San Pablo Avenue project
When I emerged from a COVID-19 forced hibernation in early 2021, I was struck by the number of vacant shops and storefronts. This was very obvious on San Pablo Avenue running through Oakland, Berkeley, and Albany CA. In addition, this corridor is rapidly being converted to mid-rise residential units, often six or seven stories fronting directly on the sidewalk. Some of these structures have been there for a few years and others are under construction or in preconstruction phases. When I look at these sites now, I can't remember what was replaced.
February and March offer some of the best Bay Area photographic weather with beautiful morning and late afternoon light. And the trees in the Berkeley section were still bare creating amazing shadows. The images in these sequences were captured during this short period. They are not a catalog of what is but rather a collection of images that were visually compelling to me. Taken together, they tell a complex story. I think of them as a tribute to the small businesses, artists, and property owners that have survived and a sad reminder of what we have lost. As for the new development, we'll see if built-for-maximum-profit housing has a positive influence.