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November 25, 2009

Not Pictures
Wednesday. Not a lot of people out on the street this morning. More like what I expect Friday to be, but what do I know? I really don't remember how “light” traffic was or how few people there were on any given day in the past, nothing new about that. I was the same way when I was thirty. I think. Same with the weather. A sunny day today, the high close to seventy from what they're saying, but can I tell you confidently what my experience has been over these last forty years of living here in the Bay Area in any given season, what the weather and the temperatures have been during, say, December or January? Not really.

It doesn't rain a lot. Mostly. Except when it does. I remember there was usually a week during January when it was really cold in San Francisco living on Potrero Hill. I remember because we had this one useless little itty bitty heater in the living room and it was cold, cold, cold. Same with summers living in Napa. There was a week to ten days in June or July when it was really hot, over a hundred, and without air conditioning that was not something you evidently forget. Not even in Oakland.

But what have we today? I was the only person in my morning café's dining room area from six-thirty to seven-thirty and they're going to be closed tomorrow morning. No customers. They've always been open in the past, but this is the Great Recession and the past is no precedent. That's fine, I'm having dinner with my cousins Ms. P, Mr. P and Ms. P (how confusing) and their friends and kids in the afternoon (a magnum of Veuve Clicquot is cooling in the refrigerator) and there's no reason to make breakfast my main meal of the day, so I'll get by. My morning café closed. Sniff!

This day seems to be starting well. We'll cross our fingers. Yesterday was funky in the sense the sinuses and upper palate were acting up, aching more than is their habit. They feel better this morning. I think. Probably best not to obsess about it, not think about it, not talk about it lest I put the kibosh on it. Oh dear. The kibosh on it. I do go on.

Nothing out of B&H on the new camera or lens, something that came to mind as I paid my Visa bill today. Friday, actually, but the funds hit the bank account today (for a very brief stay) and the deed, for all practical purposes, is done. Still no buyer's remorse, but we'll see what the holidays have in store. For the nonce, when it comes, I'm going to use it, get outside with it, try it out in low lighting conditions, kiss it on its little buttons and switches. That's pretty exciting, right? Sex and the Single Photographer? I do go on for it being so early in the morning.

Later. A walk down to the bus stop again thinking: “do I go downtown or do I walk down the way to see what I can see?“ when I noticed they'd sodded the large open area in front of the white columns with lawn. This has been going on for a couple of days now, a really big flat bed truck parked next to the area loaded with what was obviously sections of lawn for the last two days but, I suspect, yesterday and this morning they actually did the deed. So I walked over and took a couple of pictures.

OK, it turned out to be the bus today, a ride downtown to sit in the Oakland City Center for maybe twenty minutes at a table, nothing really in front of me to photograph although that didn't stop me from taking a picture. A walk then in front of City Hall where the Cherry tree leaves were flaming. I do like these fall leaves. Not so many of them in the city. I suspect I'd go nuts in New England, from what I remember of the trees up in Massachusetts, whole rolling hill sides full of them. Ah, well.

A cup of coffee in the Rotunda building, taking my time, wondering why I couldn't build up an appetite for something. I had what I consider a “modest” breakfast, surely something would soon appeal? None of the restaurants in the City Center had anything I remembered promising enough to pull me inside, nothing I could think of along the way as I was walking down Broadway. Another cup of coffee? More of those chocolate muffins? No more coffee, the muffins seeming a good deal less chocolaty as I was walking in the sun. So, what the hell, a bus back to the apartment, the head in reasonably good shape. Better than yesterday, anyway, but the day ahead. Maybe a walk later? Maybe.

Later still. A nap, the head very mellow. I guess that's the way to put it: the head very mellow. Has a certain icky quality to it, but accurate. Sitting at a table watching the people walk by, taking the occasional picture; sitting on a bench by the lake, taking the occasional picture; lying on the bed for a half an hour, taking a break. Sounds like an old guy extra in a movie: shuffling around with his walker in the background. There are advantages to shuffling around in the background. “That old guy just took my picture!” said the young woman to her six foot three boyfriend who's currently catching passes for the Green Bay Packers and known to the local constabulary for his overly aggressive attitude. “ Yeah, but he's old. He's harmless. Pay no attention.” Saves one from many an uncomfortable confrontation.

You don't really get into people's faces as it is. What's that about?

It sounds good. Sounds like I'm out there on the front lines instead of lying here in bed taking a nap and dreaming of, well, not pictures.

The photograph was taken of a store window at the San Francisco 2009 Veterans Day Parade with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 135mm f 2.0 Nikkor DC lens at f 5.6 at 1/40th second, ISO 200.