The Zen Of Wearing Sunglasses

June 25, 2011 by ·  

woman in red lipstick sunglasses beret

Modern Day Holly Golightly

        I like to wear shades, not just for style and UV protection, also to hide my eyes, so you can’t see what I’m looking at. Usually I want the actual function of sunglasses because it’s a bright world out there but in certain places, like while riding a public transportation bus, I want the tinted cover of perceived anonymity that sun glasses give me. I’m saying this as a bit of advice: If you get on any public transportation without shades in front of your eyes and earbuds IN your ear, you will be inviting all manner of unwanted things. Yes, shades and earbuds are how to tell everyone on the bus, the trolley and at the bus stop that you are off the clock and not open for business.

        I took these photos some months ago when I was planning some sort of “sunglasses on the bus” themed post but that never panned out because I’ve been riding my bike everywhere, mostly on Bayshore Bikeway instead of using public transportation. Summer has definitely arrived in San Diego!

woman in sunglasses

Sunglasses On The Bus

        The thing is I really like to wear shades because I feel they somehow give me an edge. Sunglasses are such an amazingly simple thing but they have the power to turn down the sun AND hide your eyes from your neighbors; that’s a lot of power. I was on a San Diego city bus when I snapped both photos for this post and in both instances, I’m not sure if the women behind the shades were looking at me or not, due to the mighty power of the sun glasses.

        The woman directly above began passing out as soon as she boarded the bus. Her man friend passed out next to her, hugging his guitar case yet still managing to always be tilting forward, precariously close to the edge of falling out of his seat. I’ll admit I was rooting for that because it would have been proof that he was really that out of it and not just entertaining himself with an impromptu Charlie Chaplin routine.

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Coronado Village Theater

June 24, 2011 by ·  

Coronado Village Theater Panorama

Coronado Village Theater Main Screen

        I attended the grand opening of Coronado Village Theater last night and I was very impressed. I’d never been in a theater like this before, one that pays homage to vintage theaters from long ago. The theater originally opened in 1947 but has been closed since 2000 so this is really a big deal for Coronado. This is the theater where an entire generation of baby boomers AND their kids saw their first movie. This is a piece of post WWII Americana that has been brought back to life and everyone gets to enjoy it! Village Theater is located at 820 Orange Ave. Coronado, CA 91228 and the phone number for showtimes & dates is 619.437.6161

Coronado Village Theater Box Office Grand Opening

Theater Box Office

        The original marquee has been restored and, just like back in the day there is only one ticket box office. If you want to buy a ticket to see a movie here, you MUST stand in line right here. This is a change from the uber-efficiency we are all used to, but it adds to the buzz around the theater because it forces a line to be formed which will in turn attract more people to the theater.

Coronado Village Theater Hotel Del Coronado Mural

Hotel Del Coronado Mural

        The inside of the theater is very elegant, with art deco eye candy all over the place. This is not your average cinema, this is Coronado Village Theater and it has murals of the San Diego skyline and Hotel Del Coronado on the walls. This theater is adorned with one of a kind art, carpet and fixtures that will require travel guides everywhere to be updated immediately.

Coronado Village Theater San Diego Skyline Mural

San Diego Skyline Mural In Coronado Village Theater

        The elegant feel of the theater didn’t stop with the décor. The seats are well padded with a high back and they even rock back a little bit. The aisles are much wider than normal, so moving to and from your seat is no problem, even with a full house. In addition to complimentary popcorn and soda, we were given 3D glasses and ultimately treated to 3D previews of Captain America and the new Transformers movie. I hadn’t seen a 3D movie for 30 years, so this was really something neat to see.

Lance Alspaugh and Will Graham Coronado Village Theater

Lance Alspaugh & Will Graham

        Lance Alspaugh is the man whose integral involvement kept things together during this decade long project and Will Graham is the ten year old kid that convinced his dad to invest in the theater, resulting in an infusion of cash that finally brought the project to fruition. Funny how things work out isn’t?

Coronado Village Theater Screening Room Mural

Screening Room

        The décor and murals adorn the walls of the screening rooms as well the drinking fountain area and the restrooms. I imagine that if the HMS Titanic had its own cinema, it would have looked like this one.

