Tag: urban photography

Read More

The North Pole Goes South

What odd timing is this alley find. An Arctic airmass assaults my home state this weekend—and what a shocking contrast to San Diego. As such, my wife and I watch weather forecasts more than typical. This afternoon, when our high temperature reached 19.4 degrees Celsius (67 Fahrenheit), the Caribou, Maine weather station reported -28.9 C (-20 F) with windchill of -43.9 C (-47 F).

On the Fahrenheit scale, that’s a difference of 80 degrees air temp and 100 degrees when considering windchill. The difference is as pronounced this evening. In San Diego, it’s 10 C (50 F). Caribou: -31 C (-24 F) with windchill of -46.7 C (-52 C). Brrr.

Read More

Once a Home

The relentless renovation and multi-unit expansion claims another residence, and surely more must follow. The Featured Image is the boarded up house on which porch I photographed 20-year-old kitty Rosie. She joined my “Cats of University Heights” series in early April 2022.

A few days before the profile posted, my wife and I met the calico’s owner, as she returned from walking a dog, which was one way she earned money. Business had picked up some from the worst of the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdown period, when people stuck at home could care for their own mutts. Still, she fretted about being evicted when the moratorium on such action expired in a few months. Reason: renovation—or better stated, renovicition.

Read More

A Rose by any Other Name…is Wet

Rains returned to San Diego but broken by sunshine long enough for my wife and I to take a morning walk. After going along Panorama Drive, we crossed Adams Avenue to where Alabama Street starts. Few houses along, Annie stopped and regarded a pink rose poking through the open slats of a fence.

I turned Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to that one, and another, which is the Featured Image—but from when I returned about 30 minutes later for a more deliberate composition. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 12, 1/250 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 9:48 a.m. PST.

Read More

Don’t You Believe It

I will never be a fan of that narcistic cesspool called social media. The last light of hopefully meaningful online interaction extinguished with the shuttering of Google+ over April Fools 2019. That said, Elon Musk’s buying and revamping Twitter—and releasing through journalists the so-called “Twitter Files”—brings some hope that a bastion of free speech and reasonably intelligent commonsense dialogue can survive and thrive on the Internet; oh, and have room enough for narcissists and the rest of us.

As such, I now spend some time each day on Twitter. I joined during the early days, in late December 2006. Long time, I know. But until a week or so ago, I also had been mostly inactive. This morning, I had a good object lesson in the kind of misinformation that spreads across any social media platform—and in the most innocuous, likely unintentional, but worrisome way.

Read More

Recalling Old Glory

What on Oct. 3, 2004 prompted flags flown at half-mast? I sure don’t recall, nor could I immediately discover a reason from searching the InterWebs. I will further explain.

This evening, while rummaging through old photos, I came across a shot of the U.S. Capitol. The building, set back behind trees, took my attention; initially. On closer inspection, I could see that for all my poor photography habits of 19 years ago, the flagpole frames the shot. Then I looked at lowered Old Glory and wondered why?

Read More

Don’t Be Humpty Dumpty

How rude is that? In the midst of a massive shortage, one of my neighbors flaunts that he has a source of eggs. Just kidding, of course. You could raise chickens, too. If someone can keep them in San Diego, where houses pack tightly together with limited outdoor space, you could do as much with a little ingenuity. Then when online and TV commentators rail about bird flu cracking the egg supply chain, you won’t be Humpty Dumpty all broken up because store shelves are empty.

Returning to the topic of my neighbor’s chickens, if they were mine, I would watch them carefully when pecking about the lawn. Because of the so-called egg apocalypse, some passerby might decide to pluck one of the birds. What’s worse than a porch pirate purloining your Amazon delivery? Someone stealing your birds. Don’t expect them to escape the chase or cluck for help. They are an emotional and financial investment that you don’t want to risk losing.

Read More

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.

Read More

Rat-Tat-Tat Goes the CAT

Redevelopment of the half block where meet El Cajon Blvd and Louisiana Street currently is underway. When iconic Postal Convenience Center abruptly closed in July 2021 after 34 years of operation, I wrongly assumed that the business was another casualty of  SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 shutdown mandates. Rather, the place lost its lease, as did Cave of Wonders further down The Boulevard.

In additional to commercial properties along El Cajon, on nearby Louisiana, a small collection of Craftsman homes and cottages were emptied of tenants. All the buildings were destroyed in late April 2022. Welcome to more San Diego urban renewal that could create even more unaffordable housing.

Read More

‘He Didn’t Make It’

Surely you recall hearing or reading the title of this post somewhere. “He didn’t make it” is such an overly used movie or television trope (books, too). The statement also aptly describes the fate of the fallen Grinch who is subject of the Featured Image. He survived immediate decoration take-down following end of the Christmas holidays, but he was no match for the series of torrential rainstorms buffeting California.

Flooding. Mudslides. Power outages. Record snowfall in the mountains. Sinkholes. Hey, but no wildfires; too wet for that. But, don’t you fret; all that water will soon be forgotten. Sun will dry the place, pretty quickly, and the body politick will want to resume fear-mongering about drought conditions caused (presumably) by Climate Change.

Read More

Soon to be as Popular as Grand Ole Opry?

Today, I did an In-N-Out drive-by while other cars were ridiculously stuck in the drive-thru. What’s up with all this vehicular laziness? Park. Go inside and order. Your food will come faster. Shall we time it so you can see, or is your butt so planted you would never consider the freedom and ease found at the counter?

But I digress. The Featured Image, quickly taken from inside my Honda using Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, is shared solely to illustrate this post—and opportunity to snark vomit all over the fast-foodery’s homeland. This week, In-N-Out announced plans to open its farthest east location(s). In Tennessee. Why the Volunteer State, you might ask. The company doesn’t really answer, but you don’t need more sense than the drive-thru nutters to rightly reason. That’s where the customers are—meaning California expats and refugees. And you thought they all flocked to Idaho and Texas (yes, where many did flee).

Read More

‘That Would Be a Great Story’

Yesterday, as I arrived for my haircut, the barber walked out of the adjacent grocery store with two lottery tickets in hands. Later, after finishing the masterpiece made with razor and scissors, he boasted about giving me a $1.3 billion cut—referring to the Mega Millions drawing later tonight. I would look dapper in a tux ready to collect the prize, he said.

Well, yeah, if I bought a ticket. But I only had cash enough to pay for the haircut, unless he gave up part of his tip. “That would be a great story”, he answered, telling it and agreeing that I should keep back two bucks to play. I walked next store and bought a ticket.

Read More

What Would You Pay to Live Here?

Zillow lists 30 places for rent in my neighborhood of University Heights. You are looking at the most expensive: $5,950 per month. For a rent like that, I think Manhattan or San Francisco—not a somewhat middleclass area of San Diego. But, hey, the deposit is only $5500 (plus another $500, if you have a small pet). Lucky you.

Strangely, the place is a bargain, because half-a-block distance is a $5,450 rental that may be less monthly but poorer value for the size:1,450 square feet, compared to 2,325 sq ft for the pricier property.