I took a photo walk around Lake Merritt last night, on a complete whim. My little digicam held up pretty well despite my taste for low-light photography sans flash... but I'd like to pick up that SLR soon and take the exact same photo walk and compare.
Things came out a little grainy, but I like the reflections.
The lake almost looks like a painting.
( +10 )
This guy has some fucking beautiful guitars.
Not cheap. But I've been lusting after a custom guitar...
The Buick warehouse (down the street from the Hamilton house) that Aaron wanted to move into is being torn down. I think it was in the realm of 2mil back then; wonder what it's worth now? And what sort of check cashing/strip mall/yuppie loft are they building in its place? Still, I suppose it's for the best that someone use the property...
( photo walk )
I've got tons of pictures left over from my photo walk, with a rough theme of "downtown Oakland". This encompasses Old Oakland, a bit of Chinatown, and areas that still haven't been restored. They certainly don't have the semi-cohesive feel of the Preservation Park or Jack London Square photos, but I think, as a whole, they tell a bit of a story. Whether that story is Oakland's or merely of my eccentric photographic style I'm not entirely sure.
This is the abandoned theatre I was planning on buying once I got rich and famous.
Looks like the city is restoring it. Fair enough.
( +23 random pictures )
I went on another photo walk today. Rather unsuccessful.
I kept finding good vantage points for photographs, but they tend to be in the middle of streets and on freeways. I need a crane or a helicopter. I need to take photos from the rooftops or hills. Otherwise I can't really get a photo of the greater picture, as it were. Just individual buildings that don't necessarily capture the feel of an entire neighborhood.
I also drove west in the hope of seeing the bay from a new vantage point. The army base kind of prevents that. Suck.
Perhaps the scope of this project is a bit large, and I should focus on familiar parts of the city or specific buildings. Perhaps the scope of this project is a bit limited, and I should include my haunts in Emeryville and Berkeley, and branch out.
(Also, it's Easter and the streets and shops were abnormally quiet. And it was raining and I ended up driving more and walking/photographing much less. I think I took a grand total of three pictures today.)
But I still have oodles of pictures from yesterday. Here are some from Jack London Square.
I've missed the salt water air and the glint of sun over the bay. I should visit more often.
The cranes in the upper right inspired George Lucas' AT-ATs.
( +11 pics of Jack London Square )
Aaron once said he loved Oakland despite what other people thought of it. Perhaps even because of it. I've met others with that mindset as well; fiercely East Bay, despite the popular belief that the city across the bay is somehow superior. They're definitely in the minority; most people seem to have an aversion to Oakland without even getting to know the city themselves.
In the past... almost nine years, now, it's become home for me. More home than Claremont ever was. I haven't noticed it being much more dangerous than other cities I've known. Or the suburbs, even, where you're in constant danger of keeling over from sheer boredom. Flatline. The rictus the first glimpse of a smile anyone's seen from you in years.
Today I went on a photo walk to capture some of Oakland. Just small glimpses. It was fun. And I noticed things about my town that I hadn't noticed before. I think I'll want to do some more of these. To share my view of Oaktown. And to encourage me to do more exploring. Not necessarily limiting myself to the one city, but it's a good place to start.
Oakland, at one point in time, was a classy and elegant city.
Mayor Jerry Brown writes about Gertrude Stein's comment, "There is no 'there' there" (which is not, in fact, directed at the entire city of Oakland).
I still have photos from downtown and Jack London Square to post. And in the future I want to explore and photograph:
- flea markets and farmer's markets.
- west oakland; east oakland; warehouses and artist communities. a study of burrito vans.
- lake merritt and the hamilton house.
- rockridge and my old apartment.
- piedmont and the half-mil 8 bedroom houses.
- the hills, possibly. or urban decay.
- the aesthetics of railroads and freeways.
- the port of oakland.
Will you show me your city?