I work at Flora Grubb Gardens nursery in San Francisco as buyer for the design team, and am a student and freelance gardener certified in Landscape Design, Construction, and Maintenance, and Nursery Center Operation and Cut Flower Production. I study Ikebana, and am an obsessive student of the Earth Sciences, with an emphasis on ecology and sustainability. I’m an avid blogger, and contributing writer to Pacific Horticulture magazine.
That’s all school study. The real education comes in exploring what’s around me and sharing my vision. Thoreau said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
The Bayview is an area of the City noted for its blight, prostitution, crime, extreme poverty, and illegal dumping. (An “Up and Coming” neighborhood, they call it.) Every day I bus to and from work, and walk a few blocks in between. Whenever time permits I like to get off the bus at a different stop, altering my routes to work to explore new scenes.
I walk past piles of illegally dumped trash almost every day, literally, and I’ve noticed how prevalent certain themes are in the area’s discards. Especially striking is the sheer volume of toys and children’s items, and food. There is a strange sense of desolation and sadness to the piles of trash - so many things the residents struggle to possess are scattered around to waste at their doorsteps. The toys represent so many happy times for some child - or I like to think so - but somehow they came to be tossed on the side of the road. The first toy to catch my interest and get me to bring a camera along to work was a Spongebob Squarepants stuffie wedged into a bridge support. It was so odd, lonely, dirty, yet with this garishly happy face.
And I was off. Besides voluminous trash piles, there are the many residual castoffs of the prostitution trade, and it makes for some interesting tableaux. And plates of food. So much wasted food in such a poor neighborhood. And there are attempts at bringing beauty to the area, too, despite the uphill battle the improvements will face. It’s all fascinating to look at and to watch progress/digress over time.
I’m not a professional photographer by any means, nor am I studied in the genre. Pretty much all my photos are taken with my cell phone. I just seem to have a unique eye on the world, and love sharing my perspective as much as people seem to enjoy seeing how I see things.
This tumblr started out as a Wordpress blog, but all new postings will be here from now on. Pop over to Over the Tracks on Wordpress to see my earlier postings!