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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


Under here.

July 23, 2012

Picking Up
Monday. Nothing on television last night, many of the five PBS stations I'm able to receive are in the middle of their fund raising drives, so to bed early on a warm and, what felt to me, unusually humid evening, getting to sleep after ten. I'm never quite sure how quickly I drop off or how well I may have slept, although I'm up and feeling fine this morning. The presidential fund raiser at the Fox theater later this afternoon, so there's something on the plate to photograph. It will be interesting although, one hopes, not too interesting.

It's overcast, the news saying some areas might experience brief thunder showers, but otherwise clearing up by the afternoon. Sounds fine, the temperature is at least cool, without being cold, and the day is a-dawning.

Later. Some time on the guitar before heading out on a fairly ambitious walk along the lake, over to Lakeshore around and back to the morning café for vanilla ice cream and lemonade out at a table on their patio. No thoughts of a nap, just a need to get out of the apartment and stretch the legs. It always seems to do me good, brightens up the spirit and all that. No complaints, you understand, just sayin’.

Back then to indeed lie down for a while before checking camera batteries, changing out lenses and packing the one long lens camera in the backpack, sliding the small digital recorder into a side pocket. I hadn't gotten to sleep, but again, a lie down for a while before heading out for the bus.

I had no idea what to expect. The bus was rerouted at Grand and Broadway, which I was expecting, so I got off there and walked toward the Sears store at 20th, seeing a long line of people waiting along the sidewalk. They were obviously there for the Obama fund raiser at which the cheap seats up in the balcony were going for one thousand dollars a pop. Plenty of pops waiting out there on the sidewalk. (I've read now later that they started at one hundred dollars each for the cheap seats, which to me makes more sense.)

So I took pictures and walked along farther to Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall, where I'd read the anti-war people had said they were going to rally before marching on the theater, passing people carrying all kinds of signs, most of them protesting the D.O.J. crackdown on cannabis, but some few others protesting the war(s), habeas corpus, immigration and arctic drilling.

It wasn't just anti-war people at the plaza, by far the largest contingent was the cannabis group and they set out on their march just as I arrived. The newspaper had said they were setting out at three-thirty and I'd set out to arrive by three to give myself plenty of time to shoot (no need to overdo it), but again, they set out at three and the timing worked out well.

So, a march along Broadway back to Sears, over to San Pablo on 20th and then back to the plaza taking pictures of the marchers and of the police who were taking pictures of us, all very nice and pleasant. One or two of the marchers were shouting insults at the police, but one or two out of a few hundred, the demonstrators were generally in a good mood and obviously not looking for trouble, which is the way I like it.

Fine, back at City Hall, more pictures, a walk then to the City Center to have a V-8 juice out at a table, sitting, thinking after two hours of walking and shooting while packing the cameras, why wasn't I tired? More tired? Adrenaline? What?

So, Obama was due at four-thirty, it was four, I walked back along Broadway, took one or two pictures along the way, rounded Grand and waited for a bus. Done for the day. No way to see Obama arrive, no chance for any photographs, but that's what I'd expected. They weren't going to let anyone without a ticket within the range of a telephoto lens, not in Oakland. Or anywhere else, I'd imagine.

So, the chanting was about dumping Melinda Haag at D.E.A. and Eric Holder at the D.O.J. and not about dumping Obama. I wondered how that would go, how that would be handled. I'd say a good day out on the farm for pictures.

Evening. Three hours working with the pictures. Two sections for ArtAndLife and HereInOakland I'd think, but I'll know better when the initial go through is finished and done tomorrow morning. No need to force the issue, we'll get in our practice (the guitar lesson is tomorrow), pace our progress to get everything done and in place for driving to Portland. I'd say things are picking up, here in Oakland.

The photo up top was taken yesterday by Splash Pad Park on Grand with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 Nikkor VR lens.