Testla in Alameda

I was just minding my own business, or actually just looking for a spot near my house to do some video testing. Stopping at a park on the old Naval Air Station (NAS) I noticed a car out on the old runway. 

Normally, there should be no cars out there. This time however I spotted a Tesla stopped conspicuously on the tarmac. 

Turns out they were testing something. What exactly I’m not sure. There were two extra sets of tires at the ready. Closer inspection of my photos (taken at quite a long distance with a super-telephoto lens) show a red wire coming from the engine compartment to the passenger side (held on by a bit of black tape- somewhat third world style for such a fancy bit of tech!

Hangar 1 Distillery Tasting and Tour

A couple of friends joined my wife and me to go to Faction Brewery in my fair Island City of Alameda. Unfortunately there was a festival with a $60 per person entry fee. We ditched Faction and our friends were curious about Hangar 1 nearby.

Distillery in Alameda, California
Posing under the Hangar 1 neon sign

We’ve lived in Alameda for a decade, but have never been to Hangar 1. A problem that was soon solved!

Distillery in Alameda, California
Hangar 1 Vodka tasting

I’m not a huge vodka drinker, but was quickly impressed with the variety of flavors.

Here’s what I saw:

Distillery in Alameda, California
Buddha’s Hand in a Jar
Distillery in Alameda, California
Peppercorns used to flavor Hangar 1 Vodka
Distillery in Alameda, California
Sample of the honey used for Hangar 1 vodka
Distillery in Alameda, California
The Hangar 1 Store
Distillery in Alameda, California
Hangar 1 Still and Decoy
Distillery in Alameda, California
Vodka tasting at Hangar 1

Alameda Naval Air Station

Former Alameda Naval Air Station, Alameda, CA (Michael Halberstadt)
Former Alameda Naval Air Station, Alameda, CA (Michael Halberstadt)

A few years ago I was out on Alameda Point, testing a few lenses to share on a large format photography discussion group. And as luck would have it, a security guard told me I couldn’t photograph there.  Our local paper, the Alameda Sun did a little story titled “Free to Pursue His Craft“.

I honestly thought after that my right to photograph on public sidewalks in my lovely little town was resolved. But recently as I tried to go out and shoot some more I’ve run into the same problem. I don’t know where  the PM Real Estate Group hail from. They seem to think they have powers that companies in China, Zimbabwe or other third world dictatorship command. These folks claim I need a permit to photograph anywhere on the point, even in front of the City Hall Building or on a sidewalk next to a bus stop.

Former Alameda Naval Air Station, Alameda, CA (Michael Halberstadt)
Former Alameda Naval Air Station, Alameda, CA (Michael Halberstadt)

As a matter of principal I’ve resolved to make documenting Alameda’s former Naval Air Station a personal project. And I went out recently and got started. The gallery I’ve started is here.  When the security guard gives me grief, I just tell him to call the police.  In the unlikely event the police actually show up, I’ve got a copy of Bert Krages II The Photographer’s Right printed along with a copy of that Alameda Sun article with me on the cover.

Alameda Naval Air Station Gallery

I plan to keep adding to the gallery. Years ago when I lived in Vallejo I ran into similar problems. Eventually we got the security guard situation sorted  out. Later some local photographers, my friend Tom Paiva and I even managed to have a show from the results.