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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


December 3, 2016


Saturday. Lights out by ten again, awakening at six-thirty on another clear morning. Set out as yesterday with a couple of paper napkins in the pocket to wipe away the tears that form in the cold morning air and spent the entire walk wiping without stopping. No one else I'm passing is doing this. Have they been out walking long enough so their eyes have stopped tearing or are they just exiting a car and the cold hasn't had time to hit? Or am I unique in this stuff? I recall having the same problem when I was younger.

A large breakfast over the papers, the sun bright walking home. No tearing this time, no tearing on any of the walks home, so the air is warmer. Or maybe I should just file it under don't know and bring along paper napkins when I set out in the morning cold. Snapped pictures of the exact same subjects I seem to always take on the way home.

Have no idea what to do today, we'll let the morning settle and see what appears.

Later. I first learned of the warehouse fire they're saying killed nine and perhaps as many as twenty-five more people in the Fruitvale district reading the Guardian. I know the area, thought once of buying a live/work space condominium nearby and have two younger friends who could conceivably have attended. They hadn't. Good to hear.

We gave many a party at the old San Francisco Rip Off Press building in the early seventies. They were large parties, hundreds of people, most of them artists, writers and musicians, and this fire obviously struck a chord. The Press building housed printing presses with second story offices, but looked and felt more like a warehouse than anything else. Good times.

A local news program is giving it continuous coverage and I've kept it playing in the living room, listening to it in the background.

A walk over to the lake and then on to the farmers market, again taking a snapshot of the drummer who's become something of a local celebrity playing on the corner of Grand and MacArthur. Mr. Automatic (young) Man.

On to Lakeshore to have a pastry and coffee at the bagel shop, surprised to find outside tables available, even though the sidewalks and other avenues were crowded. No complaints. Back to the apartment thinking did I want to photograph the Bay Area Solidarity Vigil & March for Oceti Sakowin Camp (their title, but quite a mouthful) being held at four in Frank Ogawa Plaza? Maybe I should just go and figure out if it had been a good idea later?

Later still. Packed both cameras, the long lens camera in the backpack, and caught the three-fifteen bus downtown wondering how many people might turn out. No one I could see assembling as I got off the bus at the City Center, so a walk through the area in front of City Hall. No sign of people gathering.

Back to the City Center to get a diet Pepsi at Panda Express and sit at a table to kill time until four to then return to City Hall. I don't know how many people may have arrived after I left, but one picture before cutting out and catching the bus home.

What to say? The sinuses were acting up (I'd taken a second dose of pain meds before setting out to see if that might help), it was getting darker (there were probably camera thieves and highwaymen out and about) and I was in the mood to talk myself home. Which I did. I wonder if this is the future and will be happening more often.

Evening. Nothing on television (well, the last half of the Penn State - Wisconsin game was pretty good) as the public stations are raising money. They seem to be always raising money and sending it to them doesn't seem to make it stop.

The photo up top was taken through a store window while walking home along Lakeshore today with a Nikon D500 mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 VR Nikkor lens.