Fixing The Sewer

December 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Front Hoe and Sewer Hole

A Hole To The Sewer

    Is there anything worse than a clogged toilet? No. When your toilet backs up you are transported back to the dark ages. If the worst parts of humanity are spewing up out of your crapper and a plunger doesn’t fix it, you have to start shoveling, and I’m not talking about snow. Before you know it a plumber is snaking hundreds of feet of steel cable down a pipe that has never seen the light of day and the next thing after that, there’s a front hoe and an eight foot hole in your yard in the middle of the night.

House and Sewer Hole

Inside The Sewer Hole

    Digging a hole for the purpose of repairing an underground pipe is art and science. The science is figuring out where to dig while the art is knowing how to dig. The guy operating the hoe had a very delicate touch and dug a very sharp edged hole large enough for two guys to work in.

Digging A Hole To Sewer Line

Men At Work

    They worked well into the night and finished up the following morning. After they left, you would never have know they were there, other than the fact that the basement toilet was now fully operational. It was just another day at the office for them and just another photo op for me. Cheers!

MGM Grand Renovation

October 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

MGM Grand Casino Hotel Remodel Las Vegas

MGM Grand As Seen From The Las Vegas Strip

    MGM Grand Casino is going through a grand renovation that will include a new nightclub, comedy club, upgrades to the casino floor and their suites, among other things. They call it a 360 degree resort renovation and it is scheduled to be completed in 2013.

MGM Grand Casino Hotel Remodel Las Vegas

MGM Grand Being Renovated

    Las Vegas is a city that I really do enjoy, especially as a resident of San Diego. It only takes an hour to fly to Las Vegas from here and Las Vegas is a place that is WORLDS apart from wherever you live, so a quick jaunt to Vegas from So Cal is technically the best deal on the planet.

Slot Machines MGM Grand Casino Hotel Remodel Las Vegas

Unused Slot Machines At MGM Grand

    MGM Grand is awesome in and of itself, but there are two other, very specific things about the place that appeal to me: It is right next to Las Vegas Airport and it has a monorail station. What that means is that you have an easy escape or commute to or from anywhere in Las Vegas.

MGM Grand Casino Hotel Remodel Las Vegas

Future Site Of Hakkasan

    Las Vegas is a great place to realize that the world just keeps on spinning, no matter how big a person you think you are. A renovation at MGM Grand does not mean you will be inconvenienced or disturbed in any way… It means you are privy to an amazing, very specific point in time. You get to see the next big thing BEFORE it becomes the next big thing.

    The photo above shows what will be a brand new restaurant and nightclub, situated right behind the famous lion of the MGM Grand. The name of the place will be, Hakkasan.

MGM Grand Casino Hotel Remodel Las Vegas

MGM Grand Casino Floor Being Renovated

    The main thing you’ll want to take away from this post is that MGM Grand is becoming grander. Next year, between their Wet Republic, a new restaurant and a new nightclub you will want to make sure to stop by MGM Grand the next time you are in Las Vegas. Cheers!

La Mesa Continues To Be Improved

October 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Construction On Allison Ave. In La Mesa, CA

La Mesa Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project

        Above we are on Allison Ave. facing east, in La Mesa, CA, during the La Mesa Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project. With almost every street in La Mesa between University and 4th Ave being torn up for the next year and a half, it will be very easy to photograph and document the progress.

Construction On Allison Ave. In La Mesa, CA

The Trolley Runs Through La Mesa

        The entire downtown La Mesa, CA area is being improved, and what you see above are the first steps towards that improvement.

Construction On Allison Ave. In La Mesa, CA

Rain Does Not Help Construction

        Right now, it’s a game of patience and tolerance. Wider sidewalks and shady trees are in the future for La Mesa, but until then we have to be patient, tolerate the noisy construction and put up with the traffic delays.

La Mesa Prepares To Be Improved

October 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Cutting Down Trees At La Mesa Blvd Trolley Station

Cutting Down Trees At La Mesa Blvd Trolley Station

        There is a lot of construction going on in La Mesa, CA right now, with roads being torn up, buildings being torn down and even mature eucalyptus trees falling victim to the next phase of La Mesa’s history When I first heard the chainsaw and then saw what was being cut, I questioned why these trees couldn’t be spared and built around for the La Mesa Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project, but ultimately thought better of it because I began to wonder about La Mesa’s past and what was going on the day the tree above was planted. I came to think about some long ago time when natural vegetation at this very spot was cleared to make way for the planting of the eucalyptus tree that I now witnessed being cut down and the road behind it. Was there some one back then standing in the same spot I was standing when I took these photos, momentarily lamenting the same thing as me until realizing that something better was probably on the way?

