Tag: California Living

Read More

Lafayette Hotel Closes (For Remodeling)

Walking along the alley separating Louisiana and Mississippi, my wife asked what was hanging before the Lafayette, which we could see because of leveled buildings on El Cajon across the way. We knew that the iconic hotel would close this month for massive, projected $26 million renovation—and, sure enough, it did four days ago.

I walked over to find the early stages of remodeling prep and three banners hanging before the main structure, as you can see from the Featured Image and companion. I part way crossed The Boulevard and stood on a median strip to take the shots.

Read More

Pain at the Pump

If you’re wondering why another gas price photo, so am I. But the cost—a full dollar more than the Mobile Mart just three days ago—demands documenting. Today, I came upon the Shell station while walking to Petco in search of a potted plant for our cats Cali and Neko (out of stock, of course). Location: Fourth and Washington in San Diego neighborhood Hillcrest.

What can you say about seven dollars and twenty cents per gallon, unleaded? This place inched up to $7 during that last big rise (June 2022), but not higher. To think that in October 2021 $4.94 was outrageous. Now we can only wish that the price was as low.

Read More

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.

Read More

Parrot and the Clock

Oddly together describes some of the items left in San Diego alleys for scavengers to take. The colorful inflatable toy juxtaposes with an antique-looking clock that isn’t as old as appears. Electric cord is the giveaway. I cropped out owls in the box, while a real vintage clock is out of frame; not photographed because of reflective glare from the morning sun.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image on Sept. 26, 2022. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 9:24 a.m. PDT.

Read More

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.

Read More

Long Haul Trucker

I initially planned to close-crop the Featured Image but instead present it as shot. Both bikes are something of anachronisms in San Diego, where more and more riders mount motorized hybrids. Blame electric rentals or SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns—both, likely—for dramatic behavioral shift in a short span of about two years.

The Surly is a Long Haul Trucker model that the manufacturer describes as a “long-distance cargo bike ready to go anywhere”. The single saddlebag—pannier, if you prefer—suggests somewhere. The LHT was retired last year, after 17 years of production, which makes me wonder how much the sudden surge in popularity of electric (and some gas-powered) hybrids played into the bike’s end of life.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Defender

The number of dogs living in the neighborhood exploded exponentially during the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns. Northern California is fido-country, and high-techies suddenly able to work from home hightailed south, where lofty salaries ($296,000 median at Google) made buying or renting in San Diego comparably affordable for San Francisco-area escapees. Can we send them back?

How many mutts can one person, or couple, own? Gotta ask because I see fewer people walking one dog and many more leashing two, three, or more—and that’s without tallying the overall increased numbers. Not surprisingly, doggy decorum demands harassing cats; do these NorCal migrants simply not know better because they lack feline finesse or are they merely amused letting their beasts taunt kitties?

Read More

The One That Remains

Two days ago, I shared with you a palm pair on Oregon Street in North Park; the shorter of the two had been marked by city contractors for removal. More by chance than planning, my wife and I walked by the location this afternoon; the tree infested with South American Palm Weevils is gone.

The other must be healthy because it still stands, as you can see from the Featured Image. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 100, 1/8000 sec, 28mm; 3:50 p.m. PDT. I used Leica Q2 to make two street shots, choosing the cropped top to include the magnificent, sprawling shadow.

Read More

The Fourth on Fifth Avenue

For an errand, this afternoon, I walked from my neighborhood of University Heights to Hillcrest and back. To celebrate Independence Day, the city put out American flags. The Featured Image captures two on Fifth Avenue beside one of the many controversial, and new, bike lanes.

San Diego is in the process of transforming select streets to connect a regional bikeway. The idea is to gain, ah, independence from carbon-emitting vehicles by encouraging more pedal power. Oddly though, hybrid electric or motor bikes are suddenly everywhere, which makes me wonder about the strategy. One reason: Those riders tend to avoid the bike lanes and flow with traffic; the partially powered two-wheelers are too fast-moving.

Read More

Mourning Moment

As my wife and I walked up Meade Avenue in North Park, today, a sickly palm caught my attention. Crossing Oregon Street, I saw a white X on the right tree, indicating that city workers had marked it for removal. I am uncertain about the health of the other, but no marking indicates that it isn’t slated to be chopped down.

San Diego fights futilely to hold back advance of the South American Palm Weevil, which was observed along the Mexican border in 2011. The first infestations appeared five years later. The insects essentially infest the heart of the Canary Island Date Palm crown, destroying it.

Read More

Someone Explain This to Me

Please forgive me for being critical, but this is what happens when a state sends mail-in ballots to all (presumably) registered voters: Citizens post on Election Day—that’s for Primaries here in California. I came across this outgoing ballot at 11:09 a.m. PDT and wondered why not mail before the recommended May 31 or take to the dropbox inside the public library, which is a half-mile walk?

Sure, the ballot is valid if postmarked today but why wait until voting day if the plan is to post? Call me confused, which wouldn’t be unusual, but still… My other question: Which is more secure—the vote mailed or cast live? I ask because the local polling place doesn’t check IDs; not today, anyway. At least the mail-in ballot envelope has the citizen’s name and signature. I dunno. You tell me.