Category Archives: Photography

Blue Doors

Blue doors and windows are a common sight in New Mexico, prompting visitors to wonder at their significance. According to Southwestern Homes and Living, “Blue painted doors and windows are a folkloric tradition, and the color’s exact meaning depends upon whom you ask.”

Most New Mexico abuelas (grandmothers) would tell you that the color wards off evil spirits. But because this is an oral tradition, it probably has many local variants. Cordelia Snow, historic sites archaeologist with the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division, says blue doors and windows are found around the world in many cultures. “They are found throughout the area settled by the so-called Pennsylvania Dutch in the eastern United States, in Germany, and elsewhere in Europe,” she explains. Blue as well as other colored doors are also found in Morocco, an Islamic country with deep historical ties to Spain.

Blue has long been associated with the Virgin Mary, and a common explanation is that the color invokes her protection of the home. “But one account I read said the color was a fly and pest deterrent,” Snow says. Likewise, the particular shade of greenish blue may have no special meaning. It could simply be that the color was widely available. Dark blue also is common, and you’ll see many window and door frames in red, green, and even yellow. But whether the tradition is about religion, pest control, or just artistry, it is an important element in Southwestern culture and style.

I found these well-worn doors at the rear of a building along the main road in Encino, New Mexico.

The Chevy at Los Ojos

Whenever I’m in northern New Mexico, I try to swing by the small town of Los Ojos. And every time I notice the old Chevy parked in the front yard of one of the homes. I’ve never photographed it because I didn’t want to invade the owner’s privacy. But earlier this month I was shooting a neighboring business when a lady came out of the house to see what I was doing. I motioned that I was taking pictures, and she didn’t seem to mind. When I was done, I decided this was the perfect time to photograph the car. I walked over and knocked on her front door to ask permission. She opened the door before I knocked, and said it was okay. So I finally got to shoot the Chevy at Los Ojos.


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Art at The Usuals Presents “Us”

The Usuals, a boutique shop on The Alameda in San Jose, will open a new art show tomorrow night entitled “Us,” a group show consisting of work by San Jose area artists. I will have a piece on display, “Doorway to the Bay” below. There will be live music and festivities at the opening, and the show will run for about four weeks. Stop by if you get a chance.



The neon sign atop the Time Deli at the corner of Bascom and Stevens Creek / San Carlos. The Time Market started operation in 1950 at what was then considered a “prime location” by its owners, Sam and Joe Carlino. (This particular corner is looking a little worse for wear nowadays, with The Pink Poodle — “San Jose’s only all-nude club!” — a prominent fixture across the street.)

Back in the market’s heyday, they served 500 turkeys every Thanksgiving and made their own sausage, which attracted customers from as far away as San Francisco. It was a friendly place where the customers and the staff were on a first name basis.

Time Market, 1976

Time Market photo from Grocery Communications, July 1976.

They didn’t use newspaper, radio or TV ads, reasoning that “the whole outside of the building is one big ad,” as this photo from 1976 shows. Nowadays all of the signage is gone, save the clock and the “Time” logo above it. Sam and his son later started Sam’s Bar-B-Que. You can find more history about Time and Sam here.

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