Will Graham and Father At Coronado Village Theater

Will Graham & His Father At Coronado Village Theater

        The grand re-opening of Coronado Village Theater ended with a showing of a short film that covers the first 100 years of cinema. It was during this time that I snapped the photo above. Standing at the sides of the door are Will Graham and his father. I can only imagine the joy the two of them must have been feeling right at that moment. Below is a video from the evening, cheers!

2011 Grand Re-Opening Of Coronado Village Theater

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Coronado Low Tide Ride & Stride

June 19, 2011 by ·  

Low Tide Ride Stride Coronado Rotary

Silver Strand Beach As Seen From Camp Surf

        This morning I came across a charity fun run & bike ride on Silver Strand beach called, “Low Tide Ride & Stride” put together by Coronado Rotary Club. The course is the 8 mile stretch of beach between Camp Surf and Sunset Park in Coronado. What makes the event extra special is the United States Navy being gracious enough to open up their section of the beach to all runners, walkers and bike riders of the event. That section is normally off limits because that is where Navy SEALs train.

         How’s that for something awesome that should fill you with American pride? The guys that took out Osama Bin Laden got their start as Navy SEALs right here in Coronado, so by participating in this event you get to touch sand that is normally reserved for our most elite military personnel. This is an exciting event that only happens once a year and this year, it started with a bang.


Mouseover Image Above To See Before & After The Boom

        The person tasked with firing the cannon fired when the countdown reached two, instead of zero which had the effect of scaring everyone, including me. If you tell me you’re going to pull the band-aid off on the count of three, pulling it off on anything OTHER than three is not cool! Anyway, I was not a participant in the event so after the exciting start I continued my morning bike ride. You can mouseover the image above to see the moment right before everyone flinched. Cheers!

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Powwow By The Sea

June 19, 2011 by ·  

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Imperial Beach – Powwow By The Sea

        Imperial Beach is hosting a Native American “Powwow by the Sea” this weekend at IB pier plaza. I happened to catch the beginning, which was a grand entrance of all the dancers rhythmically making their way into the circle. This event enables the local population of Native American Indians to honor their ancestors by spending the weekend dressing, eating, worshiping and thinking as their cultural ancestors did.

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Color Guard Leads Things Off At IB Pier Plaza

        It was a very colorful entrance as the Powwow officially got underway. The steady beat of the drums always seems to go perfectly with whatever is going on.

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Native American Dancer

        There are so many things to do in San Diego County and now that summer is in full swing we remember the weather is one of the best reasons for living here. You know that every activity you have planned for the summer will work out because in San Diego, it never rains on a parade and all summer long, the temperature is in the 70’s or 80’s at any time of the day or night.

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Capturing Motion

        For those of you wondering about my photographic technique, I very much wanted to capture and portray a powerful sense of movement in the photos, so I shot mostly at 1/60th & 1/90th of a second and made sure to hold the camera still.

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Flower, Shadow, Sunlight, Bee, Blue Sky

        Later on today, they’re having another powwow at the same place, Imperial Beach Pier Plaza that will last until around dusk. There are also many food vendors and people selling all manner of items & enlightening everyone about all things Native American. There are enough food vendors and local restaurants that you might as well arrive hungry. Start out with some fry bread, some sweet, delicious fry bread. After that you’re on your own, but I will recommend that you save $2 so you can wrap up your visit to IB pier with a single scoop of ice cream on a plain cone at Cowabunga Ice Cream Shop. Below is a video montage from the powwow with one of their songs as the soundtrack. Cheers!

Video Of Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

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SlutWalk San Diego 2011

June 12, 2011 by ·  

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

        The San Diego satellite of SlutWalk marched through the streets of downtown yesterday in a very colorful and vocal display, informing the world that victims of sexual assault should never be blamed and are never at fault, without exception. In late January of this year, a Toronto police officer stated that women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized. There is enough stupidity in that statement to make it stand up on its own, but just below the surface, it also says something else: Why do we ask about HOW and WHY a person becomes a victim of sexual assault, rather than asking why a person becomes a perpetrator of sexual assault? That question was explored during speeches and chants at SlutWalk San Diego.

