Posts in Category: California

My week of shooting, 28 April 2019

Codename: McDonald’s Hamburger Eyes

Because I live about two miles south of the San Francisco city and county line, my photographic work continues to evolve and to benefit from the rich cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity of this area. It also benefits from living with two loveably-insane cats…

  • This week I got a big boost professionally from Hamburger Eyes, a highly-regarded Los Angeles photo magazine that has just published some of my cat photographs in its latest issue. The photos are from my ongoing “Kitty Noir” photo series about my cats Kuroneko and Mikadzuki, which you can see here.

HamburgerEyes38Promo

  • Thursday I stopped into a Daly City McDonald’s for a snack, and congratulated myself for deciding at the last second to walk inside instead using the drive-thru…

SF RAW 1393-3

  • As I left that McDonald’s, this woman asked me for a light and some change. I gave her both, and felt a kind of peace and comfort while standing in front of her. Visually she reminded me of CCH Pounder.

SherryOrSheri 3-2

  • On Friday “Avengers: Endgame” opened nationwide at a theater near you, but I’m sure you knew that. Huge American movies like this follow us everywhere. They watch us as much as we watch them. This photo is also on Flickr.

Superheroes on the menu...
Daly City, California, April 2019

  • Saturday in Brisbane I encountered a Sikh and his family. And I think once you’ve photographed a suburban Sikh dad who’s wearing coordinated shades of pink, you’ve reached some kind of visual pinnacle. He is also on Flickr.

Once you've photographed a suburban Sikh dad in coordinated shades of pink, you've reached some kind of visual pinnacle...
Brisbane, California, April 2019

That’s it for now. Until next time see my other work here and here.

Remember: people and the world are more beautiful, odd, and interesting than you think, you just have to stop and look long enough to notice.

My week of shooting, 24 March 2019

Codename: Homeless Dancing Albinism

Photographically speaking, I had a great week. It was full of the brief but enriching encounters with people that drive home to me why I’m a photojournalist. Even in the most mundane places, and my life right now encompasses a LOT of mundane places, I observe instances of friendliness, open-heartedness, and joy that keep me hopeful that all of us just might be okay if we don’t burn it all down…

  • On St. Patrick’s Day, an affable homeless man and the dollar bill I’d just given him at a freeway off-ramp in San Francisco…

SF RAW 1343-5

  • Tuesday at my local grocery store I was on line with a lady and her dog, so I did what I do and photographed them both…

MidtownBrisbane 1421-4

  • On Friday while having a quick bite at Costco I shared a table with this little girl with albinism and her mother…

ChloeAndMom 1-3

MitchellBouyerMemorial 3-2

  • On Saturday it was a nosh at McDonald’s, and an encounter with this cool teenager who smiled despite the new braces on his teeth…

DanielBraces 1-1

That’s it for this week. Until next seek see my other work here and here.

Remember: people and the world are more beautiful, odd, and interesting than you think, you just have to stop and look long enough to notice.

My week of shooting, 24 February 2019

Codename: Pink Tuba Fire…

Welcome to the first installment of a new weekly feature here on Brisbane Graphic Arts Museum. It’s an ongoing showcase of photographs from my growing body of photojournalism and street photography work, featuring what I think are the best and/or most interesting photos I shot during a given week. I hope you enjoy my work, or get some value from it, and will come back here each week to see how I’ve been seeing our world.

Here we go…

  • On Tuesday I unintentionally unnerved this adorable little girl who was walking past my house with her grandmother…

AlexandraSasha 6-1

  • On Wednesday there was this kid in a shopping cart at a Japanese supermarket in San Mateo where my wife and I were getting some groceries…

RAW-SanMateo 36-2

  • On Thursday Brisbane’s only public house, the Brisbane Inn, caught fire on the top floor and burned for a while. See more photographs of the incident here.

Fire at the Brisbane Inn-5...
Brisbane, California, February 2019

  • On Saturday I encountered this fuzzy pink kid at the public unveiling of a raccoon statue in a small park here in Brisbane. You can also see this photo in this collection

The brilliant fuzzy pink...
Brisbane, California, February 2019

  • Also on Saturday, I came across tuba player rehearsing in a shopping center parking with his banda group for a gig they were playing later in the evening…

Brisbane RAW 2106-5

And that’s it for this week. Until next seek see my other work here and here.

Remember: people and the world are more beautiful, odd, and interesting than you think, you just have to stop and look long enough to notice.

