Posts Tagged: black and white

Glass pipe sidewalk

This is a short, simple story. I was on my way to my favorite discount supermarket in San Francisco when I encountered these three guys on the sidewalk at a bus stop, and a couple of the gents decided to smoke some meth.

They were really nice guys, though, so don’t get the wrong impression.

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The fellow who initially pulled out the glass pipe wore a wrist band that suggested he’d recently been a patient in a hospital someplace. While a few people at the bus stop looked on with obvious disdain, he pulled out his lighter and sparked up his gear…

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Then he took a few drags from it. He sucked on it like an infant feeding from a milk bottle because his mother’s breasts had run dry…

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Then he passed the glass to his pal, who had been patiently waiting to take a few hits himself. The big fellow on the end didn’t partake, he just kept chatting with me about the plumbing business he was saving money to open up one day. He and his companion were sitting on a huge audio speaker and I have no idea why…

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And’s that’s pretty much it. Despite the fact that these gents were smoking hard drugs at a moderately-busy bus stop, It was all rather low-key and somehow calm and civilized.

Like I said, they were really nice guys.

(Photographed in San Francisco, California in October, 2021. See my other work here and here.)

Sidewalk soul food buffet

About once a week, usually in the late morning, I drive into San Francisco to do my money errands at a Bank of America at the corner of Leland Avenue and Bayshore Boulevard. Sometimes when I’m standing in line at the ATM, there’s a guy across the way setting up a large buffet.

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I’ve heard he runs a soul food kitchen in Hunters Point, and on slow days he drives a couple of miles south to this San Francisco neighborhood to make a few bucks selling jambalaya, fried catfish, greens, mac and cheese, and other soul food comfort classics. He had a menu displayed that identified him as Chef Tasty, and the ‘tasty’ part surely described the odors from the food he was putting out.

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The day I shot these photographs I literally didn’t have the time to do much more. The chef himself was in a bit of a hurry setting up his buffet; in the moment we briefly chatted he didn’t seem like he had the time yet to wait on me anyway. So it all worked out.

But the next time I see him I’m getting me a full plate of whatever he’s selling that day.

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(Photographed in San Francisco, California in September, 2021. See my other work here and here.)

Roadside repairs

During the first week of May I was driving from San Francisco into Brisbane, California along Bayshore Boulevard, and I encountered this interesting scene…

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It turns out that the man with the beard was driving along Bayshore Boulevard too, but the upper control arm on the driver’s side of his big old car snapped and he had to immediately pull over and call an emergency mechanic.

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So while the mechanic worked away, I snapped a few photos and the young man and I talked for a few minutes. He showed me the groove out on the street that his damaged car had cut into the pavement as he pulled it out of traffic.

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He was a nice young fellow, very warm and open.

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The mechanic was a nice guy too, but very busy.

(Photographed in Brisbane, California on May 04, 2021. See my other work here and here.)

In darkness…

In darkness
we cannot
shine a light,
so we
undervalue
our own radiance.
We pick locks
we cannot see,
taste foods
we cannot smell,
and gossip about things
we do not know.
We enslave
ourselves
and blame
others for our capture.

Christmas Eve at the 380 offramp, part 1...
San Bruno California, December 2020

We stop loving
our lives
and blame
others for our cold empty.
In darkness
we dance
with the children
we used to be
and wonder why,
now we’ve grown,
we don’t dance
any better
than we used to.

(Photographed in San Bruno, California on Christmas Eve, 2020. See my other work here.)

This past Thanksgiving

In the time of coronavirus, my wife and I didn’t do much on Thanksgiving Day 2020 but stay home and cook for ourselves. We didn’t even watch the Macy’s parade. Cooking Thanksgiving feast for two people, which included an 11-pound turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and a persimmon pie, was a surprisingly time-consuming endeavor.