SlutWalk Rally San Diego Civic Center Plaza 2011

SlutWalk Rally At San Diego Civic Center Plaza

        Slutwalk San Diego brought light to an area that is usually cloaked in darkness and ignorance. If a woman dresses in a sexually suggestive way, it doesn’t mean she’s suggesting she wants to have sex. I remember my parents teaching me not to judge a book by its cover. I wasn’t old enough to read when I learned that but I was still old enough to understand that this was a metaphor for people: You can’t know what someone wants just by looking at them. It’s impossible. You have to talk, ask questions, listen to answers and interact with someone in order to find out what they will and will NOT allow you to do to their body. It doesn’t matter what a person wears, how they dance, what they drink or what they did last night… A person must look you in the eye and say the word, “Yes.”

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

These Sluts Are Made For Walking

        A group of 5 women founded SlutWalk, after hearing about what that Toronto policeman said, and decided they’d had enough. It was time to put a face to the voice that claimed victims of sexual assault invited it or even WANTED it to happen. It was time to let the world know it’s not OK to blame clothing and sexuality for sexual assaults. What they came up with is brilliant because it highlights the hypocrisy of the, “She dressed like a slut so she invited it” mentality. These 5 women realized that a group of slutty looking women, walking en masse through a city center would NEVER be blamed if a mass rape ensued. Hmm… A sexy woman alone invites assault but a GROUP of sexy women get a police escort in order to PREVENT assault. Do you get it now? Why would a group of sluts, walking down the street need police protection, unless the police thought the women were inviting trouble? SlutWalk San Diego, as it proceeded through downtown vocalized this question to the people over and over.

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

Slut Power In San Diego

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

Leaving Civic Center Plaza

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

Slutwalk San Diego Marches On Broadway

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

SlutWalk San Diego 2011 Rally At Civic Center Plaza

        So, what did I take away from Slutwalk San Diego? People just won’t take shit anymore. Law enforcement and government are being made to account for not only what they do, but what they say as well, and people will organize to call them out and to make change. I think I knew that before I arrived, but had never seen it performed so passionately before. If you would like to get involved, there is a list of SlutWalk satellite cities and rally dates on their website.

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Technomania Circus Blacklight Theater

June 11, 2011 by ·  

Technomania Circus Blacklight Show Golfing

Golfing Under Blacklight

        Technomania Circus held a blacklight theater at their usual in Barrio Logan venue, The Center for Performing Arts last night and I was there, right in the front row, which I think are the best seats in the house. For those of you that don’t know, San Diego has a regularly performing circus troupe that happen to be an amazing group of people we all know as Technomania Circus. Dr. Techno is the lead Technomaniac as well as the man that keeps the bacon sizzling. Yes, bacon was served during the show, cotton candy was available and there is a fine art gallery in the foyer of the bathroom. Awesome!

Technomania Circus Art Gallery

Technomania Circus Art Gallery

        This month’s theme was, “Blaaack Liiiight,” always spoken in a deep, menacing voice. Blacklight theater is a lot of fun because it’s like a real life special effect; you don’t get to see everything and that’s what makes it special. The show started at 8pm but thanks to our perfect San Diego weather and long summer days it wasn’t dark yet so we were treated to some music, comedy, juggling and balancing as the sun slowly drifted away.

Technomania Circus

Balancing On Ladders

        This summer will make it two years that I’ve been going to shows at Technomania Circus. It was way back in July of 2009 that I first went to, photographed and wrote about their show and I haven’t looked back since. The address of the circus is 2438 Commercial St. San Diego, CA 92102, right next to the 25th & Commercial St. trolley station. You are certainly welcome to bring food, drinks and cameras into the show and the venue is in an area heavy with taco shops and corner stores so you can get everything you need for the show when you arrive.

Willy Bologna At Technomania Circus

Willy Bologna About To Play The Harp

Technomania Circus Blacklight Show

Technomania Circus Center For Amusing Arts

        Once we got past twilight it was time for, “Blaaack Liiiight!” This is what we’d all been waiting for and it did not disappoint. They took us all over the place, as you’ll see in the photos and in the video at the bottom of the post. For you photographers out there, the sharp photos were taken at 1/45th, f/3.5, ISO 3200 while the photos that show a lot of motion blur were exposed for 1 second, f/3.5, ISO 800. Ya done good Technomaniacs, ya done real good. See you next time.