Bunny Sunday

How to knit a cell phone

There are no roses for us
but the ones we make
from Japanese paper
made in China, by the way,
that we buy in vast retail spaces
stocked with glue and glitter and ribbon
and blank books of impermanent quality
with which we build volumes
of memory and dreams.

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft store, Colma, California 2018

The dreams are for ourselves, supposedly.
The memory is for anthropologists, hopefully.
They’ll see how we were
then marvel at how dull it all was,
and wonder why we wasted our time
compiling scrapbooks,
seeing our children,
or writing poems.

And they will envy us that we tried,
goddamn we really tried,
and that we left behind for them
enough of a world to pity.

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft stores….

(Michaels, Colma, California, March 2018. See my other work here and here.)

Ink jets and heart attacks

She ran the dead’s carpeting
throughout the office supply stacks.
She wanted a toy, not pencils nor tacks.
She was bright, shiny cuteness
in an Office Depot®,
or was it an OfficeMax®?
You know,
wherever the corporate types go
for overpriced ink and free heart attacks…

RAW-ElCamino 160-1

(At Staples in South San Francisco, California, February 2016. See my other work here and here.)

The hope at the end of the year

I wish I could say
the end of the year
will erase all your pain,
make disgraces and crimes disappear,
kill the hatred on sale two-for-one at Safeway,

XMasTime2017-RoadTrip 80-1

flood the streets with winning lotto tickets,
give us the heart to be ourselves,
let us forego religion in favor of reason,
and install a second faucet
on everyone’s kitchen sink

HisNameIsAll 1-1

from which flows on demand
the finest Belgian chocolate sauce.
But that’s not going to happen.
America won’t get fixed,
won’t be America,

XMasTime2017-RoadTrip 104-1

won’t be great or even passable,
until people like these,
good people,
sweet people,
American people,

XMasTime2017-RoadTrip 120-1

are no longer sleeping on
concrete pillows on the streets,
seeing bullets and unicorns in their soup,
and eating manic-depressive tacos
from the labyrinths inside flaming dumpsters.

(Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California, December 2017. See my other work here and here.)

The decent thing on Ocean Avenue

A few weeks ago in San Francisco, I had just left my favorite comics shop and was in my car about to turn south onto Ocean Avenue when I saw an old lady had fallen to the concrete on the public transport platform in the middle of the street. Before I could pull my car over and jump out to help, a young man had already reached her. As I watched I knew I was witnessing newsworthy decency, and felt like I was seeing San Francisco write a song lyric about itself and the kindness built into the way this city moves.

And so from my car I saw the young man render aid to the fallen woman. He was gentle with her and handled her firmly but without aggravating her obviously fragile state…

SF RAW 1080-3

Then he helped the lady get her legs back under her, and reclaim the clearly-necessary cane that had somehow failed her in the first place. While this happened drivers passed by oblivious, not necessarily out of callousness but because San Francisco is a body and it’s sometimes hard or risky to step outside one’s place in its street-artery flow…

SF RAW 1082-2

When she got to her feet, the old lady checked her hands for injuries while the young man stood by to ensure her well-being. After a few moments the woman stopped trembling and stood firm but relaxed, which in turn caused the young man to relax. When I realized everything would be okay I started my car and finally turned south onto Ocean Avenue to continue my way home…

SF RAW 1085-1

All of this happened literally within the space of 15 seconds. I checked the time stamps on my photographs to be sure. It was a hell of a thing seeing the kind of small but powerful human episode I’ve only read about in the news or seen dramatized on TV. But this is the way we orbit each other, and sometimes need’s gravity pulls us closer together than we would ordinarily prefer because there’s a life to be saved or changed for the better.

It’s how we’re built, thankfully, and I’ll remember that and celebrate it even if this kind of decency never unfolds before my eyes again.

(On Ocean Avenue @ San Leandro Way, San Francisco, California, November 2017. See my other work here and here.)

Encounter at a taqueria

Reflection in a Japanese restaurant

I often look into mirrors

to view worlds we don’t normally see.

This woman in my world, for example,

at the next table over in a Japantown restaurant,

she was pretty and she was beside herself.

Relections in a Japanese restaurant, Japantown, San Francisco 2017

“That’s a great literal use of that phrase,” I thought

as I went back to eating my katsu curry.

And as I did I hoped

the woman in the mirror world

didn’t reach out and touch

the woman in my world,

as this would surely throw both worlds

into dangerous chaos and flux.

(Izumiya Restaurant, Japantown, San Francisco, September 2017)

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