05 January 2014

Hillcrest's Harelequin for home goods & more

For a few weeks (okay maybe months) now I've meaning to check out the latest business venture @ 127 W University also known as the 2 story stucco building between 1st (Hillcrest Smog)  and Front Street. 

Google maps' street view lies, it is no longer home to Ink -- which was never open when I was stationery inclined (bummer). Now it is home to Harlequin Boutique and yesterday I was delighted to finally cross the doorstep  during business hours.

None of the eclectic garments on offer are likely to fit the current incarnation of my body but that didn't stop me from admiring the selection.

Thankfully, the stock is not limited to tops & frocks.  No, the stock also includes furniture, folios, jewelry, accessories and even kiddie kitsch.  All are artfully displayed, all very reasonably priced and did I mention eclectic?  

I succumbed to a couple of notebooks and dithered over a pair of great retro earrings.  Ultimately, at least for now, the earrings didn't make the cut.

Had I found my way in sooner, a coworker's first Xmas ornament might not have been from the Pottery Guild but one of the hand blown bulbs seen here.

Geographically it is a tick or two off off the beaten track in the three block or so nether regions between 5th Ave corridor and the Mission Hills border so it is easy to overlook but really shouldn't be. 

Stop and shop soon.

And yeah, yeah, I owe posts, photos and maybe a couple of WTF have I been up to updates to my not on FB friends.

27 January 2013

Prompt on the day that I had my sights on was "from a high place/angle."   I've been trying to take a good shot from the Georgia Street overpass bridge which is, btw, on the list of structurally unsound bridges, for a few weeks now.

Didn't get every shot I wanted but I did get some nice images of North Park/University Heights that conform to my not all ranch houses and swimming pools but more Raymond Chandler bungalow visions of  Southern California.

The latter is a crap sentence but a good paint an image if you're a film noir romantic imagery sort.

 I did try to get in some looking up check the structural issues images on the return leg of the journey but I was losing light, fighting f-stops and distracted by some interesting insights/exchanges with some of the local street people.

I banked some nice in lieu of meets the prompt shots as well as this whimsical unexpected along the way (also on today's prompts) retaining wall stencil.

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26 January 2013

Torch song or neon no more?

When flame came up as a prompt, I high hopes of yet another night time neon sign shot. Those hopes were dashed when, taking the extra steps on the day, I found the sign unilluminated.

Good thing I opted to take a shot or two on the outbound part of my walk. It was an 8 mile walk day so I was a little/lot less than thrilled to find it dark.

The Flame is an iconic Hillcrest venue/bar/commercial purveyor of potable beverages.

Living near it (and near neighbor numbers) means you occasionally find half empty (or half full depending on your view) cocktail glasses on newspaper boxes, retaining walls and sidewalks.

You also get unscheduled entertainment from bar patrons' conversations coming and going from bar to home or parked cars. I try to think of it as a floor show without a cover charge although occasionally I wonder if I should worry about random bullets and the like.

Flame has been through quite a few changes in recent years and I gather it is very much in a transitional phase just now.  I guess that means that, for now at least, I can attribute any failure to follow through with respecting the neighbours to numbers not Flame.

It was mad overcast today but I banked some shots of the old cactus garden in Balboa Park and some misty images of the Cabrillo Bridge and California Tower/dome for eye candy on days that the photos are less than inspiring or nonexistent.

Given the fact that one of the other prompts on the day was red, perhaps a bonus shot or two of some vivid succulents is in order.

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25 January 2013

Clouds on break -- happy coincidence

I took my nose/eyes off the grindstone to do a quick social media check on Thursday afternoon and was rewarded with a glorious sunset shot posted by Debbi of knit.run,reap.eat on Facebook.

Those inspirational photos are not on her blog but the blog is worth a link and perhaps she's got a link to her Instagram or other photo link to her lovely images.  And, for my knitterly buds, she's doing a lot more knitting than I am these days.

My comment was that her shots inspired me to pick up my camera and look out the window.

I haven't seen a lot of amazing sunsets from my office but sometimes the pre-sunset sky surprises me.

I took these images roughly 4-5 minutes apart starting at 15:58 and ending at 16:23 before the sky finished its show and I went back to 100% immersion into the project.

I would feel guilty for taking these shots over a half hour or so but for the usual eyes on the prize day I was adhering to.

It was only much later (much) that I realised that clouds was one of the days' prompts.

Good thing I took the time took theses as Thursday was one of the worst of the long days this week.

Friday was another total bomb for photos with a single landscape shot that only looks good when compared to my usual parking structure panorama.

So I'm calling Friday a bust and wrapping the work week of photos with these cloud sequences.

Saturday and Sunday have great prompts that I already have "oh I know what I can shoot" ideas and the actual time to explore them.

Even with rain in the forecast, walkabout with camera is on the agenda.

With prompts like flame, from a high angle, along the way (great wildcard phrase), behind, red, yard, and starts with I, there will be photos.

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23 January 2013

The first photo fail week 5, 1, corner oops

Monday was another one of those good thing there are 6 levels to the office building parking garage days.

