Looking at Florida with a Leica

Took a new dig­i­tal Leica (Huawei Mate) to Flori­da for dri­ve­bys & still shots.

It’s a smart­phone, and smart­phones are now the only kind of dig­i­tal cam­era I use — the oth­er is an old iPhone, which I use with Hip­sta­mat­ic.

The phone’s dual lens cam­era with all-man­u­al set­tings had much promise. And these images do, admit­ted­ly, get the “Leica look.” It’s also there to get shots I’d nor­mal­ly miss, because I keep the phone with me all the time.

How­ev­er, there’s still some­thing unsat­is­fy­ing to me about most dig­i­tal imagery. Look­ing at the results after­ward, I real­ize that I still pre­fer film over this. And Hip­sta­mat­ic on an old iPhone is just about the only dig­i­tal cam­era tech that can do it for me …

Treasure Island Redux

Trea­sure Island, Flori­da and its envi­rons is one of the best hotbeds of mid-cen­tu­ry mod­ern archi­tec­ture in America—right on the Gulf of Mex­i­co, about a mile from Jack Kerouac’s last home, was an exam­ple of every major archi­tec­tur­al style and trend from America’s high point.

In an effort to bring aware­ness to what they had, years ago I got Trea­sure Island on the front page of The New York Times. They didn’t get it then, even as the nation­al spot­light was thrown upon them.

I’ve been mak­ing some trips down there to doc­u­ment what’s left, and I’ve become hap­pi­ly sur­prised by some­thing else: there’s new inter­est and hope in his­toric preser­va­tion. Now that mid-cen­tu­ry mod­ern is so hot, this might be a very good year for the city.

Tropic Terrace

The Sands

The Alt-Right Is Woke

We didn’t know what to expect. Between the eight us there were only two bul­let­proof vests. And we all had our girls to wor­ry about. As Loren Feld­man the film­mak­er said, they were “uncon­trol­lable” and insist­ed that they remain in the thick of it. One of them’s preg­nant. So a hand­ful of us drove out to a mall in sub­ur­ban Cleve­land to pre­pare. We took a green Kia Soul that, for the week of the 2016 Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion at least, was an alt-right Pepe mobile, fat-lipped grin on the front grille made from two strips of wide, rose-col­ored rub­ber. Not every­one knew their memes; you either got it and smiled or you just didn’t see.

First pub­lished in Got­News.