Carnaval in San Francisco was last Sunday, and whenever I’m there to make photographs, I always stop by the Puerto Alegre Bar on Bryant/25th and say hello to Alfonso.
Coming to the US from Jalisco, Mexico more than 40 years ago, Alfonso opened the Puerto Alegre five years later.
Yesterday I stopped by with photo bud Fernando, had a couple of Negra Modelos, bs’d about a company we both worked at many years ago, and made a portrait of Alfonso. Puerto Alegre is old school and a great place to hang out.
Yeah, the woman further back may have noticed me at the moment I released the shutter. For some street photographers, taking such a picture and then putting it out there and holding it up as a street photograph would be a cardinal sin, as the “scene was disturbed” and therefore not “candid.” Nonsense.
For a few that subscribe to that belief, the “not disturbing the scene” mantra appears to be code for not being comfortable around people for fear of being detected and subsequently challenged. What’s amazing are the strong negative views held against those that feel otherwise, or want to consider new ideas, questioning rigid notions of the past. That’s sad. I’m chewing on those beliefs a bit and will soon have more to say.
It’s been awhile since I last made a portrait of a stranger I encountered on the street. With that in mind, I was pleased that Al was a good sport and let me make a few photos of him on Mission Street, near 15th. As the title suggests, Al was born and raised in San Francisco. Next time I see him I’ll hit him up for a few stories.