Still, I did get out briefly a couple of times during the day and shot this collection of photographs. Enjoy…

A suspension of color in my deceased father-in-law's living room...
Brisbane, California, Thanksgiving Day 2020

A suspension of color in my deceased father-in-law’s living room.

The calm of the world as the sun comes up...
Brisbane, California, Thanksgiving Day 2020

The calm of the world as the sun comes up.

A turkey at my neighbor's house...
Brisbane, California, Thanksgiving Day 2020

A turkey at my neighbor’s house.

The turkey goes into the oven...
Brisbane, California, Thanksgiving Day 2020

Our turkey goes into the oven.

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The flag and a family on the high street.

Last-minute grocery trip for daughter and father...
Brisbane, California, Thanksgiving Day 2020

Last-minute grocery trip for daughter and father.

My wife would like to show a happy world to everyone...
Brisbane, California, Thanksgiving Day 2020

My wife would like to show a happy world to everyone.

(Photographed in Brisbane, California on Thanksgiving Day, 2020. I hope yours was happy and safe. See my other work here.)

The psilocybin skateboard

He said

he was bored

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and, the day being hot and slow,

I understood that.

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And he said

he was on mushrooms

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and, being a recovering alcoholic,

I smiled quietly at that.

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(Photographed in Brisbane, California in September, 2020. See my other work here.)

How we get to the snacks

So, the coronavirus, yeah. How are you holding up? It’s crazy out there, right? Not like ‘violence in the streets’ crazy, not yet, but nutty enough. I really hope you’ve got enough savings and food and family support and job security to get though this as painlessly as possible.

I’ve been going out every day, mostly just to my local grocery store a few blocks from my house to get Dr Pepper and cigarettes. And I started a little project photographing people wearing masks, at food stores and elsewhere, to protect themselves from viral infection. It’s not a world-changing project, but it’s something to keep me occupied while we’re all mostly stuck at home all day.

So I hope you enjoy the photos here, and the growing number of photographs I’m compiling here. Thanks for having a look.

Dressed like the frozen food section is contagious Antarctica...
San Francisco, California, March 2020

At a Grocery Outlet in San Francisco

Happy family in virus time...
San Francisco, California, March 2020

Waiting in line outside a Nijiya Market in San Francisco

Lovely eyes and a virus mask...
Brisbane, California, March 2020

At Midtown Market here in Brisbane, California

(San Francisco and Brisbane, California, March, 2020. See my other work here and here.)

Convenience

I’ve shopped in a lot of 7-11s in my life.

At the 7-11...
South San Francisco, California, September 2016

Maybe you have too.

At the 7-11...
South San Francisco, California, May 2017

I only started photographing people I’d encounter at 7-11 a few years ago. I was a public school substitute teacher in 2016 and 2017, and I used to stop by whatever store was on my way to work for a Dr Pepper and some kind of donut for breakfast.

At the 7-11...
South San Francisco, California, November 2016

I’m not a school teacher any longer, but I still treasure my 7-11 adventures. See more of the people I met at the convenience store here. I hope you enjoy them.

(Photographed in South San Francisco, California in September and November, 2016 and in May, 2017. See my other work here and here.)

Christmas Eve, 2019

The blade runner time

didn’t start this year,

no flying cars,

but we have more artificial people than ever.

Many of them are running our supposed country,

for example.

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So I’m sitting here, smoking,

waiting for the demons and imps,

the ones I usually hold at bay,

to come beating down

the walls of my mind

and demand their Christmas presents.

The bastards, they think

because they have a place in my head

they’ve earned a place in my head.

They think

it’s all about me,

but it’s all about them,

and how I’m going to try again

this year

to evict them by drowning them in eggnog.

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(Brisbane, California, November and December, 2019. See my other work here and here.)

Let’s skip life

It’s how we practice flying…

Some people

are able

Sometimes it's good to skip life...
Brisbane, California, April 2019

to just

skip through life

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and look good

doing it…

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(Brisbane, California, April 2019. See my other work here and here.)

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