Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Diamonds

It rained all morning again on the day after Christmas – but then cleared about mid-day. When I went out to buy milk the sunlight was doing all it could to compel full attention. Above, the emergence of Spencer Alley onto 16th Street in the suddenly bright Mission – a neighborhood that is as deserted as the proverbial tomb for the moment, but will be thick with young people again in time for New Year's Eve.  

The small truck below was parked on 15th Street between Guerrero and Valencia. It claimed attention because of the unauthorized diamonds (product of felony vandalism) spray-painted in blue with black outlines. Mentally, I could not avoid regarding these (and, I fear, endorsing them) as the Christmas Diamonds – because they so clearly revealed the same illicit hand as the Thanksgiving Diamond (a solitary silver job that regular reader/viewers are sure to remember from a parallel walk over closer to Folsom about a month ago). Though dating of these artifacts is notoriously difficult, I provisionally assign the more recent date to the blue diamonds, on the grounds that they represent an increasingly bold intervention.  

I played camera focus games (after all that crazy, wobbly work I tried to do indoors in the evening on Christmas) to reassure myself  that the camera could still be talked into performing cleverly – under the right conditions. Above, through a distracting set of vertical iron bars, BEAUTY SALON in red caps remains sharp while the camera's left eye wanders several blocks down the street.

Which all went well enough, but soon a different and more serious problem came up. The splendid and almost freakish sparkling sunlight that had drawn me outside in the first place simply withdrew itself and disappeared. This happened at the same moment I noticed BEDBUG HOTEL below.

The whole time I was photographing this otherwise unnoticeable building I expected Slumlord to come rushing out waving a baseball bat – but that never occurred. Nothing occurred. The holiday desertion of everywhere was too complete.

So I went home again through the suddenly cold and dark streets to complete whatever work I could do on that surrealistic collection of Christmas pictures.