Grizzly Peak’s superhuman view of the Bay Area seems so inaccessible; that we could drive there (albeit on steep, winding roads) is surreal. The alignment of mundane cars along the ridge seems like a different phase of matter from the glowing roads and epic accomplishments of civil engineering below. I suspect that those mundane cars will become a lot more interesting when I look back at this picture in 30 years.
Snow covered northern New York this week, and the temperature rests in the single degrees Fahrenheit; now is an excellent time to look back at the warm eternal-summer glow of California. Particularly in contrast to the >60-hour-per-week graduate students down on campus, the “standard” workweek of staff at Berkeley Lab was a remarkably normal trend. At the end of the day, with that sunset light arriving, the workers who keep the physical plant running come outside into the evening breeze and head home.
Coming to St. Lawrence, I was not prepared for the amount of forest space on the school’s 1000-acre campus. Flying above the Grasse River, campus looks wild and vaguely Nordic. I’ve never run into a frost giant on the way to work, but now I’m sort of wondering whether I need to prepare for that, too.
Can a building hide? Or surprise? Or sneak?
The Empire State Building, hiding at the other end of 34th St. in Manhattan, seems to support the possibility. The canonical modern New York street scene, one of luxury cars stuck in traffic and smoke from cooking street meat and old industrial buildings being converted into high-end condos, can still surprise. One step away is another scene built of different buildings and people in view.
Photographs with late-model cars and trucks have always been an odd challenge to my photography; they tend to appear as ugly, pedestrian chunks that I try to avoid in otherwise charming scenes. (The world has enough documentation of Toyota Corollas and Ford F-150s.) However, when I look back on old photographs from the mid-twentieth century, it’s inevitably the cars and the clothes of the past that are the most charming aspects. The common-car-filled images that I capture in the present must be a sort of investment; the boring cars of today will make this image a classic document of everyday life in 30 years.