Technomania Circus Blacklight Skeletons

Technomania Circus Blacklight Skeletons

Technomania Circus Blacklight Show Dr. Techno Robofriend

Technomania Circus Blacklight Show Dr. Techno Robofriend

Technomania Circus Blacklight

1 Second Of Time At Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus Blacklight

A Blacklight Creature

Technomania Circus Blacklight Show

Pleasing The Blacklight Gods

Technomania Circus Blacklight Theater

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Smuggler’s Gulch In Border Field State Park

June 5, 2011 by ·  


Looking South At Smuggler’s Gulch

        Smuggler’s Gulch, in Border Field State Park, is a small canyon that rests a little more than a mile east of the Pacific Ocean between the border of Mexico and The United States of America. Prior to 2005, it was famous for being an area where illegal aliens and smugglers could easily cross the border into America. Natural geography has most of San Diego County’s international border perched along high ridges or bordering hills and mountains, but flow from the Tijuana River and its tributaries formed a small canyon which people used as a natural pass to smuggle just about anything through. Smuggler’s Gulch was deep enough that Border Patrol radios didn’t work and it was so dangerous that Border Patrol agents were required to patrol the area in teams of at least two.

Smuggler's Gulch in Border Field State Park

Smuggler’s Gulch Culvert

        Smuggler’s Gulch became famous after 2005 when congress, under the Bush Administration gave The Department of Homeland Security the authority to waive any and all environmental laws, litigations and lawsuits so DHS could build a giant earthen dam across the gulch, on top of which would be built a restricted access paved road, stadium lighting and a new section of border fence. Things like this really are an agitation for our nation and it really galvanized America because it forces people to pick sides that are not representative of who we are as a country or as individuals.

Smuggler's Gulch Border Field State Park

America As Seen From Smuggler’s Gulch

        The issues of immigration, environmentalism, border security and racism are all included in this thing which sucks because we are never allowed to position ourselves on the middle ground with things like this; we are only allowed to be for it or against it. The absence of the middle ground means that people in favor of (for example) the new border wall will be perceived as environment hating racists while those opposed are seen as activists that place environmental well being above a person’s, unless that person is entering the US from Mexico illegally.

Smuggler's Gulch Border Field State Park

Looking North From Smuggler’s Gulch

        This narrow dialogue makes people think about only one thing and turns people into single issue voters, which are just about the worst kind of voter there is. You know the type, they’re the ones that ONLY want to know one thing about you and that one thing is your position on the latest hot button issue and whether or not your view is in alignment with theirs.

Smuggler’s Gulch Earthen Levy & Mosquito Larvae

        So, take all of these issues and emotions, shake them up and a giant earthen levy across a natural flowing canyon is what you get, at least this time. The same ingredients never make the same thing twice which is probably why it takes so damn long to get anything done in this country. Anyway, the video above shows the area of Smuggler’s Gulch in Border Field State Park and all the mosquito larvae that live in the stagnant water in front of it. Cheers!

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Crescent Moon Sets Over Coronado Dinosaur Cage

June 5, 2011 by ·  

Sliver Moon Sets Over Coronado Dinosaur Cage

The Moon Sets Over Coronado’s Dinosaur Cage

        Coronado is a border town for me because I live right on the border between Coronado and Imperial Beach. It really is an ideal location for me because I can grab my bike, be on Bayshore Bikeway in seconds flat and then head to anywhere In South Bay San Diego, all while basking in the warm California sun. Today was a beautiful San Diego day and I took full advantage of it by riding to Border Field State Park, Silver Strand State Beach and Imperial Beach pier. After pedaling almost 30 miles, I was beat by the time I got back home so whatever San Diego had planned for this evening would have to happen without me. I was in for the night.

        How lucky for me that around 9:30pm I looked out my window in response to hearing someone screaming out in pain. Some dude managed to crash himself and his bike into the metal bench that sits at the southern edge of San Diego Bay. He was fine and once I stopped laughing at him I noticed the background of the scene, and it was awesome! I tiny sliver, just a thin fingernail of a moon was setting right next to the Dinosaur Cage on Coronado. Of course I grabbed my Nikon camera and ran to the very bench that had been crashed into to take some long exposure, high ISO photos. I shot the scene above for 8 seconds, f/5.6, ISO 3200 which allowed me to pull some much needed detail from the shadows without blowing the moon’s highlights to kingdom come. It was a great way to wrap up a day that saw me riding all over Coronado and Imperial Beach. I’ve been ignoring night photography for a few months so a small event like this that has me leaping out the door to engage in a little night photography is a welcome catalyst for me because it simply reminded me how much fun night photography is. Cheers!

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