May 06, 2008
  Castro Street

(Oakland, 2008; click on image for larger version. Image copyright Hamish Reid).

For several years I commuted into San Francisco from my studio and home in East Oakland on BART; as you went over West Oakland on the elevated BART way, you could see this ramshackle old apartment building just off to the left at street level in a mostly commercial and industrial neighbourhood. Over the years it got progressively more decrepit until it looked like it must have been condemned; but these things are hard to tell from BART. I kept mentally making a note to go and photograph the place, and every now and then I'd actually ride or drive past it on my way through West Oakland, but the sun was always in the wrong place or the light was bad or (as always seems to happen in West Oakland) there'd be a huge container truck or something similar parked idling right in front of it.

Finally I went out on my bike one Sunday morning and managed to get it (more-or-less) right. I think the resulting image does a reasonable job of conveying the isolation of the building, the lack of people on the street (this isn't the sort of neighbourhood where most people take casual strolls), the bizarre angles and textures on the walls and roof; the dereliction. It's definitely one of my fave old Oakland buildings, and amazingly enough it's still there, but it won't last. It's officially condemned, it's boarded up, and it's got a furtive transient population of rats and crackheads that you sort of can't miss if you look in the right places at the right time. The neighbourhood's rough enough that it may still be there in a decade, but maybe not: the lifestyle lofters and richer artists are taking over large swathes of this place as they have a bit further down the Estuary in what's still laughably called the warehouse district. We shall see….

Photolalia: Some images... and a few brief words about them. (Like Dancing About Architecture).

Site feeds: [RSS] and / or [Atom].

About Me
Hamish Reid is a photographer, designer, and software engineer living and working in the Jingletown district of Oakland, California. This is his full profile.

You can get hold of Hamish at xyzphotolalia at ylayalixyz dot com without the xyx's.
Some Previous Posts
This blog has moved
Mission and Third
State Surrealism
The Business End
The New California Barber Shop
East Of Oildale
Castro Street
Right Place, Right Time.
The Indecisive Moment
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
January 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
November 2006
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
April 2010
Around Jingletown
Some Photoblogs I Like
(In no particular order, and rather capriciously:)

Powered by Blogger

Photolalia is part of the Ylayali complex.

All images and text on Photolalia are Copyright Hamish Reid unless otherwise specifically noted.
View My Profile