Tag: urban photography

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Wheel of Misfortune

I don’t watch gameshows, but who wouldn’t know the name of the one for which this post’s title is derived? Abandoned, and attached to a fence, this lonely bicycle wheel piqued my photographic interest on July 25, 2022. That afternoon, my wife and I walked along one of the Balboa Park trails that leads to a footbridge that crosses SR-163.

We entered the trail nearby the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America headquarters near Robinson and Upas streets in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood. I made a wisecrack about identity politics as we passed. What is a girl? What is a boy? Does anyone know anymore? Maybe the two organizations should merge, become Scouts of America, and avoid answering those questions or engaging in controversial debate. But I digress.

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Open Your Imagination

The followup to yesterday’s Gnome greeters isn’t as interesting, and I regret not taking time to shoot the entire setup. Instead, the Featured Image shows the house where the welcomers would go if truly able to enter the tree.

Lovely and inviting, this outdoor decor escapade leads to yet something else to stimulate your imagination. Behind the closed doors are books and another of San Diego’s many little lending libraries. (Some others: One, Two, Three, Four.)

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Gnomenclature

Earlier today, my wife showed me a Google Street View snapshot from four years ago where we both can be seen cleaning out the trunk of our daughter’s car—the lovely powder blue BMW Z3 that my father-in-law purchased 10 years ago as a high school graduation present. The roadster came to unfortunate end near 2019 New Years. Honestly, the convertible deserved better ownership.

For a change of scenery, we drove over to daughter’s old San Diego neighborhood for a walk that took us down to one of the Balboa Park trails and the foot bridge crossing SR-163. Beforehand, along Herbert Street between Myrtle and Upas, Annie and I came upon a welcoming yard, which will get some attention tomorrow in addition to the post you read right now.

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Voluptuously Vintage

For weeks, I have seen evidence that one of my neighbors keeps, or recently acquired, a vintage vehicle. The massive shape was unmistakable under some kind of natural fiber covering. This afternoon, I got glimpse of the classic car, parked open view. Early evening, I returned with Leica Q2 Monochrom.

The Featured Image is one of the two photos, uncharacteristically captured with auto-settings. Vitals: f/3.5, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 7:39 p.m. PDT. A snippet setting sun provided just enough daylight. I had few composition options, because of how the automobile is parked and my shooting through bars of a fence.

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Let the Kids Breathe!

Seriously, San Diego Unified School District?  SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 mandates are back, starting yesterday. Students are required to muzzle up—uh, wear masks—once more. Because of the time of year, you might ask “Who cares?” Some kids are taking summer classes, then there are the year-round schools like Alice Birney Elementary.

Granted, Omicron BA.5 rapidly spreads. But the virus is unstoppably contagious—and that’s without factoring the science too often ignored by policymakers: Because of its small size, SARS-CoV-2 easily passes through most face coverings, like those that youngsters wear.

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Does Anyone Care Enough to Comply?

While my household has ample supply of masks, including environmental and medical N95s, I have absolutely no plans to cover up should mandates return—and looks like they will; in Los Angeles County, at least, and possibly here in San Diego, too. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention returns both areas to the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 high-risk category, which could lead to resuming face-covering requirements.

As of yesterday, according to official public health data that excludes Long Beach and Pasadena, 1,107 people are hospitalized in LA County—up from 606 about thirty days earlier. One-hundred twenty-nine are in intensive care, or about 11 percent of capacity. Daily Coronavirus deaths: Four, which is down from six on June 14. And that’s a health emergency enough to bring back mask mandates?

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Long Haul Trucker

I initially planned to close-crop the Featured Image but instead present it as shot. Both bikes are something of anachronisms in San Diego, where more and more riders mount motorized hybrids. Blame electric rentals or SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns—both, likely—for dramatic behavioral shift in a short span of about two years.

The Surly is a Long Haul Trucker model that the manufacturer describes as a “long-distance cargo bike ready to go anywhere”. The single saddlebag—pannier, if you prefer—suggests somewhere. The LHT was retired last year, after 17 years of production, which makes me wonder how much the sudden surge in popularity of electric (and some gas-powered) hybrids played into the bike’s end of life.

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Let the Music Begin

This evening, after a two-year hiatus because of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns (and fear), Friday-night Trolley Barn Park musical concerts resumed here in University Heights.

I passed by minutes before the players took the stage and while people settled in for a pleasant evening shared listening and commiserating. Temperature was a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius (72 F). Even now, as I write, 20 degrees (68 F) refreshes park-goers.

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The One That Remains

Two days ago, I shared with you a palm pair on Oregon Street in North Park; the shorter of the two had been marked by city contractors for removal. More by chance than planning, my wife and I walked by the location this afternoon; the tree infested with South American Palm Weevils is gone.

The other must be healthy because it still stands, as you can see from the Featured Image. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 100, 1/8000 sec, 28mm; 3:50 p.m. PDT. I used Leica Q2 to make two street shots, choosing the cropped top to include the magnificent, sprawling shadow.

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The Fourth on Fifth Avenue

For an errand, this afternoon, I walked from my neighborhood of University Heights to Hillcrest and back. To celebrate Independence Day, the city put out American flags. The Featured Image captures two on Fifth Avenue beside one of the many controversial, and new, bike lanes.

San Diego is in the process of transforming select streets to connect a regional bikeway. The idea is to gain, ah, independence from carbon-emitting vehicles by encouraging more pedal power. Oddly though, hybrid electric or motor bikes are suddenly everywhere, which makes me wonder about the strategy. One reason: Those riders tend to avoid the bike lanes and flow with traffic; the partially powered two-wheelers are too fast-moving.

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Mourning Moment

As my wife and I walked up Meade Avenue in North Park, today, a sickly palm caught my attention. Crossing Oregon Street, I saw a white X on the right tree, indicating that city workers had marked it for removal. I am uncertain about the health of the other, but no marking indicates that it isn’t slated to be chopped down.

San Diego fights futilely to hold back advance of the South American Palm Weevil, which was observed along the Mexican border in 2011. The first infestations appeared five years later. The insects essentially infest the heart of the Canary Island Date Palm crown, destroying it.

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Gone But Not Forgotten

Two years ago last month, during business-crushing SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns, Microsoft unceremoniously announced the closure of all 83 stores, signaling the end of a too-short-lived retail expansion. In 2022, three flagship shops—in Australia, United Kingdom, and United States—remain, converted into so-called “experience centers”.

Rummaging through old photos—the Featured Image from Aug. 2, 2016—I stop for another moment to remember what was and could have been better. Microsoft Store should have succeeded like Apple’s massive retail experiment started on May 19, 2001.