Tag: street photography

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The Loner

Why are you looking at a couple of lonely leaves? Because their grapevine is something of an obsession; I am enthralled by the growing location—on a grassy patch between sidewalk and street somewhere in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights.

Last year, I chronicled the grapes’ progression from green to mixed color to richly ripe. Walking by today, I saw that the branches had been clipped, as they are every autumn, but something remained—making me intriguingly sentimental enough to stop with Leica Q2 and capture the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/1250 sec, 28mm; 11:45 a.m. PST.

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Are They a Rare Set?

One of my sisters is avid about golf. My interest almost reaches enthusiasm for root canals. Ah, the things siblings don’t share in common, eh? She was already on my mind, because of Thanksgiving Day, when I passed by a set of discarded clubs this morning; more so after I chuckled over them, thinking: How appropriate. Perhaps the previous owner and I share similar sentiments about the, ah, sport. Yuh. Let’s turn the TV channel to curling—another fine slow-moving competition.

Knowing absolutely nothing about golf, or the accruements necessary to play, maybe I missed a magnanimous moment of opportunity—like the yard sale buyer who snags a rare painting or Leica camera that turns out to be worth tens of thousands of dollars—even millions. What if the clubs are a rare set, put out by another non-golfer who is emptying the apartment of some aged relative recently passed away? Sometimes that which looks old and crusty is valuable. Are these clubs? I presume no more than any others in similar condition. But why not speculate?

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The Cats of University Heights: Jet

Early afternoon, Oct. 23, 2022, I came across two shorthairs that quite literally played cat and mouse in the yard where once lived Pee-Pee. Among the first several shots, the black looks away. The Featured Image is the last portrait taken, after the beastie turned my way and settled down to await what you can’t see: Nutmeg, who is supremely camouflaged behind the growth along the wall.

I used iPhone 13 Pro for this one, which vitals are: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/214 sec, 77mm; 12:10 p.m. PDT. Nickname: Jet.

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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.

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Barricaded Gunman in University Heights

A few hours ago, while my wife shopped at Aldi, a helicopter started circling above the area where were two drug deaths last week. I could hear commands from a loudspeaker instructing someone to put down the gun and come outside. That couldn’t be good.

After she returned, Annie and I walked over to that part of the neighborhood, where we met massive police presence. Louisiana was blocked at Meade along with the perpendicular alleys parallel to El Cajon Blvd; at Mississippi and Texas.

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Emergency at the Golden Arches

As my wife and I crossed El Cajon Blvd at Texas Street, today, we heard an ambulance approaching from behind. Cars pulled over, and I startled, realizing some came uncomfortably close to us—in the crosswalk! The emergency vehicle turned into the McDonald’s parking lot, which was before us. Sound of another siren brought my eyes to a firetruck coming from the other direction.

I decided to stop and mark the moment, from afar. The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28m; 9:38 a.m. PST.

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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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Drug Deaths in University Heights

Suspected overdoses is more appropriate assessment—at this time. But sad reality is that paramedics and police responded to an early morning call (before 6 a.m. PST) about unresponsive roommates. Two were revived and hospitalized; two others died. Fentanyl is suspected cause.

My wife saw something on YouTube from one of the local news stations, early this afternoon. Since such tragedy is unusual for our neighborhood and five months ago I photographed cat Conrad on the property, we decided to walk over. I really expected to see nothing unusual, but police still investigated—as you can see from the Featured Image captured using Leica Q2 Monochrom. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 2:17 p.m.

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The Cats of University Heights: Mariner

I occasionally worry that indoor cats will lose their outdoor views, if their owners disapprove of my camera work. That concern is why the Featured Image is converted monochrome from color and location isn’t given; somewhat protects privacy of the residents. Because for months, I passed by this house and could somewhat see the cat tree behind the glass; nothing more. But then, for the first—and only—time (so far), the window was open and the black and white visible; Oct. 22, 2022, which was a lovely autumn (if such season exists in San Diego) day. I want the kitty to enjoy many more.

This fine feline is the one-hundred-second seen behind either window or door—that’s out of 515 profiles since the series started in October 2016. I used iPhone 13 Pro to shoot the portrait. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 80, 1/99 sec, 77mm; 5:01 p.m. PDT.

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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 (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Boo

Three consecutive honorary kitties might make you wonder if there aren’t many more in the neighborhood to present. Oh, there are. Coincidental circumstance is reason for this trio. Nothing more.

My wife and I walked to the alley where yesterday afternoon a lonesome tabby hung out at a building site. We hoped to see the animal, but a construction crew prattled about, ensuring no sensible putty would stay anywhere nearby. That said, Annie pointed out a different shorthair lurking about half way there. How lucky! A black cat. On Halloween!