February 28, 2010

Why I Love Berkeley, Part 38

Berkeley Post Office

The Post Office — a luminous, beautiful mediteranean building dating from when Californians still cared about civil architecture and took pride in their public buildings.

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May 06, 2009

Road Trip Pix

I've put an automatically-generated gallery of some hi-res pix from my recent road trip into California and Nevada here. I'll be doing something separate for the people shots from the Vegas conference, sometime in the future, for those of you who asked….

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February 17, 2009

A Few Small Snaps From A Long Weekend

For those of you not following along on Facebook (or Twitter, for that matter), I spent a few days in the desert doing mostly video work on movement and people; some not-as-well-focused snaps from the expedition are at my Facebook Where I Am gallery for a while. Nothing special, but I'm working on the video version, which will probably take months to get that 5 minutes of finished product from 50 minutes of footage. An Australian accent (no matter how not-quite-right) goes a long way in this sort of thing, is all I'll obliquely say here….

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December 23, 2008

Advance Notice



[Note: edited 09-01-05 to reflect new start date — JL]

A bit of advance notice that my real-life self will be having a small art photo exhibition at Kefa Coffee (a really good local cafe / coffee shop) for a month starting sometime early February; details when I know 'em (including whether or not there'll be any sort of opening reception, something that currently seems unlikely given the lack of notice and the small size of Kefa…). Today, West Jingletown; tomorrow the world…

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June 21, 2008

Behind The Image

In the cavernous old Wells Fargo bank in downtown Berkeley the clerk behind the desk looks up at me looking up at the huge photo murals by local lad Ansel Adams on the wall behind her (not the usual Saint Ansel images, but the more subtle and interesting stuff you don't normally see in places like this); when I look down again she smiles and says quietly that she wished they'd put photos of photographers up there instead of the photos themselves. She says she's rather see who's behind the photos than the photos she sees every day, she wants to see people instead of rocks and buildings (later, she shyly admits to being a photographer herself).

It's unusually hot and sunny outside, and in the Milano they've opened up the roof and the entire folding front wall, and the place is full of light, soft breezes, bright Conjunto… and a smattering of students, studying for summer courses (one of the reasons I've kept coming back to the Milano is that it's so often full of hard-working students clacking away at laptops or earnestly discussing molecular structures or l'Hospital's rule over lattes and bagels — such a contrast with the Mediterraneum, which is always full of aging loud damaged hippies and boomers talking at the top of their voices about stale politics and dead icons). Outside on the street, Mars is telling us it's "Cheap But Not Easy"; beneath the Mars sign there's an old homeless guy splayed face-down across the sidewalk asleep next to a carpet of glass, totally naked except for an old pair of embossed cowboy boots and a small beach towel someone probably placed across his arse. I don't have the heart to take a photo. A few minutes later there's a flurry of police and an ambulance, and a short walk later there's nothing to see at all.

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November 20, 2007

Lurking




Sometimes you need just a little hint of (tonal) manipulation before you can show what you really saw... (another of those fleeting urban glimpses with a strong sense of place, a glimpse that'll disappear forever some day soon…

(As always, click on the image above for a much larger version).

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November 06, 2007

Around Jingletown

As some of you already know, I've put up a new photo blog, "Around Jingletown", to document the Jingletown (and Oakland and Berkeley and Emeryville and …) Experience, at least in images (and yes, it's under my real name). Some of it will be familiar if you've seen my earlier Tight Sainthood Jingletown piece, but it will definitely be going a lot further than that, and a lot more obsessively, too. Have at it… (or not), but treat it gently: it's not entirely ready for prime time just yet.

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October 31, 2007

Street Level

King Street, Newtown


"Mate, just take a pitcha of me instead of all the shops!" ("Kenny" on King Street).

Cooper's Hotel, King Street, Newtown


Happy bloody hour.

King Street, Newtown


Deepest Africa.

King Street, Newtown


International Dreaming (this mural has miraculously survived for decades now).

