An ode to Joni Mitchell's 'Taxi' -
"Don't it always seem to go,
that you don't know what you got 'til it's gone,
They pave paradise,
and put up a parking lot."
A beautiful twilight over West Oakland, Califonia. Less than two hundred years ago - this would have been a broad tidal marshland - just east and south of The Golden Gate. Wetlands teaming with oysters, bay shrimp, salmon, bass, sturgeon, and endless waterfowl. The bay is now one-third of the size that it was in 1849. The vast majority of the low tidal lands having been filled for housing, airports, and industry.
I was amazed the first time I saw this interchange of Interstate 880. Completely paved and electronically controlled. Nothing visible but by the hands of man. A fortune in reinforced concrete as far as the eye can see.
As I explored the area. Up behind the retaining wall behind me here are a long row of blue spruce evergreens. They were planted (one assumes) as part of the freeway 'beautification'. They are all completely brown and bent to the ground - dead. A fitting tribute in an urban void. Perhaps victims of California's ceaseless budget breakdowns.
© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California / www.JoyOfLight.com
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