Tag: cars

Read More

A Pair of Classic Cars

I avoid walking through Hillcrest, unless need presses. The neighborhood is atmospherically and physically filthy. Strange how people don’t know that they live in Hell. But the same could be applied to most of California, expanding Dante’s nine circles of Hell to the 21 missions around which major cities were built. San Diego was the first, in 1769.

Franciscans sought to bring Heaven to native populations, rightly or wrongly (you decide which). Centuries later, the fire of Hades burns across the state, by many measures.

Read More

Shattered Showroom

This Wednesday evening is just warm enough for walking, which was my activity a little earlier. As I write, the outdoors air temperature is a comfortable-enough 12 degrees Celsius (54 Fahrenheit), such that light hoody was warm-wear suitable.

I set out to shoot Christmas decorations and nabbed a few. But the Featured Image takes the night. Walking westward along El Cajon towards Park Blvd, in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, I came upon a gaping hole in the showroom glass of Lusti Motors.

Read More

San Diego is No. 1 Among ‘US Cities with the Worst Parking Availability’

America’s “finest city” once again claims a dubious crown. Among the others: Rents higher than San Francisco and being named the country’s most unaffordable city. FINN, which offers cars on a subscription basis (I know, seriously), delivers another unwanted trophy: “San Diego, Calif., comes out as the worst city in the US for parking, with a measly score of just 0.66 out of 10”. Really, the score is that high? I would expect even lower.

San Diego government officials are convinced that increased population density is the cure to all the city’s problems with housing (Hillcrest and Mission Valley are expansion examples). Let’s see, more people mean more cars, thus less parking. Current zoning permits new residential construction without provided parking if within half-mile of public transit (e.g. city bus). More high-rises mean more people with cars and greater need for parking that isn’t. Then there are the bike lanes, which are being added everywhere and parking spots removed as accommodation.

Read More

Not This Stingray But Another

To the owner of this Corvette, Stingray is a classic car. To me, it’s a kids TV show (circa 1964). Developed by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, the British sci-fi, underwater adventure combines sophisticated puppetry and models in a production style/technique known as Supermarionation. Stingray is a program most Americans of any age wouldn’t know, nor its contemporaries like Captain Scarlet or Fireball XL5—although the latter was broadcast on this side of the pond by NBC.

But many of these same people easily could know Thunderbirds, which popularity extended beyond the 1960s into the modern era, with several follow-on series and even a live-action feature film. As a kid, I watched all the Anderson Supermarionation shows. You might wonder how, seeing as I am American and, with the exception of aforementioned Fireball XL5, none of them was broadcast in the States.

Read More

Herbie Wannabe

It’s called popular culture for a reason. I don’t recall ever watching any of “The Love Bug” movies and yet have absorbed enough osmotically over the decades to know the basics: Animated Volkswagen Beetle—with personality, no less. Road race. Clueless adult protagonists. Oh, perhaps most revealing: I am familiar with the vehicle’s number and racing decals.

So unsurprisingly, I immediately recognized the Herbie detailing of the Toyota Scion parked on a street in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, today. If I were going to pick a modern, non-VW, that is close enough to the vintage vehicle, this coupe compact would be near top of the list.

Read More

Sports Cars Don’t Get Much More Classic Than This

The strangest, and unexpected, cars show up on the streets of my neighborhood of University Heights. Perennial San Diego sun may be hard on the paint, but arid Mediterranean climate assures that a well-maintained vehicle can last for decades—free from the abuse imposed by extreme temperature swings, frequent rain, high humidity, or seasonal changes. The SoCal coastal region has one season: Summer, in three variations of early, mid, and late.

Unsurprisingly, and fitting with California stereotypes, Volkswagens of various vintages, typically circa 1960s and 70s, are commonly enough seen. But this Jaguar XK120, in the Featured Image and companion captures, is a first. I saw it once, April 22, 2023, and never again.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Sticker Shock

I couldn’t count the number of times that I have walked by this car, parked in one of the University Heights alleys. I don’t recall which one; they’re so similar in this part of San Diego. On April 19, 2023, I strolled past again, stopped, and turned about. The moment demanded antithetical approach: Shooting colorful stickers in black and white.

The super sharp Featured Image comes from Leica Q2 Monochrom. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 5:11 p.m. PDT; composed as shot.

Read More

Driving Disaster

What an appropriate time to see this vanity plate, as we meet the challenges of a medical emergency (not involving either my wife or myself but someone else). After a long day dealing with the situation, I chose takeaway for supper. Returning home from Pizza Hut, I came upon the car at the stoplight on Florida Street at El Cajon Blvd.

I pulled out Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and shot the Featured Image through the windshield. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 640, 1/35 sec, 70mm (film equivalent); 7:07 p.m. PST; composed as captured. Typically, I obscure the numbers and/or letters but what privacy is there to protect with something so bold and timely as crisis. Oh, yeah, it’s rememberable, too.

Read More

Wow, Samsung, 200MP is for Real

If you are considering purchasing Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra look no further than the Featured Image—or, rather, the original digital file, which weighs in at 51MB and monstrous 16320 x 12240 pixels. Click at your own risk, and if you do be sure to zoom in  and regard the detail—all the while remembering that this moment comes from a smartphone, not a dedicated camera.

The classic Ford, which I passed parked in an alley, today, is my first shot taken at 200 megapixels. You know, the feature some people regard as a gimmick, given the device’s tiny image sensor. Call me skeptical, too, until randomly stopping to test the capability. The photo is presented as captured. No cropping. No editing. If you aren’t amazed, I surely am.

Read More

Aftermath: Siege of University Heights

Yesterday’s military-like incursion into my neighborhood ended after about 11 hours, when the last of three suspects surrendered to police. I missed the action, as he was arrested around the same time that I shot my last photo of the day, 7:40 p.m. PST. I was behind the perimeter at Meade and Mississippi, when the standoff ended on the next block, Louisiana, and closer to El Cajon Blvd.

But when walking over to that part of the neighborhood this morning, I hadn’t seen a news story, nor could anticipate what to expect. All the cop cars, portable toilets, and other vehicles—including the armored BearCat—were gone. The area was so peaceful and quiet, one wouldn’t guess what had happened the previous day.