By JAMIE JOBB
Special to the Tribune
A Gold Rush camp, former Sicilian fishing village, a cannery row, Joe DiMaggio’s birthplace, John Muir National Monument site, fountainhead of Alhambra Bottled Water and the Martini, home of the fighting Bulldogs – Martinez is an odd California town that needs to be seen with wide eyes. That’s why I use the seven millimeter and other wide angle lenses when trying to capture it in cameras.
Martinez is the seat for Contra Costa County, and that shows in the monumental and storefront architecture downtown where all these photographs (in the video) were taken within the last six months. Many properties seen here are in transition, some undergoing earthquake retrofits in anticipation of folks fleeing hot commercial and residential real estate markets in San Francisco, Oakland and elsewhere in the East Bay.
Reflecting on it all, the storefronts of Martinez feel a little like wrinkled multiverses overlapping, the stuff of Star Wars and the Large Hadron Collider. At least that’s what the camera was finding. You may pause the video at any point to linger on a single frame.
Music for this slide show is provided by the Ninth Ward Millionaires and Larry Vann with his signature version of “Stand By Me,” recorded live at Armando’s.
For more detail see Sam Richard’s excellent piece with photos from Susan Pollard in the Contra Costa Times: http://www.contracostatimes.com/martinez/ci_29359887/martinez-historic-goodies-uncovered-during-downtown-building-retrofits.