Around the plaza.
My familiarity with downtown San Jose is a result of working at The Tech Museum of Innovation from 2000-2006.
I did web marketing and design for the museum and it was the coolest job I had in my 43 years of working.
The museum was just off Plaza de César Chávez, kitty-corner from the San Jose Museum of Art. The Tech staff was housed in a building around the corner on West San Carlos, and I had a decent sized work-space near the entrance, big enough to park my old Schwinn Collegiate in my office.
Whenever the weather was decent, I’d jump on my bike at lunch and ride around downtown with cameras, my Domke F6 fitting perfectly in the basket hanging from the handlebars.
Lots to see and shoot, with San Jose State, City Hall, The Children’s Museum, Japan Town, and older parts of town well within reach on bicycle at lunch hour.
Jump ahead to 2007, after a short stint as webmaster for San Jose State I landed at Santa Clara University, where I did web marketing until I retired in 2015.
The lure of the city was strong and I would still head downtown on occasion, just to find interesting and unusual subjects for photography.
These six shots were taken around the plaza late December 2008 using my old Pentax K10D and a Sigma 28-135 ƒ/4 zoom/macro lens.
Canon PowerShot S3IS, downtown San Jose back around January 2007.
I’d just started working at San Jose State and lunchtime walks in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus were a nice break in the day.
I really can’t recall where this bike shop was, though…
Look out, 2021.
I have this.
I also have a half-dozen 4×5 film holders.
And three boxes of black and white sheet film **.
And a Polaroid 405 back, not t’mention a healthy stash of fuji peel-apart.
And a shade cloth.
And a Toyo focusing loupe.
And light meters.
And a sturdy old Calumet tripod.
Using all that was one of 2020’s goals.
Getting out with all this stuff is now a 2021 goal.
Wish me luck.
** I also ordered that cool LomoGraflok 4×5 instant back (and 10 2-packs of Instax Wide film. That’s 200 shots!). Their site lists an April 2021 ship date – here’s hoping it arrives before Spring ‘Roid Week, which starts on 4/18. Fingers crossed!
Another drive-by shooting.
October 2007. Polaroid Spectra AF + Spectra 990 film.
Described as “Fall ‘Roid Week 2007, day two!”, here’s what I wrote about it for my original Flickr post…
“I tried walking into this place once before. It gave me the heebie-jeebies! I had to leave. Really!
I was on my way home after work yesterday and knew this opportunity was presenting its spooky self once again. Since I was carrying my Spectra with me I decided to stop. I’m glad I did. I went in. Got permission from the owner. Took two shots. This was the better of the two. Still gave me chills, but I got the shot I’d envisioned.”
13 years later, I still have this camera. But no film. Polaroid Originals stopped making film for these cameras earlier this year and I know the Impossible folks aren’t producing any, either.
eBay prices are a little out of my comfort zone, so I guess my Spectra AF will be for display only.
Four more Shakeits.
Sandwiched between Vets & Pets and a Valero gas station on El Camino at Pomeroy, this was one of a handful of neon signs behind windows of a Psychic Readings shop that was very near our old Santa Clara home. Pretty cool.
I’ve taken shots of a few of those signs over the years, but this one is my fave. I found it again digging through the archive back in May. Digital, made with the Pentax 330GS.
A quick check of Google maps and it looks like the building’s still there.
I wonder if she knew about 2020… hmmmm.