I just spent the past five months photographing the weekly concerts at the Bo Diddley Plaza, and, aside from once having a drink at Harry’s, I didn’t leave the Plaza while wearing my camera around my neck.  I was under two very mistaken impressions:  My camera wouldn’t work well in low light and there would be nothing exceptional to photograph.  How many studies of people sitting outside a Starbucks do you want? 

Last Friday night, I thought I heard drums coming from the vicinity of the Hipp theatre so I walked in that direction, pulled not just by the sound but by the Hipp’s very becoming pink-tinged cosmetic enhancement.

It’s amazing what a blush of light can do to a building, or a string of lights can do for a street.  Holiday decoration manufacturers know all about this.  I understand that in the past few years things have gotten a little out of control–Halloween lights, Thanksgiving lights, Christmas lights, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Wright Brothers Day lights–but in moderation and when not expected, a string of lights or a tropical-colored bulb can be a true thing of beauty.

Gainesville has a tiny downtown and this corner is the best of it–the Hipp, the coffee shop, and the thrift store with a wonderful collection of the eclectic.  The lights give these couple of blocks a jazzy and inviting atmosphere, offset by the streaming gray clouds of the October night sky. 

This is my kind of urban revitalization.

And then, just down the block, this fantastic window display.  The person who arranged this window is a genius.  As if the Bob’s Big Boy figurine wasn’t enough, the window’s designer offsets it with a Russian sign that takes the moral high road when it comes to drinking:  Just say NYET!

And this:  A very chic chapeau, perhaps suitable for wearing to a circus matinee.

Something for everyone, really.