Al

One Man’s Castle

This is Al. I’ve seen Al and his collection of dozens of customized shopping carts moving – ever so slowly – from place to place along my morning commute. I have never seen such a massive collection of well, stuff. Look closely at some of the contraptions he’s built here. I like the functional bits that look like what could be a bed or reclining chair of sorts. But I especially like the arch spanning the two carts – apparently for purely cosmetic reasons. Architectural flourish.

I needed to investigate, so today I decided to stop and chat with him. I didn’t get much detail about the cart contraptions yet, but he did agree to let me take his picture, with the condition that if I ever make any money on my photos of him I share the wealth, especially since he’s “never had any luck his entire life.”

I sure will Al.

One small bit of Al's worldly possessions. Notice the way the carts are connected to make a chair, a bed, or...?

It’s also worth noting that I’m experimenting with using my camera in an entirely new way. After reading this article, I was inspired to try the author’s black and white settings and hit the streets. I put the camera in “Silent Mode”, and with it hanging around my neck, discretely trip the shutter. That’s how I shot the portrait of Al.

Stay tuned for more from the streets of Oakland.

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