Photo Of The Day: Blue Gate

Blue Gate
Blue gate on 24th St. in The Mission, San Francisco, California

Every year at the end of August I spend a week housesitting for friends near the corner of 24th Street and Harrison in The Mission District of San Francisco. I’ve been doing this for about twelve years and every year I have a new interest in the neighborhood. Sometimes it’s a week of taco hunting. Other times it’s a week of exploring new hipster cafes and restaurants. One year it was all about ice cream.

This year the hunt was for color.

The Mission District, besides being very gritty, is a riot of color – from the murals, to the food, to the every day items like the gates that protect the residents and merchants from thievery and crime. It’s a reflection of the colorful immigrants that make up most of the neighborhood.

As I walked around the neighborhood this year, I made a discovery – it’s changing. The neighborhood is changing. While hipsters and cool cats and artists and musicians were always part of the character of this place, it has never been so obvious that the hipsters are working on taking over. Valencia Street is almost unrecognizable as the funky place it once was, when it was full of lesbians and book shops and thrift and vintage stores. But the fight for turf is not yet won and the neighborhood is not giving in. The neighborhood has gone full steam ahead by fighting gentrification with COLOR. Many of the older murals in the neighborhood are getting a makeover and many new murals have been added, while some of the ousted shops around Valencia Street, like Adobe Books, have moved down to lower 24th.

This blue gate just symbolized all of that for me. I don’t know why.

As I edit my images from the last week, I will post one from time to time. Moving into fall, with the color of The Mission.

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My images from The Mission will be up and available in my Alamy account over the next week.

Out Of The Archives:
Photo Of The Day: Paris Door And Paris Wall

Paris Door
An old door found in Paris 10e on a back street.

This photograph above might be recognizable as one of the images I’ve used in the header of this site. I love this photograph. The colors and the age of the door, the angle of the photograph, the old lock … It’s like a street still life in wood, a found object.

With the door, my personal project had been working on shooting subjects at an angle with my camera. I had been working on trying to capture different angles, different moods, just trying to be playful with my images.

I love to walk the streets of Paris. Over the years I’ve walked so much of this city, yet still have not seen even a fraction of what it has to offer. Walking the back and side streets is the best part of this project, because, if you stick to the main streets, you’ll never get to capture simple, local, images like this one. Walking on the main streets, you’ll only see what everyone else sees.

On this particular day I was walking in Belleville near the home of my friend K., near the Place du Sainte-Marthe. What a wonderful little neighborhood tucked into a corner of 10th. Somehow, this neighborhood within a neighborhood reminds me more of the slow, laid back, South of France than the faster paced urbaness of Paris. Place du Sainte-Marthe is quiet during the day and in the evening people seem to really enjoy the two cafes on the square.

These photographs were taken, I think, one street over from Place Sainte-Marthe. Maybe on rue Jean Moinon. Or maybe is was just down from the square on rue Sainte-Marthe. I can’t be sure. I didn’t make a note. I don’t remember. I do remember that these images came from a narrow street lined with artists shops that didn’t open until the afternoon, and some of them only opened on weekend afternoons. I think the street was only a block or two long. I took a few photographs here, these are two of my favorites from that day. Another one is posted below.

Paris Wall Painting
Random painting on a wall in Paris 10e near Place Saint-Marthe.

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Le Sainte-Marthe Bistro, a traditional Paris bistro restaurant, and Bar La Sardine, are both tucked into the square.

Photo Of The Day: Berkeley Art Museum Celebration

Kids make art during the BAM celebration.
Kids make art during the BAM celebration.

Kids make art today at the Berkeley Art Museum in celebration of moving the museum to the new building.

I love the old concrete bunker of a museum, but it still needs to be retrofitted for the next big one. Not a building I would want to be in if that happened!

A Walk In The Rain