I have a love/hate relationship with San Pablo Avenue, a major road here in the East Bay.
For more than 25 years, I have been on it almost every single day. My home is a block off of it, and for most of the last decade of the 20th Century, I had a retail business on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley.
It is crowded, hectic, and it stinks of diesel fumes, but I know I can’t escape it, so I have come to grips with it.
Wikipedia starts its San Pablo Avenue entry with-
State Route 123 (SR 123) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California in the San Francisco Bay Area. Named San Pablo Avenue for virtually its entire length, SR 123 is a major north–south state highway along the flats of the urban East Bay in the U.S. state of California.
That entire article is here-
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to use some of my own photos on a desk calendar that was mailed out to my real estate clientele. There was a press deadline, so for two weeks, I drove around and shot photos of what I thought was significant or interesting in “Jimmy’s World”.
When I realized that 3 out of the 13 calendar images were taken on San Pablo Avenue, it occurred to me that it might be a worthwhile project to do a San Pablo Avenue photographic road trip.
I presented a version of this series as my Final Project in my Special Projects in Photography class, and a revised version was incorporated into my website-
The photos are arranged geographically, where Frank Ogawa Plaza Anchors San Pablo in Oakland at the South end, to where it ends at The Carquinez Bridge in Crockett.
I have been asked about the situation or “backstory” behind a few of these photos, and will tell a few of those stories in the days to come.