Tag: people

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July in Christmas

Feel free to call me cruel, but gloating is not my intention so, please, don’t assign such motivation. The Christmas Day forecast for much of Southern California is unseasonably warm. Predicted San Diego weather is 25 Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) and 23 C (73 F) on both the preceding and following days. Break out T-shirt and shorts for summer remembrance.

Meanwhile, much of the rest of the country expects something colder, which already creeps Eastward. As I write, it’s -17 C (2 F) in Amarillo. Texas! Oh, that’s before the wind chill. For Christmas, randomly-selected highs: Atlanta, Ga., 1 C (34 F); Nashville, Tenn., -2 C (28 F); Newark, NJ, -3 C (27 F); Ocala, Fla., 7 C (45 F); Raleigh, NC, 2 C (35 F). For more of a sense of what’s more typical, for the cities, respectively, the following Sunday forecast: 19 C (66 F); 17 C (62 F); 15 C (59 F); 26 C (79 F); 22 C (71 F).

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The Walker

Two days ago, while walking up Madison into North Park on my way to the pet store in Normal Heights, I came across a mom and her little tyke. I presumed that she let him work his little legs while she pushed his ride. But passing, and saying hello, I saw that the stroller is a two-seater—one facing her and the other forward—with a second, younger child sleeping soundly before her. Ahhh.

Beforehand, I got a single shot—the Featured Image—using Leica Q2 Monochrom. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 3:07 p.m. PST.

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This is Pat

A year or so before China locked down Wuhan because of SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19, I saw someone rummaging recyclables from bins in an alley. I had a bag of seltzer cans to put out and gave them to the fellow, whom fit my stereotype of a homeless scrounger. But days later, we passed again—and then less than a week later, once more. He was a regular.

When we had amassed more giveaways and he appeared in the alley, I made a delivery and conversation. He wasn’t homeless! He lives here in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. He is perfectly housed and also nearly blind. Meet Pat. I wish more people showed as much self-reliance, even without a debilitating handicap.

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The Reader

Five days ago, while walking through San Diego district Hillcrest, I passed a gent reading a newspaper outside the bagel shop at shopping center The Hub. A few meters beyond him, I turned about and backtracked, thinking he could make a good moment. I shot two quickies from the hip, using Leica Q2 Monochrom.

The first is blurry; the second is the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 10:10 a.m. PDT. The candid capture is minimally recomposed and somewhat straightened. I seriously considered presenting a tight, 100-percent crop, which would make the headline—about a fired cop—clearer. Zooming in for a look is your job, should you want it.

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Hunched Homeless

Whenever walking through Hillcrest, I typically carry Leica Q2 Monochrom, because black and white fits the grim character. Sidewalks are dirty and smell of urine; there are more homeless than litter—and the latter is no small amount. The San Diego neighborhood juxtaposes those residents of means (rents and cost of everything is high) and those without anything more than what they cart around.

The Featured Image is example enough. I believe that’s a gent hunched over looking at something—if not sleep standing, or attempting to be. Bags of belongings hang from what could be two shopping carts, but who can tell with bedding draped over?

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Celebrating Chess

If not for the controversy shadowing 19-year-old grandmaster Hans Niemann—allegations of cheating in face-to-face play and confirmed behavior online—I wouldn’t know that the second Saturday in October is National Chess Day. A few hours remain for the celebration but the new, news, and social medias will continue to shine a spotlight on the game, which strangely raises the profile enough to increase interest in more people playing. Oh, yeah.

I haven’t sat before a board in years. My last game was with one of my daughter’s high school peers—brilliantly genius kid who was quite good an opponent. He was a constant winner and so quite surprised to lose to an old fogey like me.

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The Last Christmas

On Dec. 22, 2018, I happened by New Vision Christian Fellowship during the latter portion of its Christmas celebration. Clueless me for not knowing what was going on in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. But my ignorance only started there. I also didn’t know that the church had sold the property to developers. This would be the last such gathering at the location.

I rather gingerly shot candids, using Leica Q, wanting not to intrude—particularly because of timing: Parents lined up with kids to receive presents of what kind I either didn’t see or simply don’t recall; being otherwise focused. None of the three shots is spectacular; their value is marking a moment passed that can never return or repeat.

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A New Vision

We begin a series of posts looking at what was along Park Blvd between El Cajon and Meade in San Diego neighborhood University Heights and what replaces it. On most Friday afternoons, New Vision Christian Fellowship opened its doors to give away food. Long lines formed, with recipients largely making up two disparate demographic groups: The elderly and Hispanic families.

I used Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens to capture the Featured Image and companion on April 27, 2018. Vitals for both: f/5.6 (guess), ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 50mm; 5:06 p.m. PDT.

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Waiting to Buy an iPhone

On this exact date six years ago (also a Friday), Apple started selling Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 7, and 7 Plus. Available as of today: timepiece Series 8 and Ultra; iPhone 14 and 14 Plus; iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Starting price for new iPhones in 2016: $649. In 2022: $799 (14) or $999 (14 Pro). A maxed-out Max model, with 1TB storage, sets back buyers $1,599. Does anyone remember when a cheap laptop cost as much?

I used iPhone 6s Plus to capture the Featured Image on Sept. 16, 2016. People wait outside Apple Store Fashion Valley, San Diego, to buy the then newest gadgets. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/60 sec, 29mm; 7:51 a.m. PDT.

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The Monumental Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II passed away today. Her death, at 96, marks the end of the United Kingdom’s longest reigning sovereign—70 years. Strangely, in the span of days, the nation has a new prime minister (Liz Truss) and constitutional monarch (King Charles III). A new future unfolds, but tonight we honor the past.

Elizabeth II brought quiet dignity and good manners to Buckingham Palace, all while burgeoning grace, exuding fortitude, demonstrating forbearance, and intelligently disseminating common sense—to wit. The Queen’s legacy, and that of her son’s as he ascends to the throne, is many: The 56 countries belonging to The Commonwealth, of which there are 2.5 billion people.

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The Public Market

Before California’s governor shut down businesses, organizations, schools, and other establishments under the guise of combating SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19, my wife and I frequently visited Liberty Station in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood. The former Naval Training Center offers great space to walk around; I relished the green outdoor area with dirt paths, flanked by buildings of intriguing architectural style.

Nearly 30 months after the first of several “stay-at-home” orders and about a half-year since the last meaningfully oppressive mandates, we have yet to resume some pre-pandemic habits—like Liberty Station, which visit was so long ago that I can’t recall when.

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The Band Played

I absolutely have no idea who these guys are. On March 3, 2019, I came upon a parade along The Boulevard in San Diego neighborhood University Heights that ended at the iconic Lafayette Hotel, where festivities continued, including this performance.

The Featured Image comes from Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens—a kit that I sold about eight months later. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 800, 1/60 sec, 63mm; 3:10 p.m. PST. Slower shutter speed introduces intentional motion blur. Composed as shot, the photo appeals to me for reasons I cannot explain.