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  • Lorelei Rubik

Street Photography during COVID-19 Quarantine


It's a nice day for a Saturday in Sherman Oaks, CA, considering the dark cloudy days we've been having recently. The apocalyptic appearance of the weather has been eerily fitting for the times.

I sling my camera on my shoulder, strap on my backpack, and wheel my bike out of the garage into the empty alley. My elderly neighbor chats with me, from her open window in the floor above me, briefly about the notice that our leasing company sent out a few days ago about raising the rent, and how the government is trying to get rent payments postponed, and that I should complain.

I pedal westbound on Ventura Boulevard, the breeze and sun on my face is a nice combination for a bike ride uphill. I've noticed that on my bike rides, there are more people out and walking around now than I have ever seen since moving to LA. I also pass quite a few people wearing face masks.

Having not eaten yet, I stopped by Taco Bell for a snack and a drink. I was able to order inside, and took my food outside the building and ate next to my bike, observing the sparse Ventura Boulevard traffic.

I didn't take any shots until I reached Valley Beverage Co, probably my favorite liquor store. Humorous signs are posted amongst the store, I highly recommend stopping by if you're in need of anything you have a taste for, including some great craft beers.

They were only letting four people in at a time. The man at the door let me take his photo while I waited.

Limits have been posted on cans of beer.

I saw this woman in the doorway backlit like an angel of quarantine, and she graciously let me take her photo. I offered her to show her the photo and she declined.

How could I not take a shot of this babe?

Measures.

Chipotle employees hard at work.

Starbucks are currently closed.

One of the many masked Ventura Blvd. walkers.

In-N-Out's drive through was as busy as ever. COVID-19 is not keeping people away from their double doubles.

An empty lobby is a sight for this location.

The empty boulevard.

The line for grocery shopping at Ralph's. Only 20 people in the store at a time.

Poquito Mas working hard to keep us fed.

Empty sidewalk on a Saturday evening, also rare for Ventura Blvd.

Updated: Sunday, March 23, 2020

I took another ride, this time heading east on Ventura towards Studio City.

My day started with a delectable coffee from the Coffee Roaster. This is my favorite coffee place, they roast their beans at the beginning of every day and have been staying open throughout the quarantine. Here's lovely Aaron pouring a vanilla latte.

Sophia at Red Window Coffee also serving up a latte for a guest. I haven't had the coffee here, but I plan to soon. Red Window is at the corner of Ventura and Coldwater Canyon.

My next stop heading east is Carney's. Carney's is awesome, one because it's in a train car, and two, they sell hot dogs and fries, one of my favorite combinations. I ordered here and ate outside on their patio, where I watched the pigeons battle gloriously for a lost fry.

Caution tape keeps a safe distance.

Continuing east, I pass by a Starbucks which is usually one of the busiest, completely vacant.

The parking lot behind the shopping center is also a sight to see, vacant.

A masked man poses for me in the line for Vons.

"Buy what you touch. You pick up produce, please buy it."

Not an abandoned store. A low stock in the CVS on Ventura and Laurel Canyon

I'm not sure what this place is, but it looks really awesome. We Are Hear on Ventura Blvd.

Very cool posters.

A self portrait of your friendly neighborhood quarantine photographer.

I would have shot more this day, but it started to pour rain, so I quickly pedaled home.

Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

I decided to bike to Kai Ramen to pick up some of the best ramen around (spicy chicken for me).

Literally, best ramen, featured at the top of LA Eater's list of essential Ramen restaurants in LA. I've got great taste, right?

Some masked folks waiting to get their ramen on.

The masters of ramen, hard at work to bring your tastebuds the ultimate joy!

Oh YEAH guys, on my way to Kai, it was my lucky day, because I passed by a CHICAGO FOOD TRUCK.

Meet Lindsay, creator of Chi-Pie, a food truck that stops in front of the CVS on Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, every Tuesday. She's the angel of Deep Dish. Sadly, she's out of stock of Italian Beef and Chicago hot dogs due to the quarantine. She hopes to have new stock by next Tuesday. Follow Chi-Pie on IG at @chi.pie331

If you're having a hankerin' for churros, at any time, Happy Days Cafe is the place. They're also awesome because they stay open until 11:30 PM on weekdays, and 2 AM on weekends. Does it get any better than a late night churro place?! I think NOT.

This place is an awesome place to visit and hang out once the quarantine is over. Such a chill vibe to have a coffee and hang out.

Fatburger looking ominous.

In-N-Out is now drive through only. Their lobby lights are off.

Oh, I also learned about beignets today. Little pieces of sugary powdered deep fried heaven. This man was kind enough to share his with me. This truck is called Beignet Box, I see it around Sherman Oaks a lot. Tonight, it was across the street from Ralph's. Wow. I've found my new favorite dessert.

Local Peasant are open and serving food to go. I still haven't been to this place, but I plan to go after quarantine.

I've heard that restaurants are serving cocktails to go, Boneyard Bistro in particular. I stopped in and asked Brian, the bartender, what was up with that. You can get pints of their many beers and cocktails, as long as you order food with it.

Casings for cocktails and beer.

Brian getting some to go orders ready.

Boneyard's awesome and extensive beer menu!

Thanks for taking a look at this gallery. I will add to it as I adventure around on my bike. I hope everyone is staying safe and taking the proper measures to ensure the spread of the virus slows. Feel free to leave a comment with what you're doing to stay inspired and entertained during these strange times.

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