February 2022? Where was a home and a few trendy shops, another multi-unit monument to more unaffordable housing rises along Park Blvd between Howard and Polk. By the strictest map boundaries, the location is in the community of University Heights. But because of zip code, someone will claim San Diego’s Hillcrest.

Vantage for the Featured Image is parallel street Georgia. I count four stories and rising. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 50, 1/8800 sec, 70mm; 2:22 p.m. PDT, today; Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

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A Burst of Orange

Forgive my Gazania obsession, please. The flower observed languishing on April 29, 2023 has turned to fluff (can you say seedlings) and new buds burst in its place. You must understand that these orange lovelies took root on their own; they were not planted by the apartment complex’s gardener/landscaper. I am delighted by their presence.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image, today. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28mm; 3:22 p.m. PDT. A second shot, using the camera’s dedicated Macro mode, misplaces the focal point; otherwise, I would have shared that one instead.

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An Urban Moment

The eye doesn’t know where to look in this Featured Image close-cropped from an original taken on May 8 using Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/200 sec, 28mm; 11:47 a.m. PDT. The view is along Florida Street towards the intersection at El Cajon Blvd.

The companion photo, composed as shot, is more dynamic—if for no other reason than more to see. To the left is BLVD North Park, which as a reminder is actually located in University Heights. Real Estate is all about location, and when your building isn’t in the trendier neighborhood you pretend that it is.

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Squatter Villas

The never-ending pattern of eviction, renovation, or teardown and rebuild provides temporary residences for San Diego’s homeless. I had wondered why encampments suddenly vanished along either El Cajon Blvd or Florida Street here in University Heights. The so-called unhoused moved into unoccupied flats.

What a sad, tragic state of affairs across from Kindred Hospital on Georgia Street. Around the beginning of the year, a woman living in a charming Craftsman-like house had to leave, because the property had been sold for redevelopment. I once chatted with her about renovictions and calico Rosie. Renters of the apartments next door were forced out some months later. I had photographed ginger kitty Harvey there in June 2021. Both animals appear in my “Cats of University Heights” series.

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Where Green is Good

East of Park Blvd in my neighborhood of University Heights, San Diego homeowners clearcut backyards to put up  so-called Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs); developers level stately houses, which are replaced by apartment or condominium buildings; contractors relandscape grass, flowers, and trees with cement, stone, and succulents. The pillaging of property character and green growing spaces is relentless.

But some streets seem almost immune to the obsessive drive to increase population density and thus decrease the amount of earth where no structure sits. Wealth might be a reason—collective consciousness could be another (e.g., where homeowners take cues from what their neighbors do or don’t). Zoning is another consideration, as is geography. Some or all of these apply, methinks, to Panorama Drive.

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Ahoy Mateys

Thermometer touched 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) on this fine Sunday but constant sunlight made for much warmer experience. Unsurprisingly, walkers were everywhere—with dogs or other people—while the occasional biker or runner breezed by.

Naturally, here in University Heights, Old Trolley Barn Park attracted adults and kids of all ages. One gathering specifically caught the attention of my wife and me, too. In what ranks as the largest private event moon bounce that I have seen, a pirate ship inflated for the kiddies.

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Take it All

Early evening, I hoofed outside to top off my walking for the day. Thirteen minutes before sunset, at 7:21 p.m. PDT, I came upon the contents of the Featured Image along the University Heights side of Texas Street—somewhere between cross-streets Madison and Meade (Monroe is between them).

What an odd assortment: bottle (empty), candle, doormat, planter, potted plant, Purell, straws, table, take-out containers, white-board cleaner, and a few other oddities that I can’t identify. I’ve seen a lot of unexpected freebees along San Diego alleys and streets. Some of the more memorable sightings: Antique dresser; blue and white PowerMac G3 (circa 1999); first furnishings; LC Smith typewriter (vintage, rusted); living room set; 1970’s era gas stove; and  Vitamaster Slendercycle, among other things.

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The Cats of University Heights: Cuddles, Too

As my wife and I walked along Cleveland Avenue today, I spotted a tan shorthair on the other side of the street. We crossed and were greeted by an affectionately friendly feline that I hadn’t seen before. From behind us, a man coming along with a leashed dog, said: “That’s Cuddles”. A community cat.

By day, Cuddles hangs around where we met him; one of the neighbors put out a bed for him. At night he goes to parallel Maryland to his semi-permanent home, where there is a collection of other cats he doesn’t mix well with. I know them. Our long lost mixed-Maine Coon Kuma used to visit them.

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Bye Bye Books

You would think with so many LittleFreeLibrary boxes about the neighborhood that the owner of these books could deposit them in one. That person is learned, presumably at a local college, or pretends to be. Maybe smarty sees that the extra energy to walk a few blocks is wasted when curb depositing is quicker. Dunno and don’t really care but gotta speculate.

What a collection of titles, too. Let’s start with “how to use Tarot spreads” for “effective crisis communication”. Or “I’ll grant you that” “what happens on campus stays on YouTube”. Use “pre-sausion” and “the culture map” to locate “the CEO next door”.