Tag: murals

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Politics Stress Relief

As I write, the first Presidential debate, between presumptive candidates Joseph Biden and Donald Trump, is underway. For now, my intention is not to watch. Later, I will start with clips and possibly peek at a recorded version through which I can fast-forward and pause. The live event promises to be pure poison.

Or stated differently: Various manifestations of elder abuse. Seriously? You ask. Yes, Biden for his sheer presence and demand to stand and be mentally present for 90 minutes or so. Trump, for the abrasive handling by the hostile CNN moderators.

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Brushing University Heights

Some San Diego stoplights take so long to turn that they present unexpected opportunities—like taking the Featured Image. At Madison and Texas, I observed an artist painting the village’s name on a utility box. My wife and I were in the car headed to Costco.

We sat so long at the Red that I could claw Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra out of my snug jeans pocket; unlock the device; launch the camera app; roll down the window; tap 5x zoom; and (finally) compose three shots. Whew. And still there was time to spare!

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The Most Unaffordable City

San Diego is too prestigious a place. In July 2023, rents exceeded San Francisco. Yikes! Last month, the median-selling price for residences (houses and more) topped $1 million. The city earns yet another distinction: U.S. News & World Report has crowned San Diego as “#1 in most expensive places to live”. Uh, yeah.

Los Angeles is second; broadly, California cities capture seven spots in the top ten. Oh joy. I marvel at how suddenly—catastrophically—was the transition from, quoting the motto, “America’s finest city” to America’s most unaffordable place to live. Four years ago, food, sundries, and housing cost so much less.

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Lucky Shot

If like me you own Galaxy S23 Ultra, rush to the Samsung Members app and opt-in for the One UI 6 beta. The camera app receives some refinements that are worth trying out. Why wait, if you mustn’t—and testers help improve the software. The changes are topic for another day, after I spend some serious time exploring them.

But I can attest to improved low-light shooting from the walk taken this evening. Colors are richer and more accurate; previously, washed out highlights was a problem. As the shooter in my pocket improves over time, and subsequently I carry around Leica Q2 less often, the question emerges: Is a full-frame camera even necessary?

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Wash `n Drive

The prominent decoration in San Diego during June are rainbow flags. I don’t love them. There are so many, meaning is pointless. Besides, I see more cultural, political, and societal division because of them than the inclusion the colors supposedly represent.

Continuing along Adams Avenue from the clock, you will pass the self-serve car wash. The Featured Image, from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, is a refreshing blast of colors compared to the tired and overly displayed rainbow. Hence, my stopping for a shot, on June 2, 2023. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 10, 1/1400 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 2:55 p.m. PDT.

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Urban Husky Revisited

The “Urban Husky” residence is no longer a construction site. I had wondered if the mural would be a casualty of the renovation, although the artwork might be because of it. During an impulsive change of direction while walking today, my wife and I passed by the property.

I couldn’t go on without grabbing a fresh capture. The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 100, 1/1250 sec,, 28mm; 2:01 p.m. PDT.

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Pretty in Pink

Who doesn’t get gleefully wry when seeing graffiti gracing one of the many (un)affordable housing projects that ruin an area’s character? This monster-block high-rise is located along Park Blvd between Meade and El Cajon, where once was a church. Someday soon, I will present pictures to prove it.

But for this evening, our topic is the pink dog, which looks across the street to the outfield of Alice Birney Elementary, where locals are permitted to run their mutts when school isn’t in session and there are no recreational or sports activities planned. So yeah, graffiti fido fits in nicely.

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Urban Husky

Depending on when I drive home from the hospital where is our daughter, choice is either I-5 or I-805. (Californians aren’t content with 5 or 805 but “the five” or “the eight-oh-five”, and I make a habit of avoiding adding “the”; just to be onery.) The latter highway exits at Adams but immediately becomes Madison. Because of construction at Texas, I turn at Hamilton, cutting over to Meade and using that street to go into our San Diego neighborhood.

For the past few passes along Hamilton, I marveled at a dog mural on the frontside of a multiunit residence that appears to be undergoing renovation. (Some locals refer to these as renovictions. Evict lower-paying tenants; make modifications; raise rents for new residents.) Tonight, setting sun filled the sky rather than rain pummeling down from it. I parked, go out, and walked over for a single shot taken with Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

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Because It’s Garbage Day

I am not as wowed with the photos coming from Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra as anticipated. Inconsistency best describes my overall gripe. I have possessed the smartphone since Dec. 15, 2022. The pics are a bit too artificial, even by small-sensor mobile standards, and color could be more accurate or as the eyes see. That said, if unique look is standard of measure, then the sometimes somewhat smudgy shots are impressionistic-painting worthy.

The Featured Image is one of the better (cropped) captures, which underwent a fair amount of post-production tweaking—or as much as can be expected when working with a JPEG original. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 12, 1/220 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 2:26 p.m. PST.

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Who Yelled ‘Fire!’

While walking to Pet Me Please in San Diego neighborhood Normal Heights, today, I passed a mural that demanded photographic attention. Unknown to me at the time: The building’s business is All County Fire, which sells protective equipment for preventing or combating unwanted, ah, flaming events.

The Featured Image is a single shot; my plan to take another was interrupted by a gentleman who asked if I had taken a photo of his car, which was parked on the street. He worried about an accident; perhaps he had experience, but I didn’t ask. After understanding the object of my interest, he praised the artist who painted the mural, explaining another adorned the other side of building. I later looked but didn’t find it.

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Welcome to Hellcrest

I grit my teeth and put on my persevering personality, whenever need demands walking to neighboring Hillcrest. The atmosphere reeks of hedonism, narcissism, and self-obsession. Physically, the place is dirty, gritty, and seedy—particularly along the main University Avenue corridor and somewhat less Washington Street. The community is considered to be San Diego’s gay district, which couplings confirm and the plethora of rainbow flags or others for various gender identities; fire hydrants, too.

Here’s where someone will accuse me of being homophobic, when I am not: Well-to-do residents who whoop up happy hour and late-night fling fests grimly juxtapose a sizable homeless population. For a community of residents obsessed with all-rights for all genders, the lack of regard—or even sympathy—for people lacking more fundamental rights (life and well-being) is inhumane and, disappointingly, jives with my atmospheric assessment in the previous paragraph. What? Is it liberal values for me but not for thee?

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The Meowers of Bark Boulevard

Hurricane Kay brought nominal relief, on Sept. 8, 2022, as it skirted along the Pacific coastline of Baja California and San Diego County. Cloud cover made muggy air and peak temperature of 32.7 Celsius (91 F) more tolerable. My wife and I took advantage, setting out on a mid-morning walk. While trudging down a side alley perpendicular to Mississippi Street, we came upon a mural that I hadn’t seen before.

We had passed by Bark Boulevard, which fronts El Cajon Blvd, often enough. The family-owned business provides doggy daycare and overnight boarding services—hence the name. So I was surprised to see some homage to cats, along the back.