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October 29, 2007

Erko Plus

Erskineville Rd, Erko




Erskineville Rd, Erko

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October 26, 2007

Then And Now

What a difference a decade or two makes (or doesn't)…

Erskineville Rd, Newtown

Erskineville Rd, Newtown


Erskineville Rd, Erko

Erskineville Rd, Erko


Bedford St, Newtown

Bedford St, Newtown

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October 20, 2007

Where I'm From

Lion Island from Umina Beach

Or one of the places, at any rate. And Spike does this sort of thing a lot better, but those odd little holdovers from the past (plain ugly or not) like the one below still crop up on the walks through streets now mostly populated with far uglier and much larger places that absolutely strive for mediocrity. There's no There, There, in almost all of my hometowns now.




(And no, this particular house in Ettalong was not my childhood home, but it surely typifies some part of my childhood).

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September 12, 2007

Four For The Price Of One

East Oakland

Four local East Oakland / Fruitvale / Estuary icons for the price of one: Nikko's 24 HR Cafe Shop; the friendly guy who stands guard over 880 and East 7th; the old Lucasey factory; and St Joseph's. Just the condensed glimpse I get from the walkway coming off the Park Street bridge on my way home each day, captured with a longer lens….

(Click on the image above for a much larger version).

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September 06, 2007

Copper

Early Morning, Fruitvale Bridge from Park Street Bridge

For the last two days, copper-coloured skies, a weak reddish sun, and the smell of burning hanging over everything from the bushfires both north and south. Beautiful, in its own way.

(Yesterday, early morning, Fruitvale Bridge from Park Street Bridge, Oakland Estuary).

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September 01, 2007

Morning

Cafe Milano, Berkeley

Saturday morning, breakfast, Cafe Milano, Berkeley, looking south (for the Berkeley nostalgists out there who tend to look the other way)

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August 18, 2007

Another Damn Slideshow?

US Highway 50, Central Nevada

For those of you who asked (you know who you are), I finally got around to putting up the full Flash-based slideshow / gallery from the earlier desert trip (see e.g. the april archives ad nauseam). Click on the image above or here to see the gallery. You'll need a fairly hi-res screen (it's optimised for at least 1280 x 1024, but it'll work at less than this), and you can fiddle with the enigmatic little icons on the bottom right of the page to start things going and to enable or disable image titles, etc.

And if you don't have Flash and / or Javascript (or you've disabled them), you probably won't see anything at all. Which might be a blessing — there's a lot of images up there…

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July 20, 2007

Night Flight

Camarillo, 10pm

10pm, Camarillo airport (Ventura County, outer LA), after a 200 mile drive through the heat of the Valley from Oakland to Sacramento and back, and a two hour flight down in a rented Mooney, I watch The Boys work on 75T in front of the hangar.

Ahead: a two hour formation flight through a smooth dark moonless night over rugged high terrain with Tight Sainthood as the lead pilot and navigator, another way-past-midnight return, a major tremor epicentered beneath Oakland… what else?

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July 19, 2007

Camarillo

Camarillo

"Camarillo Tower, Cirrus 75 Tango, we're going to have to make an immediate return to the airfield. We've got an electrical problem up here…"
"75 Tango, understood. Confirm that's you 5 northwest?"
"Affirmative, 75 Tango."
"75 Tango do you need any assistance or want to declare an emergency?"
"75 Tango… nah, I think we've just lost our alternator. We'll debug it on the ground. If you don't hear us again that'll be the reason."
"75 Tango, understood. If you lose the radios, look for the lightgun."
"75 Tango, will do, and thanks."
      …
"75 Tango, cleared to land 26, wind 240 at 15, traffic on the upwind is a Cessna in the pattern."
"75 Tango, cleared to land 26, traffic in sight."
      …
"75 Tango, exit at Charlie, ground point eight, and, um, good luck!"
"75 Tango, ground point eight, and thanks. I'm sure the owner's going to be thrilled…"

* * *

CH-46 Sea Knight

I watch the LAPD and Ventura County Sheriff's Department cars careering around chasing each other in the shimmering haze out beyond the runway in what's apparently a special car chase training area on the airport. They've been doing this for hours. I've been sitting here in the airport cafe for hours, waiting for The Owner to call back. There's a growing noise of military helicopters and out of nowhere three large grey-painted USMC CH-46 Sea Knights descend in formation into the heat at the far end of the ramp, out beyond the parked airplanes. The noise is deafening. They descend in a cloud of dust and blown-around trash, with all the smaller planes rocking around on the wash, and in a minute or so the loadmasters lower the back ramps and three or four dozen marines in fatigues line up on the ramp. After what looks like a short briefing the marines stroll briskly across the ramp towards the cafe. I ask the cafe owner what's happening. "Oh", she says, "they've just flown in from Edwards. They've reserved the entire front patio. It's Tri-Tip treat day for them!". Cool, I think, as I watch them rush in like excited kids.

