Being a native Northern Nevadan, I haven’t spent much time around fog. I think that’s where my fascination with it began. You would think after 10 years of living in London that one would become used to it but for some reason I still find it fascinating. I recently spent 3 days shooting in Petaluma, California and experienced fog like I have never seen. The more time I spend in Northern California the more I realize that nowhere I have ever been even compares to the fog that that area gets.
Driving around an unknown area with very limited visibility was a little daunting. Both nights I was shooting this series I basically set my GPS to get me to my hotel and just slowly worked my way back. Luckily the streets were completely barren. I guess locals know that during this kind of fog, it’s best to avoid driving or at least avoid the odd jackass that’s driving around blindly taking photos.
You can see a larger edit of these images here.
I’ve been spending a bit of time exploring the lesser travelled parts of Reno recently. Having spent over 15 years living in big cities with plenty of urban sprawl, empty buildings and gentrification I have been kind of longing for some of that creative dirtiness that exists before the developers move in and make it an “arts district”. The 4th Street area of Reno is to me what Williamsburg or DUMBO is to Brooklyn or what Hoxton is to London.
I always enjoyed exploring the run down areas of my old East London neighborhood. We would spend a lot of time dumpster diving, quite often finding amazing pieces of furniture discarded by offices closing or buildings being remodeled. The empty buildings and warehouses made for incredible impromptu galleries, clubs and residences. When I moved there in the mid ’90′s there was nothing but a few pubs, a few late night dives, one of the best music venues in London and with Dazed and Confused, ID Magazine and Alexander McQueen all being based in East London it really was a major part of the music, fashion and arts scene that I believe has not been matched since. Of course the area is now completely gentrified and as much a tourist attraction as it is a creative melting pot but, at my last visit in September 2010, it still had a Hoxton charm and artistic energy that no other area in London can match.
I see alot of this same thing happening in Reno, at the moment. Their are a few mavericks who have moved into the 4th Street area over the last 5-10 years with businesses and homes. Some have made it some have not, but as I explore the area more and more I am beginning to get that same feeling I got when I moved to other undeveloped urban areas. There is an excitement of potential discovery that does not exist other places. I see these old red brick buildings with shattered windows and can really see some exciting opportunities.
It can be a sad and painful experience watching an area or place you grew to know and love become something that really it was never intended to be, watching the old places and people get kicked out for something that pays more or is more attractive. But it’s the way it happens, big city or small. It wasn’t long ago Brooklyn was… well not Manhattan. Now my old neighborhood of DUMBO in Brooklyn has rents to match even the most expensive parts of Manhattan (DUMBO is developer jargon for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass for those who are not familiar. Catchy but absolutely awful).
You can see the rest of the series here