La Mesa Blvd Trolley Station

Preparing For Progress

        I see the La Mesa Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project as something better than we have now and I’m pretty sure the trees above are being cut down in preparation of the January 2011 construction start date. I’m especially excited for all the improvements that will make downtown La Mesa even more pedestrian friendly than it is now as well as all the new shade trees that will be planted. It’s progress for a purpose, not just for the sake of it, so I’m supporting it.

La Mesa Post Office Is Torn Down

August 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Demolishing La Mesa's Post Office

All That Remains Of La Mesa’s Old Post Office

        Once the new post office opened up in La Mesa last year, the old building was slowly phased out and has now been torn down. No word of what will be constructed in it’s place or what is to become of the soon to be abandoned La Mesa police department building across the street. In the background is the city hall building for La Mesa.

Demolishing La Mesa's Post Office

Demolishing La Mesa’s Old Post Office

        There is a lot of construction going on in la Mesa right now, and most of the downtown area streets will be receiving face lifts over the next year or so. It will be nice to have another opportunity to document, photographically, the process of raising a building.

Work Being Done In La Mesa, CA

Along University Ave & La Mesa Blvd

        Just down the street and around the corner from the La Mesa post office, University Ave, has been dug into regularly over the last month or so. It seems that most of the work is cable/phone line related, with most of the in charge looking people having the AT&T logo on their hardhats.

La Mesa Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project

August 9, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Allison Avenue Streetscape Project

Construction Can Be Chaotic

        The La Mesa Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project will widen sidewalks, install new lamp posts with unique night-lighting, plant new trees, flowers and shrubs and many other things in the downtown area of La Mesa, CA.

Allison Avenue Streetscape Project

Allison Avenue Being Improved

        This is an ambitious project, with one of the goals being to solidify the downtown area’s identity as La Mesa’s city center. As we can see on this map, most of the streets and sidewalks that go through and around downtown La Mesa will be receiving a face-lift.

Allison Avenue Streetscape Project

Intersection Of Palm Ave. And Allison Ave.

        The entire project is called the “La Mesa Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project,” but there was a sign in the area these photos were taken that read, “Allison Avenue Streetscape Project,” so I’m guessing that each leg of the project will have it’s own designation like this one. That makes sense to me and will avoid confusion, no doubt.

Allison Avenue Streetscape Project

Guarding The Open Trench

La Mesa Construction Workers

June 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

La Mesa construction at the intersection of University and La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa, CA June 25th, 2010

Digging Up The Street In La Mesa

        Over the last few months, crews have been tearing up streets in my neighborhood. They have slowly migrated their way down the street and around the corner. At one point they accidentally knocked over a fire hydrant, which created a great firefighter and water filled photo-op for me.

La Mesa Construction

Worker Emerges From The Street

        When I capture images of people, I prefer the subject not be posed, just captured. I like natural looking, spontaneous images and if the subject happens to be smiling that’s just fine, as long as they aren’t told to, “look at the camera and smile.” As I snapped photos of the work area, the man above emerged from the giant hole in the street and happened to look at the camera.

Construction In La Mesa, California

May 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Construction In La Mesa, CA

General Labor In La Mesa, CA

        These guys have been digging, drilling and filling for a few days now and even though I have no idea what the Hell they are doing, it is still interesting to watch.

Construction In La Mesa, CA

Using A Jackhammer

Retrieving The Ball

Whew! The Ball Is Safe

        Across the street from the construction is the Christ Lutheran Church, which also contains a school. A rubber ball made it over the security fence of the school and rolled down the street where it came to rest at the entrance to a storm drain. Luckily for the students, the ball is slightly larger than the drain, so this good Samaritan lady was able to retrieve the ball for the children.

Construction In La Mesa, CA

Jackhammer Through Concrete

        The ground level of this gas station is no match for the relentless beat of a jackhammer. One man with a jackhammer and another with a heavy steel bar equals one hole in the ground. The short video below helps to illustrate this point.

