Philadelphia at š¯‘“/1.7

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Walking, mostly, with my little brother and my new Olympus E-P3 and Panasonic Lumix 20mm f1.7. Ā Many images were shot with the lens wide open to explore the creative potential of this particular lens. Ā Philadelphia today, Jersey shore tomorrow, return to Bruxelles Wednesday. Ā Soon to be a lot more bikes and riding here again. Ā For now, lots of cameras.

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9 thoughts on “Philadelphia at š¯‘“/1.7

  1. I went “picking” at that fenced up Philadelphia Bike Shop after it closed. The owner had passed away months earlier, and now the landlord wanted to sell the contents – unbelievable piles – and I was given a tour by some kid that was working for the building’s owner. I picked up the few items that I saw worth keeping and offered a lowball of $20. I’m sure the kid just pocketed it, of course, so he wasn’t bargaining. Mongoose sign and some NOS Cinelli bars. A few nice frame pumps…

    Toward the end of that shop’s existence, customers were not allowed inside. Transactions were restricted to the sidewalk because the building was collapsing. To scout out certain areas on the 3rd and 4th floor, I had to walk across piled up wheels several feet deep in places – none good. Among other things, I found unopened boxes from the 80’s containing the worst forks and pumps you’ve ever seen. Hundreds of them.

    Rain from the leaky roof found it’s way down five stories, and there was a good flow going even in the basement. Scrap. Incredible and comical scrap.

    • Imagining a 15mm wrench, a screwdriver and some pliers being passed around on the sidewalk outside. One old Ross ten speed with upturned handlebars, a Schwinn, a more recent Diamondback, and a Mongoose for good measure. Three of the four bikes are resting on the sidewalk in the upside-down repair stand position. The idea of this place in business is comical.

      It appears 1-hour photo development was also offered in the same building at one time.

      Hey FDR, where are you? I am in town until the end of the day.

  2. A 15mm wrench? You give too much credit. You know there’s a wrench that fits EVERY size, right? I once witnessed a flat-fix at another shop where the kid-mechanic on duty used vise grips for the axle nuts. Vise grips are the go-to for the neighborhood street mechanic. Pronounced “skrips.”

    Philadelphia has some top quality shops. Some of the best shops and mechanics anywhere. Then there are the other shops. There is a treasure trove of WTF, and I’ve seen some incredible things.

    I’m in the town of Kennett Square, PA – listing hundreds of NOS chainrings. It’s the tip of the iceberg as I move toward selling off my finds from the past two swap meets. It’s a lot of mundane work, but the results are incredibly exciting to watch. It’s a good life.

    Visiting with Alec? Did you swing by Fairmount Bicycles??

  3. Looks like the new camera agrees with you. Your great shots may inspire me to replace my ancient digital camera. That Olympus format seems several steps up from even good point and shoots, and without the expense, bulk and complexity of DSLR.

    You and your brother definitely have a sibling resemblance.

    • Actually, there is an emergent range of point and shoot cameras with even better arrangements than my camera (Fuji has a few), although the price speaks to quality. I have been very happy with both Olympus systems. The E-PM1 is miniscule, capable, and inexpensive. The E-P3 has been great as well, although the camera body is notably bulkier with the addition of external controls and some additional hardware. The secret to my current happiness is the new lens.

      Brothers do tend to look alike, eh?

  4. I just got this lens last week along with the EPL-5. Loving it so far.

    Looking forward to more great photos on your blog!

  5. I’m sure you’ll have a lot of photographic fun with that combo. And legacy glass is a good excuse to broaden your bargain-hunting wanderings, and trawl through old camera shops as well as bike shops.

    Enjoy your return to the realm of french fries and beer. I’m off in 7 weeks. Yikes…

    • I have enjoyed it thus far. I also acquired an Olympus OM-2S here in NY, a gift from a family friend who wanted to get it out of the attic. It comes with original packaging and manuals, as well as 28mm, 50mm and 70-200mm lenses. I considered bringing some along, but practically, I think I will be very happy with the current system. It will be fun to shoot some film in the future, and to mount these lenses to the E-P3.

      On the plane back to Belgium. Oh, I hope its not raining there.

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