Silicon Valley, the center of all things tech, is not a very exciting place. At least photographically. It’s a bedroom community with suburban tract homes separated by high-tech industrial parks. There are exceptions. Palo Alto has a charming downtown. San Jose, while not as vibrant as Austin, has some worthwhile spots. That’s why, whenever I’m in the Bay Area, I go to San Francisco. I guess, arguably, San Francisco has more than enough character for the entire area.
I wasn’t up for driving to San Francisco tonight and a chain restaurant experience, wasn’t going to cut it. The Duke of Edinburgh, an English pub in Cupertino, sounded like a good compromise. The “Duke” is not a fancy place and by area standards, it’s downright worn down. It was perfect.
The crowd was lively but well-mannered. The sum total of conversations made for a comfortable murmur which feels good when you are all alone on a business trip. The only semi-district conversations can be heard immediately next doors. To my right a gentleman with a British accent. To the left, a couple of Japanese tourists.
It felt wrong not ordering a Scotch or an Ale. I wasn’t up for a beer — too heavy. And I haven’t developed a taste for Scotch. So, with a bit of guilt I ordered a Vodka Tonic, or two — my usual. I found out that I like Tito’s, a local Austin Vodka, more than Grey Goose, the fancy version from France.
There can be a certain antiseptic quality to digital photography, at least from a film shooter’s perspective. Digital can be too clean and exact. The lower resolution and the grainy texture of film has more character. In the same way, the Duke of Edinburgh was my analog experience, tonight. A little worn and textured with a good helping of character.
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