Construction In Downtown San Diego

May 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Park & Market Construction & New Street Lights

Construction And New Street Lights

        Above we have a new building, hidden under a veil going up at the intersection of Park Blvd. & Island Ave. in downtown San Diego. I’m sure it won’t be long until the veil is lifted and we will see San Diego’s newest condo high-rise. The photo above shows the entire building including workers at the bottom installing a brand new traffic light. Below is a close up of the light installation, and below that is the street corner as viewed with google maps, when construction first began. Once construction is completed, I’ll take another photo. I like those before and after photos, so I think it’s neat when I get to do one of my own.

Park & Market Construction & New Street Lights


View Larger Map

La Mesa Police Station

March 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

La Mesa Police Station Under Construction

La Mesa Police Station Construction Nears Completion – March 2010

        It’s been over two months since my last post with photos of the new La Mesa police station being constructed. During that interim, proper walls have been fabricated and windows have been installed. For this post I will be recycling photos I have taken during construction.

La Mesa Police Station In January 2010

La Mesa Police Station – January 2010

La Mesa Police Station

La Mesa Police Station – October 2009

La Mesa Police Station

La Mesa Police Station – July 2009

The Gray Before The Storm

January 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Grossmont Palm Trees

Palm Trees Placed Under Arrest For Unknown Reasons

        My last post ended with this quote, from Albert Swearengen; “Announcing your plans is a great way to hear God laugh.” So true. You, as the reader can interpret the word “God” however you like, but for the purposes of this post, I will interpret it as the being that controls the strings of humans on planet Earth. The only thing the San Diego Chargers had to do today, January 17, 2010 was win. Since they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, I had to nullify a contract that would have put me on Easy Street for at least 30 calender days. I really hate professional sports. Not a single one of those bitchy millionaire athletes has given up anything during this recession, but the fans, the people that pay to make them rich have lost more than any other single group in history. This, coupled with the immanent arrival of a storm that will bring Southern California 6 inches of rain over the next five days equals a very, very gray Sunday in San Diego. Rather than make money by photographing the inebriated smiles of 75,000 Charger fans, I have been reduced to posting some lame, boring photos taken in the wake of the Chargers loss.

Qualcomm Stadium, January 2010

Qualcomm Stadium In Vibrant Gray

        This has nothing to do with the San Diego Chargers pissing away a 7 point lead or me having to cancel a celebratory photo shoot due to the loss, but Qualcomm Stadium is a dump. Maybe I’m spoiled because I was in on the ground floor when the Denver Broncos christened their new stadium around the turn of the century, but my God… Qualcomm Stadium is a depressing place to be around, victorious or not. Concrete and gray would best describe it. I’m not kidding when I say that ANY college stadium in the country would be a better venue to host a football game.

La Mesa Police Station In January 2010

La Mesa Police Station In January 2010

        Since it was a gray day in just about every capacity, I figured some shots of the La Mesa police station, currently under construction would fit in well.

La Mesa Police Station In January 2010

La Mesa Police Station In January 2010

        This is the entrance to the underground parking area for the new La Mesa police station. Even though it is still under construction, there is an ominous feel to it. Why, one is disposed to ask, do La Mesa police have to unload prisoners underground, out of view from the public?

La Mesa Police Station Arises

January 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

La Mesa Police Station Construction

Labor For La Mesa’s New Police Station

        When a new police station is being built, right around from your house, and you are a photographer, you make plans to take pictures of the construction progress on an almost daily basis, right? Right. After over a year of construction, I have visited the construction site a a total of 6 times, and didn’t even take photos on each trip. As a 19th century saloon owner once said, “Announcing your plans is a great way to hear God laugh.”

La Mesa Police Station

La Mesa Police Station – July 2009

La Mesa Police Station

La Mesa Police Station – October 2009

La Mesa Police Station In January 2010

La Mesa Police Station – January 2010

La Mesa, CA Police Station Construction

October 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

La Mesa, CA Police Station

We Now See The True Color Of A Police Station – Yellow!

        The citizens of La Mesa finally get to see more that the perpetual, skeletal structure of a building and get to see another layer of the epidermis of our new police station in vibrant yellow. The jet black pavement was laid the very morning of this photograph. I really hope this pic will someday be a part of history.

La Mesa Police Station

The Public Is Afforded Only This View Of The Interior View Of A Police Station

        I just have to mention that during the 10-15 minutes I spent in front of this construction site that two employees of Larsen Constructors Inc. asked me what I was taking pictures of. Neither one was rude or combative, which was a breath of fresh air for me, considering my recent bouts with The San Diego Trolley Police. I would suppose that it does reflect on the general attitude towards photographers and our craft. Not in a bad way, but merely in that suspicious way of, “What is that dude doing over there?”