Knowing that the purpose behind the San Francisco trip was to cover Noise Pop — Aly’s article went in Thursday’s paper, by the way — I brought along a camera. My regular camera, however, does not lend itself to easy travel. If most people’s digitals are the size of newer model cell phones, my Minolta is vintage 1989-era Game Boy with a VHS cassette taped to the side. Like I said, not immediately portable. So instead I brought the pocket-sized cheapie I got for Christmas. Apparently, camera quality traces camera size, or at least I'll pretend that's the case, and this mini-Olympus proved adequate for daylight snapshots, as this photo of Aly and her sister at Nepenthe in Big Sur proves…
… and not-so-hot for photographing poorly-lit, gyrating rock stars, as the below photo of Tilly and the Wall’s Neely Jenkins and Jamie Presnall.
As you can see, I might as well have just applied the Photoshop filter labeled “cruddy.”
Teeny tiny photbox did prove useful on a particular non-rockstar-related venture. For the two nights we spent in San Francisco, we stayed the Mosser, a hotel on Fourth Street. (In a word: hipster-friendly. IKEA-style furniture, bold retro patterns on every conceivable surface, and tall and skinny, like so many pairs of scenester pants.) I suspect that this hotel has fairly recently been redone. Things looked new, you see, but these things’ older counterparts were not all that well-hidden. For example, when I opened the window above the bathtub, I found another window. And another wall. Not even three feet away.
Way creepy. I never saw another light on in whatever room existed on the other side of this window, but I had to shudder at the thought of cracking the window open during my shower in hopes of getting some extra ventilation and then having the next one silently slide open as well, a hand reaching out from the darkened mystery room and into my naked soapy time.
I wondered if this second window truly did open up into someone else’s hotel room, or if, for some reason, it was a vestige of the hotel’s previous incarnation, when the wall was for some reason farther out than it stands now. (Seems unlikely that designers would want to make a hotel room already the size of a lunchbox even smaller, but what do I know?) For what it’s worth, I turned on the flash and shot up and down, to see what there is to see.
the view looking up
Empty darkness, cement and a condom wrapper. Lovely. The wall opposite the edge of my room seemed to remain three feet away, up or down. This lead to me envisioning some maniac shimmying up the gap like some evil Spider-man — no doubt from some abandoned basement decorated with body parts.
Rest assured, following the photo shoot, I locked the window.