There were other good prompts on the day but I was barely out of the office all day and a photo of a drawer full of network cables is, IMO, even less interesting than parking structure painted numerals.

With prompts of 1 and 5 on the day, at least I had the presence of mind to take a shot or two while in bound.

It is actually one of those weeks so I had to own up to the reality that cheating by using some not shot on the day images that meet the prompts or just missing some days was probably just going to happen.

In the what a shame category, one of Monday's prompts was sidewalks but and I've had reason to take some recent shots of some of my favourite hazard zones masking as walkways.

Tuesday, similar story but with the added fun of needing to shuffle vehicles so new lines could be painted in the underground parking.

Hillcrest locals (and other urban dwellers) will understand this, I, and 20 or so of my neighbours, either needed to leave for work before 8 am or find another place to legally park  between 8am and 10am on Wednesday when we could return to our spots.

In Hillcrest, finding a free parking space at any time is an adventure so planning was key. I have two vehicles and, careful readers may recall, one of probably in needs a brake job so it has been sitting more often than not of late.

My plan was to drive baby needs a brake job on Tuesday and park it on a nearby street with no restrictive parking limits. This would ensure that it has more than fumes in the gas tank and a battery charge that wouldn't need a Wednesday morning jump start to evacuate parking spot and avoid a tow @ owner's expense.

That worked a champ but my find the other vehicle an off-site parking spot reminded me of a strange combo of a shell game and searching for a parking spot in Cleveland Heights after the law library closed -- decidedly diminishing returns.

Still I managed a corner shot for Tuesday -- one of a several corners in my home dominated by books.

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20 January 2013

A mixed bag on a Sunday -- 3 (or a triple) with blue skies

No Monarchs today but there is an eclectic mix of paper, trees, strange things I saw and maybe a moon shot.

Prompts on the day were black, triple, sorted, band, paper, sound, clear, something you saw, & music.

Paper and black combined in this shot of a piece of specialty paper I bought at Artist & Craftsman Supply -- source of many of a project or project component and home to many of my dollars.

The trees in the "we three trees of Hillcrest" shot are ones that, shot from a different direction, look amazing when the sun is setting in a blaze across the sky.

Unfortunately, when those self-same trees and the sky are looking amazing to my human eye, they are -- more often than not -- fuzzy images in a washed out sky to my non-human (camera) eye.  I'm working on getting back that happening way less often than not but it is a slow slog back.

Still, the sky was a beautiful blue and the sudden weather shift to unseasonably warm temps just made a triple palm shot make sense.

Yesterday I wrote that I finally got some good shots of images I've been stalking for some time. Today I snagged a few more images of different instances of this oddity that could have fit yesterday's man-made prompt but is making a teaser appearance today as something I saw.

It is likely that one of today's images and other previously taken shots will show up as a posting about the unexpected things you see and conversations you will have when walking about with a camera.

Hey, if I'm going to reserve the right to "cheat" a little on this photo challenge, it should probably be somehow related to the spirit of the challenge and/or visually interesting,

And finally, hey the sky was blue, the sun was setting, and the moon was visible so the camera and I couldn't quite resist this moon shot that I could get without benefit of tripod.

Same moon, darker sky, later in the walkabout only human eye recorded.

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19 January 2013

Mostly floral on the day

Bow, colour, sign, man-made, flower2x, childhood, delicious, health were the words on the day.

The daffs I bought the other day were mostly in full bloom and ready for portraits or closeups.

It is way, way too early for daffs but I'm not going to hold off buying them until they should be out or I'll miss them entirely. 

I scaled this daff image by 50% but otherwise it is the compose in camera image.

Flowers also played a role in the "Wait, wait, is that a Monarch I see?" photo from today.

I doubtlessly delayed my planned arrival at a few locations today by noticing it to begin with and then picking a camera to pull out of the kit and patiently waiting.

But I was rewarded by the sight of this post pupa beauty doing a bit of aerial ballet before coming back to the blooms that caught both its and my attention.

And, of course, more importantly, getting this shot. You may have to click on the image and do a little "Where's Waldo?" But if this guy or his/her friends cooperate with more local appearances I'll try to get tighter shots or even vids before they head to colder climes.

I've had some good not on script/prompt photos lately so I'm going to try to keep with at least one prompt based photo per day playing by the photo matching day's prompt  must be taken on the day of the prompt.

So I don't leave too much on the cutting room floor and/or need to shift from walkaboutknitter to walkaboutclicker (or maybe snapper)

I will be doing some shift back to knitting (when the to-be-published grand silence finally lifts) and theme photo based postings that may be off day of the prompts.

If that last phrase sounds a bit convoluted/cryptic I getcha.

Today I got some shots I've been trying to capture for a few weeks that I could wedge into the man-made prompt but I didn't want to promote them over today's flower themed photos or S-can the series of shots because they weren't taken on a day when they matched the prompt.

In a similar vein, I could be going for today's bow prompt but I'm thinking that I will preserve that experiment with shooting highly reflective white metal  effort for an avatar/profile image.

So we'll close out today's flower themed photo tour with a little ice ice baby ice plant blossom.  This was the only blossom on field

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