Notes From The Desert

There's something about the desert, I don't know what. It's amazing how much nothing is out there...

Hwy. 101 South

Ridgecrest, CA

Ridgecrest, CA

I highly recommend these rad "Eco Pods" we found outside Ridgecrest. There are 2 sleeping pods and a bathroom pod with a huge open shower, all solar powered. A kitchen pod is currently under construction...

Panamint Valley, CA

Panamint Valley, CA

Panamint Valley, CA

Heading east toward Death Valley things get empty. Who are the people that put weird stuff on the side of the road in these places? I've never once in my life thought "hey, I should put a big ass cross on the side of this desert road, that would be awesome."

Death Valley, CA

The signage amazes me... it's a road literally in the middle of nowhere. It goes to the left, and to the right. It gets a sign, so nobody goes straight? By accident? I'm confused...

Badwater Basin, Death Valley, CA

Death Valley, CA

Hwy 5, CA

Anyway it makes for great road tripping...

Snapshots from 1,614 miles, roughly...

San Luis Obispo, CA

We headed south to San Luis Obispo and had burritos with a cousin at Cal Poly. College towns are ridiculous. There are burritos everywhere. Took the dog to the beach the next morning before heading east across the valley.

Shot across to Ridgecrest the next day, which is sort of the definition of nowhere, but very near something called the China Lake Naval Weapons Center. We stayed in something called an eco-pod in the middle of the desert and looked at the stars. Entirely solar powered, with a separate shower pod. I highly recommend it.

Desert Eco Pods

Orion's Belt, Etc.

We cut north through Panamint Valley to the eastern entrance of Death Valley National park. Made it as far as Stovepipe Wells and stayed in a really run down motel for the bargain price of $200 a night, which is how it goes when there are no accommodations for 190 miles in any direction.

Death Valley

Death Valley is decidedly more colorful than I had anticipated. Also huge. I highly reccommend at least a couple days if you can swing it. I could have wandered around that place for a week.  There is also a great little restaurant towards the south end of the park in Shoshone that makes a really good Reuben sandwich. Incidentally, the town of Shoshone consists of a gas station, the aforementioned restaurant and a post office. That appears to be it.

Zabriske Point

Badwater Basin

Zabriske Point

From there we hucked it all the way across to Pasadena to see my sister Andrea and her family. There are no pictures from this event because I got stupid drunk that night. Andrea, I blame your husband for this. I should not have taken the handle of Jim Beam to the hot tub as he instructed. (Craig, if you're reading this I don't really blame you, it was a good idea at the time.)

Next day we bolted for Palm Springs and the Ace Hotel to meet some good friends for the weekend. If you've never been to the Ace, it is the epitome of what you might call a "hipster compound." I think they actually breed spindly mustachioed dudes and girls with YOLO tattooed somewhere on their bodies in the back room. It's great people watching.

Joshua Tree National Park

Took a quick jaunt through Joshua Tree while the government was shut down (thanks Obama). As it turns out, National Parks are free when the federal government closes. Kind of a shame really, I like to support our National Parks and Joshua Tree is one of my favorites. Plus all the bathrooms were closed so we peed in the desert. Hashtag #trumpshutdown.

Desert Selfie

Back home in the city, drove straight through in one shot. Feels good to have some moisture in the air again. Film scans to come soon....

Notes From The Road...

A few polaroids from the long weekend... we wandered up North to Humboldt to escape the heat wave... Was still 98 degrees on the coast, but a far cry from the 112 degrees on the drive up through Santa Rosa...

Drove through the redwoods on the 128 out to the coast, you forget how amazing Northern California is sometimes, living in the city.

We stayed in a cabin made out of an old wine barrel, which I had no idea was a life goal of mine until now...

No Ban, No Wall...


February 4th, 2017. Several thousand people gathered at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco for a "No Ban, No Wall" rally, protesting the recent travel ban instated by the Trump administration.

Less than a month into the Trump presidency and already people were tired... overwhelmed by the daily onslaught of insanity coming out of the White House. The rally had little of the enthusiasm of the inaugural demonstrations or the Women's March two weeks prior.






Mid-Market - Word On The Street

Mid-Market Street seems the epitome of haves and have nots, home to Twitter, staggering poverty, open air drug markets, 5 dollar espresso and Burger King. If you want to see gentrification in motion, take a walk down Market between 5th and Van Ness.

#0435_35A - Street Performer, Mid-Market Street. San Francisco, CA. March 2016. Leica M2, Zeiss 35mm f/2, Ilford HP5 400.

#0435_29A - Drinking Man, Mid-Market Street. San Francisco, CA. March 2016. Leica M2, Zeiss 35mm f/2, Ilford HP5 400.

#0435_28A - Liquor Store, Mid-Market Street. San Francisco, CA. March of 2016. Leica M2, Zeiss 35mm f/2, Ilford HP5 400.

#0435_30A - Drug Deal & Dog, Mid-Market Street. San Francisco, CA. March 2016. Leica M2, Zeiss 35mm f/2, Ilford HP5 400.

#0435_34A - Man In Wheelchair, Mid-Market Street. San Francisco, CA. March 2016. Leica M2, Zeiss 35mm f/2, Ilford HP5 400.

The collision of moneyed tech workers with poor neighborhoods in San Francisco continues to change the city in staggering ways. It's easy to blame the industry, but it seems more an accelerant and less a cause. Tent cities are popping up everywhere, people just don't have any place to go. I've lived here for 17 years and I've never seen it this bad.

I take it for granted, every night, I come home to my family, we have a wonderful old house in a good neighborhood that cost a small fortune. Out of reach for the vast majority of residents in this city. Housing has got to be the single biggest issue in San Francisco, hands down, with absolutely no solution in sight.

South Lake Tahoe...

Finally getting through some scans from way back in February. We took a quick run up to South Lake Tahoe for a long weekend. Ended up at this weird hotel bar in Reno, everyone in the place looked like they were on at least their 3rd marriage.

#0433_06A - Lake Tahoe, CA. February 2016. Leica M3, Zeiss 50mm f/1.5, Ilford HP5 400.

#0432_15A - Fallen Leaf Lake, CA. February 2016. Leica M2, Zeiss 35mm f/2, Ilford HP5 400.

#0433_18A - Fallen Leaf Lake, CA. February 2016. Leica M3, Zeiss 50mm f/1.5, Ilford HP5 400.

#0433_01A - Psychic, somewhere near Davis, CA. February 2016. Leica M3, Zeiss 50mm f/1.5, Ilford HP5 400.

The whole South Lake / Reno scene always struck me as a kind of a violent fusion of people who are way too into skiing, compulsive gamblers, white trash and a truly unique landscape. Not exactly my bag... I don't ski and never make a bet unless I know I can't lose. I've been called white trash, but it's been awhile. Anyway it's still pretty...

On the way up we stopped at this burrito shop in a strip mall off the freeway with a psychic nextdoor... how is this still a thing? And how is this a thing in a strip mall off the freeway outside Davis?

#0433_21A - The Wife. Reno, NV. February 2016. Leica M3, Zeiss 50mm f/1.5, Ilford HP5 400.