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The Other Prop
September 12th, 1999

City Living
A note: I received an email with the graphic attached that I've used for the banner. Seems there's another "Sole Proprietor" in the universe who's registered the name as a trademark and is planning to release some of his music soon on the web in MPEG. Which means anyone looking for his music by searching for "The Sole Proprietor" will find "an old fart in his mid fifties" along with about a billion entries under "sole proprietor(ships)" in the business sections. This may force me to change my journal name, I don't know, I can sympathize with the guy's problem. He's still going to get all those sole proprietor business sites when people search for his music, though, with or without my journal present.

I went to Solano Avenue this morning around 9:00 to photograph the Solano Stroll, a kind of block party and parade thrown each year in Albany just north of Berkeley. Solano Avenue was cordoned off from San Pablo Avenue to The Alameda, 22 blocks, with food and trinket vendors lined up on either side shoulder to shoulder with every self help group, gymnastic club and high school marching band you could think of, touting their services beside fire department information displays, pony rides, neutering clinics and radio stations. I'm not sure what you do at a radio station booth, I didn't notice anyone broadcasting, but there were three or four flying long strings of helium filled balloons and they all seem to show up at these events.

It went well, I think. I shot six rolls of film, slides and black and white, working out with two cameras for about three hours. I arrived early and got some good shots of the people preparing for the parade: marchers, dancers, women in skimpy costumes, old cars and local politicians. It really is a local neighborhood almost small town event if you can call anything in the Bay Area "small town" or "local". I don't know how many people come to the Stroll, but 22 blocks were packed sidewalk to sidewalk with locals, so there's both interest and tradition here, this being their 25th anniversary. Lots of mothers pushing baby strollers, a day for the family to get some exercise, listen to music, watch a parade, say hello to the neighbors and eat. I was going to say eat forbidden foods, as in deep fried, but Albany is next to Berkeley and deep fried in Berkeley is fried rice and vegetables. Actually, there were more than a few barbecued beef and chicken on a stick vendors, so maybe I'm just being cute.

I'm sitting here writing after a run to the pet store to buy a larger litter tray for Wuss, who goes in for a sonogram tomorrow. He's better, but he's still leaking and I'm going to go over these rugs with something soon to kill the urine smell. This is not funny. They make a unit that fits into a sliding glass door like the one on my balcony allowing your cat to enter while it filters out burglars. Maybe I can arrange a litter box on the patio instead of in the kitchen or the bathroom, the only two rooms in the place without carpet. I talked about putting Wuss in diapers (the thought is ludicrous) but what the fuck, it may come to that. City living.

The banner photograph was emailed to me on Saturday by "The Sole Proprietor".