Tag: autos

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Volkswagen Wagon

Let’s recap: On June 2, 2023, I walked along Adams Avenue from San Diego neighborhood University Heights to Normal Heights. At 2:46 p.m. PDT, I stopped before the clock near Boundary Street. Four minutes later, I stood on the bridge overlooking I-805 traffic. Locals say the 805—and they put the article before all major roads (e.g. “the 163”). I am an East Coaster and writer who detests the. (You hadn’t noticed that I often omit “the” like someone speaking English as a second language?)

At 2:55 p.m., I delighted in the colorful car wash sign. Continuing along, I approached my destination around 3:06 p.m. How could I resist a classic Volkswagen wagon parked outside the Vons supermarket? Out of my pocket came Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and into my photo library went the Featured Image and companion.

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Light Traffic

Lots of people are overly, ah, proud during June every year, around San Diego neighborhoods Hillcrest, North Park, and (here) University Heights. Stepping back from the parade of flags—and distracting colors galore—I will use Leica Q2 Monochrom to primarily shoot black and white. When need for color arises, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will fill in.

The Featured Image is first photo of many other monochromes to follow between now and last day of the month. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/11, ISO 200, 1/250 sec, 28mm.

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What’s Not to Like?

I am not a car guy, but even poor pitifully mechanically-challenged me croons over this Land Cruiser. Anyone know the vintage? The color and styling beam classic. My wild, uninformed guess is a model from the 1980s.

On Oct. 21, 2022, I just happened to come upon the vehicle as it was being parked. I waited a bit, rushed back, and grabbed a single shot using Leica Q2. My intention was to get more vantage points. But I returned later to find that the owner had pulled over a protective cover. The off-red and beige beauty is still parked with fitted-tarp. Protection from the Southern sun prevents photo followups. Oh, well.

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Is Today’s Classic Tomorrow’s Stigma?

For years, I have seen this truck parked along an alley located somewhere on the West side of Park Blvd in University Heights (not saying where, exactly). How long before old Fords like this one are taboo? San Diego’s three-summer climate is amazingly kind to vehicles of all varieties—like: Alfa Romeo Spider, battery-converted lowrider, Bel Air, Chevy cruiser, Mini, Nineteen-thirties-era Buick, red Rolls Royce Convertible,  or vintage Volkswagens. They last forever.

But California’s upcoming ban on sales of gasoline vehicles is sure to turn classic into stigma, because these presumed polluters won’t be tolerated by the socially-compliant masses enthralled by Climate Change doctrine. Their fervor is religious, uncompromising, and dogmatically committed to their truth (none other viewpoint is ever considered). Hey, just saying.

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Who You Gonna Call?

If electric cars are the wave of the future, and California calling for a ban on gas-guzzlers by 2035, is the power grid ready? The question demands an answer during the Labor Day weekend heatwave underway and officials advising citizens to conserve energy between 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. PDT. On the list: “Avoid charging electric vehicles“. Need more be said on the topic than that?

The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2 on Jan. 1, 2022. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 10:15 a.m. PST.

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Accidental Demolition Derby

My distain for traffic circles rises in the aftermath of an accident overnight that damaged four vehicles—leaving one, perhaps two, as total losses. The Mazda that dominates the Featured Image suffered the most damage. Impact pushed the car partially onto the sidewalk.

The crash occurred about 2 a.m. PDT—so loudly that my wife heard, and we aren’t exactly close by. But some neighbors who were woke from sleep and investigated. Based on their reports, the driver didn’t flee (and I can’t say that he could have, since no one revealed to me the condition of his car). He waited for first responders, including police, who may have arrested him for suspicion of driving under the influence of something.

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Tragic Triumph

This Spitfire sputters no more. Its flame is extinguished. Late afternoon, I came upon the derelict on the alley side of a garage, in San Diego community University Heights. I had cut through a property after dropping off a bag of redeemable aluminum cans. One of my neighbors scours garbage and recycle bins for them. Anyone would assume, based on scruffy appearance, that he is homeless. Rather, the gent is nearly blind—with only marginal peripheral vision.

We met a few years ago, as he scrounged behind our apartment building. I learned about his ailment, which in my estimation is cruel. He had been an active individual who travelled extensively, and he obviously is quite intelligent and resourceful. Timing turned out to be good for our meeting, because I had an extra Google Hub—freebee from another purchase. I offered him the voice-activated device, which benefit took some effort to explain.

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Battery Operated

The modern classic isn’t the one you buy but the one you make. This electric lowrider is an absolute hoot! I wonder what is the range—or if it matters. Vehicle like this is meant to parade, bouncing along, with others; granted they would be vrooming from combustion engines.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image on June 3, 2022 along The Boulevard near Florida Street in San Diego neighborhood University Heights. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/80 sec, 28mm; 6:47 p.m. PDT.

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Voluptuously Vintage

For weeks, I have seen evidence that one of my neighbors keeps, or recently acquired, a vintage vehicle. The massive shape was unmistakable under some kind of natural fiber covering. This afternoon, I got glimpse of the classic car, parked open view. Early evening, I returned with Leica Q2 Monochrom.

The Featured Image is one of the two photos, uncharacteristically captured with auto-settings. Vitals: f/3.5, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 7:39 p.m. PDT. A snippet setting sun provided just enough daylight. I had few composition options, because of how the automobile is parked and my shooting through bars of a fence.

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Chevy Cruisers

I wonder: Are the lowriders cruising El Cajon Blvd tonight, or were classic cars merely parked along The Boulevard between Georgia and Florida streets? At 6:46 p.m. PDT, I came across a line of shiny roadsters with whitewalls. My last encounter with the cruisers—many bouncing along as they drove down El Cajon—was years ago.

Circumstance brought me to that part of University Heights on a Friday evening: Dropping off AT&T U-verse equipment at Park Blvd UPS Store for return shipment. Maybe I should get out there more often, and on the next first Friday of the month to see if perhaps there is lowrider cruising.

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Vintage Volkswagens

Today, while walking along Adams Avenue, my wife and I came across three vintage Volkswagens. I have seen some of these vehicles parked about, but this is the first time together, in a row—and there were others elsewhere. Possibly one of our neighbors is an auto-collector or repairer/refurbisher.

Finny, who was profiled in my “Cats of University Heights” series, lives in one of the houses before which were the VWs. Oh, and we saw him skulking about while we both took photos. The Featured Image and companion come from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set for both: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 1:50 p.m. PDT. The other is the same but 1/800 sec, one minute earlier.

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Doggone Fun

At the corner where University Heights ends and North Park begins, my wife and I waited to walk across El Cajon Blvd. I turned to see a car come up Texas Street to the intersection; a big `ol dog hung out the window. I pulled around Leica Q2 for a quick shot, not wanting to draw the attention of the driver and possibly to offend him.

The Featured Image is about a 95 percent crop, which deliberately includes price of gasoline—down from a high of $5.96 per gallon as recently as last week at this station and others around my San Diego neighborhood. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 11:38 a.m. PDT, today.