[Journal Menu]

[Home Page]


[100 Books]

[Other Sites]

Art & Life

Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

June 6, 2010

A Parade Will
Sunday. I'm afraid my morning café isn't the culinary center of the universe. Nor of Oakland, for that matter. Your basic American breakfast in the sense it was used in, say, the fifties and sixties (and maybe today, I'm not really sure anymore): large, very large portions of meat, potatoes and eggs in various incarnations. Which is fine if you eat at such a place, say, once a week or so for nostalgic reasons.

I like the atmosphere. I'd describe it, but I'd be describing my interior hallways and corridors more than I'd be describing the physical place: it's popular, it gets an eclectic mix of people of all ages and ethnicities, it's run and owned by younger Chinese American and Chinese born staff, some of whom are students studying here on visas. And it's been there as a coffee shop since forever, billing itself as the oldest coffee shop in Oakland. And I like it. I eat there early every morning. Which brings me back to the problem of their menu.


I had something called a chicken-apple sausage wrap this morning, as an experiment. It was twice the size a big eater might like (I'm sure I'm wrong, big eaters would have been pleased and happily cleaned their plates and asked for seconds) and to my now de-tuned by a stomach operation palate, it was forgettable. I ate almost half, feel fine for it, but I'm going to have to stick to their blue berry waffle with a banana on top and the occasion dish with eggs and dry toast, my usual fare, if I'm to survive.

I like the place, like the outdoor seating in the later mornings and afternoon, but boy howdy has my idea of food changed after living in the Bay Area for all these years. I'm not a foodie, probably wasn't even in the eighties when I worked at a Napa Winery with a name for itself, but I'm obviously not the guy who came here right out of the army either...,boy howdy.

Otherwise, there's a street fair up Telegraph later today I'll photograph as I feel good, feel in the mood. I'd forgotten about the music festival in Berkeley yesterday, almost went over to see what I could see and shoot around five when I realized I had it marked on the calendar, but felt why push my luck? I'd been out that afternoon, gotten in my walk, shot some photographs I liked, going out a second time yesterday and getting really tired would have fouled up any attempts I might have made today. Take it as it comes. The fact I didn't remember to make it to Berkeley must have been in the cards. For whatever reason.

Later. Apropos of nothing: just tried the Via sample (Starbucks instant coffee) that came in the Chronicle plastic wrapper this morning. It tastes pretty much like coffee, none of the bitterness I associate with the various forms of instant I've sampled over the years. Not something I want to get in the habit of drinking other than with breakfast (coffee, that is), but good, I suppose, to know. If you need coffee and there's no other choice, Via will not put additional curl in your hair.

Later still. A good afternoon, I'm quite happy. A sunburned face, for the first time, but nothing too terrible. It's warm and a bit red, but it didn't go too long. A bus and then another bus to the Temescal district on Telegraph, Telegraph blocked off from 45th to 51st for this annual street festival. The original Bakesale Betty's sits on the corner of Telegraph and 51st and my first apartment in Oakland years ago now is located maybe five or six blocks beyond, so I'm halfway familiar with the area.

Not a lot of pictures using my two standard setups, one camera with the 24 - 70mm lens, the other with the 70 - 200mm, but again, a good outing. A photograph or two of the Mariachi band and a fellow writing poems on the fly on a small portable typewriter. Who cares how good the poems (or the picture), the idea is nice and the price was right. Many of the booths were flogging one or another need to have item for one or another charity. Well, some were. There were many and sundry jewelry and craft booths, some of them, at least in comparison with other festivals and farmer's markets I've seen, a bit different and interesting. This section of the street itself has its share of galleries and art stores, so maybe the mix seemed unique because it was taking on its flavor from the surroundings.

I suspect the “too much sun” had more to do with staying on the bus and getting off farther on down the line at my morning café for a cold drink and a grilled cheese sandwich (maybe I was remembering this guy when I ordered), sitting out then in the sun on the patio, not thinking about sitting out in the sun at all, not feeling any effects, watching the afternoon jazz group set up for their Sunday session. They've been playing every Sunday afternoon starting about three since I can remember. Another reason I like the place, whatever the menu. Back home after four. A good day, as I believe I've mentioned.

As I said, only a few pictures, although I spent a good hour and a half walking, looking, walking. A half hearted one or two of the young girl scaling a “mountain” (I'm not sure I'd be willing to do this. She seems cool headed and determined, though). I need to remember, just because I've seen or photographed something before, there's no reason to assume there's not another photograph waiting. There's always another photograph waiting. Not unlike walking day after day down the same sidewalk. Keep sharp. Don't be stupid.

These (actually, this one of the young girl) is OK, nothing special, but something caught my interest enough when I downloaded it from the camera to make me wish I'd been more careful, gotten closer, tried something more, something different. One or two others, maybe fifty photographs in all. Not a lot for the time I spent shooting, but fairs and festivals like this one don't give up pictures the way a parade will.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2010 Carnaval parade with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens at f 8 at 1/40th second, ISO 200.