Avenue N

Yesterday I had a friend from Santa Cruz visiting, and I showed him around the major sites of the Island. I love introducing the Island to people who have never been here before, who are instantly captivated by the strangeness of the place. We wandered on the Southeastern part of the Island, along Avenue N, which I haven’t really explored before.

Avenue N is pretty awesome. It was early evening and the sun was starting to set, painting everything with gold. We looked across the Bay to Berkeley, and I pointed out the new span of the Bay Bridge in progress. The weather was mild and the ocean glittered under the clouds, which were a brilliant blue purple that I don’t think I’ve seen before. Avenue N is quiet and lined with palm trees, with a picnic bench tucked away. It seems like no one goes down there much, and I made a note to explore it further.

Wandering around with him made me think of all sorts of photographic series I wanted to do—I would love to document all of these buildings before they are torn down, and to look at the ever changing graffiti, perhaps do a year of photographs of the constantly metamorphosing painted art, and interview some of the artists. The Island is a living, vibrant place in its decay, a splendid ruin.

Which brings me to a proposal for you, dear readers. As some of you may recall, my loyal camera companion died in a watery grave over the summer. My friend Baxt generously lent me hers for several months, a loan which I greatly appreciate. However, I recently had to return her camera because she had designs for it all her own, and I am now faced with the need to actually consider replacing my camera. I have been looking at a couple of models—given my happy experiences with Canon, I would really like one of these with a really good lens kit. It’s a bit out of the realm of possiblity for the moment, though.

I rarely make appeals for financial contributions to any cause, and have made it a point to keep this site purely noncommercial, both because I appreciate the aesthetic and dislike having to wade through a forest of ads on other sites. I maintain this ain’t livin’ site partially just for myself, and expend a fair amount of energy and money developing and hosting it. I know that many of you enjoy reading it, and many of you have written me saying that you like the photo posts in particular.

So here’s my proposal. If you readers out there on the internets would like to pitch in on one of these or perhaps this with a large memory card (preferably something over a gig, because these cameras makes large files and I don’t like being limited by memory when I’m out and about shooting), I will pledge to take and post a unique photo every day for a year. Ambitious readers could even make photo requests: after all, in addition to living on an awesome post apocalytic Island, I also live near San Francisco, where the possibilities for photography are essentially endless. If someone wants to throw in some additional lenses, I’ll totally extend the pledge time. The A640 breaks down to about a dollar a day—don’t you think a dollar a day is totally worth it for awesome Treasure Island photography?

Negotiating these sorts of things over the internet is always difficult, and if this is something readers are interested in, I would like to do it in a way that is comfortable for all. I have, for example, a Paypal address in the care of meloukhia at gmail dot com to which funds could be transferred (and to which contributions for site upkeep are always welcome). If the goal was not reached in a timely fashion, funds could be returned to you, unless you marked them as a general donation. Readers with alternate suggestions are certainly welcome to get in touch with me, at that email address or publicly on this site.

Think about it. Ponder it, even. A photo every day. For a year. Pretty excellent, eh? I won’t even slack and just put up photo posts, like I do sometimes.