No, I've been here a couple of decades and I didn't know what Tri-Tip was either.

Tri-Tip


(Ch-46 image from the US Navy via Wikipedia).

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July 18, 2007

The Home Of The Homeless

Santa Monica, 7am


Santa Monica Pier


Santa Monica Back Alley, 7.50am

One of the things I've always liked about Santa Monica (and Venice) is the shady, grimy, muggy, truck- and garbage-strewn urban alleys, so much like the back lanes of the inner-city Sydney of my memory. Around the corner, Third Street gets creepier every year, a sort of clean shiny Disneyfied Telegraph Avenue with the homeless sitting in tidy chairs and street crews cleaning up every morning. And there's almost nothing there any more except large chain stores and generic restaurants.

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July 17, 2007

KSBP CREPE3.MQO RZS V386 OHIGH.FERN5 KVNY

KVNY

Tight Sainthood does Van Nuys ("One Six Right" territory for the aviation nerds like me Out There).

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KHWD LT 160 RV ALTAM V244 ECA V113 PRB DIRECT KSBP

Level at 7,000'

Tight Sainthood 7,000' over the Central Valley (dig those classic retro steam gauges! No, TS usually does the glass cockpit thing nowadays…).

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June 15, 2007

Morsel

Morsel

Just a morsel, an obsessograph from the sublime, a day in my studio last year…

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June 01, 2007

No Respect



One of my favourite local Estuary icons, the tug "Respect", pictured above (and here), apparently keeled over and capsized in the Estuary several weeks ago, without injuring or killing anyone working on it. Few people noticed it existed even when it was visible; now there's just a couple of lighted obstruction buoys floating in the channel a few metres offshore from where it used to be moored, and (for the first few days) a tiny flurry of "respect" jokes in the local media. The owners are going to try to salvage it (again), apparently, and continue on doing what they were trying to do in the first place: clean it up and (somehow) get it up the coast to Oregon under its own steam. We shall see.

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April 28, 2007

Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino

Cady Mountains, Route 66

Cady Mountains, Route 66.

Ludlow, Route 66, California

Ludlow, California.

Ludlow Crossing, Route 66, California

Ludlow Crossing, California.

Siberia, Route 66, California

Siberia, California.

Bagdad, Route 66, California

Bagdad, California (yes, that Bagdad, even if the film was actually made 50 miles up the highway at Newberry Springs…).

Roy's, Amboy, Route 66, California

Roy's, Amboy, California. When I first drove through here nearly twenty years ago, I knew nothing about the place. Roy's was still owned and run by Buster Burris back then; he actually owned the entire surrounding "town" of Amboy as well, and later tried to sell it en masse (but no one bought it). I stopped and went in to the cafe for a soda. It was small and deathly quiet; I was the only customer there. There were several hand-drawn and autographed pictures of Ronald Reagan on the wall; the decor was retro-kitsch without the "retro" (or the quotes), barstools, plastic-topped tables, etc. I got my soda from the rather nice old woman behind the counter and fled, which seems a stupidly-wasted opportunity in retrospect….

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North American

North American


Pisgah, California

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April 27, 2007

Sidewinder Road

Sidewinder Road

Beautiful Mt Stoddard from Sidewinder Road, Barstow.

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Desert Blooms

Desert Blooms

Another desert icon, in full spring bloom along Sidewinder Road near Barstow.

Desert Blooms

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Trona Pinnacles

Trona Pinnacles

Not quite the same Trona I know and love, but close enough.

Trona Pinnacles

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Trona

Trona, California

This town's always defeated me, I can never seem to capture the glinting flinty junkyard atmosphere, the beautiful desert lurking behind the sinewy mine processing plants looming over the clapboard houses and boarded-up businesses… so I look the other way.

Trona, California

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April 26, 2007

Death Valley

Death Valley

Surrounded by all the landscape, it's the people that catch the eye…

Zabriskie Point

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