Oct. 22nd, 2006 02:42 am
escapewindow: escape window (Default)

[i: open studios] I went to Fort Mason today since a bunch of this weekend's artists' Open Studios were being held there.

This batch was mostly prints and photos; nothing quite as exciting as 1890 Bryant last time. Two of my favorite artists from this batch weren't even part of the Open Studios; they were part of an SFMOMA exhibit at Fort Mason. Susan Parker's style was more than a little bit mind boggling, and made me decide to try something in that vein at some point. It'll definitely turn out different than hers, and may spark something interesting. Glad I saw those.

I liked Lorrie Fink's paintings: lily ponds mostly. Peter A Doolin's abstract and comic-esque prints held my attention for quite a while. I quite liked Robert Jones' photos: his black and whites were really well done and his color skyscrapers were solarized or otherwise colored in a sort of otherworldly way.

One artist, whose name I didn't get, printed her digital photos on all sorts of different textured paper: watercolor paper, rice paper, etc. which gave them a more organic look. Quite nice.

I'm quite intrigued by The Nocturnes, which is an informal group of nighttime photographers. Some of their photos were amazing.

Still, I left feeling that I could have viewed all these photos and etchings and prints online without having lost very much. It's paintings and sculptures that tend to lose something when photographed. Ah well, there's still a bunch of other artists this weekend that I haven't seen yet, so I'm planning on driving around tomorrow to do just that.

[ii: speaking of night photography] It was unnaturally hot today in SF. So much so that when I got back from Fort Mason, I stayed in an hour or two til the sun had set before heading over to the East Bay for errands, packing up my rig for Tuesday's show, and a photo walk 'round Lake Merritt. I think the photos turned out better this time. (See: 10 months ago.)

This one SO looks like a postcard to me.

larger, +9 )


Sep. 4th, 2005 08:55 pm
escapewindow: escape window (Default)
ed roman jet guitar
This guy has some fucking beautiful guitars.
Not cheap. But I've been lusting after a custom guitar...

[2]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 )
escapewindow: escape window (now entering jesusland)

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.

Fox Theatre sign
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 )

escapewindow: escape window (circuit board)

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.

the bay
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 )
I didn't even cover all of the Square that I wanted to, plus I want night shots. Some other day.

escapewindow: escape window (escape(window) typewriter)

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.

Some quotes:

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).

One destination I planned to visit (and photograph) was Preservation Park, 16 restored Victorians in the heart of downtown.

Preservation Park east gate
I entered from the east gate...

+4 pics )

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?

February 2017



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