For as long as I can remember and probably before. I’ve always been drawn to gas stations and junk yards. From a very young age I could often be found snooping around the gas station on my corner of 83rd street and Astoria Blvd. or tagging along with my Dad to collect from many of the gamblers who worked at the junk yards outside of Shea Stadium. Drawn perhaps, by the smell of gasoline, barb wired fences, guard dogs and random car parts. These places served as the keys to some of my earliest adventures.
So when my wife pulled in to the parking space across from Central District Ice Cream. My excitement regarding a sweet weekend treat was doubled by the site of an abandoned / out of business gas station. Between the antique cars parked in the lot to the hose-less gas pumps. It was all goosebumps and fist pumps. Once again, I was reduced to using my cellphone. I snapped a few shots before joining my wife for ice cream across the street.
As for the ice cream. My wife had a cup of Peanut Butter & Plum Jam. While I indulged in a waffle cone of Coconut Cantaloupe. Great stuff and highly recommended on our part. As I get older, I take a lot of satisfaction knowing that the smell of old gas stations and the taste of freshly scooped ice cream still bring a smile to my face.
As we parked the car about a block from one our favorite breakfast spots. I noticed this awesomely cool pick up truck parked in one the nearby drive ways. While I have definitely gotten away from the pratice of taking my camera with me everywhere. I haven’t lost the desire to stop to capture a moment or document something that I find particularly inspiring or eye catching. Whether you notice or not. I did a little cropping ss to obscure the license plate. I took this one this morning at around 9:30 am. with my iPhone. As of late, perhaps due to the size of my new camera bag and array of lenses to choose from, I’ve gotten lazy. That or I’m just not thinking about picture taking when I’ve got Johnny Cakes and bacon on my mind,.
Having seen my share of iPhone and Samsung commercial spots talking up the wonderful images you can create with their new technology and reading various articles predicting the beginning of the end of SLR’s as we know them. I’m somewhat surprised by how well I was responding and reacting. After hearing “Do you think you can set up a studio in this room? Or “Do you think all your photo gear will fit in this closet?” during our years trying to buy a condo. That and the fact that I’m holding on to a dozen or so film cameras. I found myself feeling more relieved than stressed.
And why not? How often have we wished for a magic wand to clear away all the clutter and extra stuff that takes up our closets, our shelves, floors, the space under our beds. Forcing us to foolishly rent storage space and make hard decisions about what stays or goes. Though I haven’t gotten into the disease / disorder that, as it progresses, wrecks havoc on my balance and ability to walk. The practice of carrying around a camera back full of gear is becoming a major issue. What if all of that could fit in the back of my pocket? Times change and the media we use to create art changes with it. I clearly remember the resistance I had when switch from film SLR’s to Digital. And though I put up a good fight. I was and still am feeling the rewards. More and more these days I’m reserving my camera, the myriad of lenses and my add on flash for more demanding moments. While keeping my iPhone handy for when my wife texts me or I see something like what I’ve posted above to capture for future consideration.
Over the weekend, my wife and I drove south for our first ever trip to Olympia. Aside from all the rain I became increasingly excited when I began seeing signs bearing the name “Sleater Kinney Road.” Being that a fairly recent vinyl reissue of the bands work has not only reintroduced, but enamored me to the band’s recorded history. I couldn’t help but imagine seeing Corin, Carrie and Janet seeking shelter under the nearest bus stop canopy. “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” I thought. After securing a parking spot. We headed over to the Capitol Theatre to get a glimpse at the historic building before crossing over to Burial Grounds for a hot cup of coffee. From there we dodged the rain drops and found an awesome book store to explore Browser Books before heading a few blocks over for some excellent pizza and 80’s eye candy at a place appropriately called Old School Pizzeria. As we drove home in the rain. We agreed on what a good idea our little road trip was. Adding that we both looked forward to returning on a warmer, perhaps dryer day. I noted how it seemed we were only there for a quick hour or so. That’s when she reminded me of the two hours we spent digging in Rainy Day Records. With all the time I spend going to record stores. I can honestly say, Rainy Days stock, prices and staff are all pretty awesome. I can’t wait to return with a thorough list and a few more hours to dig at Rainy Day Records
Below are the two records I picked up. “Why two?” you ask. Well, shopping for records when your wife is standing just a few feet away. Isn’t the same as shopping for records when your wife is a few zip codes away.
Before moving to Seattle’s Columbia City. I had been living in a corporate apartment with the two suitcases of clothing and necessities I had brought from New Jersey . And while that three months offered me the chance at the minimalist lifestyle I had craved for years. Over time, I began to miss some of the things I had in storage. As strange as it might seem, being reunited with my tripod became a reoccurring train of thought.
So with after a week of unpacking an prioritizing what goes where. I grabbed that tripod, shook off the dust and headed downstairs to Rainier Ave. South. With tripod in hand and my sites on the oncoming traffic. I sprinted across the street and perched myself somewhere between Washington Federal and Ark Lodge Cinema and played around in manual mode. Below are several of the shots I took with my lens open at 30 second intervals. In the coming days, weeks and so on. I hope to work on my long exposures and nigtscapes. I’m looking forward to getting away from the TV and taking in some of that fresh night air.
Since our arrival in Seattle, we’ve found a number of neighborhoods we’ve grown quite fond of. Pioneer Square with it’s reminders of New York’s once edgy Lower East Side was our first love. While the International Center, Capitol Hill and pockets of Queen Anne have all spirited our first months here. That said, there has been somethng special about Georgetown that keeps us coming up with reasons to visit from one week to the next. Having moved to Columbia City just over a week ago has brought us even closer to the somewhat quiet pocket of Seattle that often reminds me of the out of the way area known as Red Hook Brooklyn back in New York. It wasn’t until my wife mentioned how much she loved the area and her desire oi buy there, that I realized just how similar the areas seemed.
For it was during what seemed like an endless search to buy a condo that fit our style and needs that we found an off the beaten path area in Brooklyn known as Red Hook. In just a few visits, it felt as if the area would become our desired location for us. The problem, however, was that after we attended to underwhelming open houses. We didn’t anything else appear on the market. Short story long, we gave up on the area and rarely ever returned afterward.
Fortunately, Georgetown has all the charm of the aforementioned East Coast destination with a closer proximity and easy accessibility to where we currently call home. Who knows if we’ll find a place in Georgetown or if we’ll even stay in Seattle permanently. (With all the talk of what we miss back East. It’s hard to decide, yet.) Regardless, we’re having a great time getting to know the area.
Here I’ve posted two images I took of Capital Hill’s Rite Aide. Located on the corner of Broadway and Denny. The pharmacy looks more like an old theater than a one stop drug store. I took the first image on monochrome mode with my 40mm pancake lens and the second, in color, with my 15mm fish eye. (A lens i use almost exclusively for concert photography.) I really love how the edges bend the closer you get to the subject. In comparison.,the monochrome image stands out for me due to the antiquated feel monochrome provides. I can’t help but feel as if I’ve been transplanted to another time. On the other hand, the fisheye lens offers a trippy vibe that makes me feel as if I’m swimming in the pages of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.