Tower Bridge in Sacramento, California

After living in Portland, Oregon for three years, I have developed a deep appreciation and love for bridges. I spent a week in Sacramento, CA in 2013 (while on tour with Lemuria) and fell in love with Tower Bridge while I was there.
Tower BridgeTower Bridge was opened on December 15, 1935. The 737 foot long vertical lift bridge spans the Sacramento River and was designed by Alfred Eichler.  At the time of it’s construction, it was the first and only vertical lift bridge in the California Highway System.

Tower Bridge road

The two 160 foot towers on the bridge help make it one of the most iconic landmarks in Sacramento.  It’s hard to walk or drive past it and not admire it’s beauty.

Tower Bridge California

While the bridge is currently painted gold, it wasn’t always this color.  Originally the bridge was silver, but after complaints of the glare it was repainted in June of 1976 to a yellow-ochre color. The color choice was an homage to the gold leafed cupola on the nearby State Capitol.

Tower Bridge Sacramento

As most paint jobs do, the color started to fade and in 2001 all residents within 35 miles voted on a new color for the bridge. Gold was the winning color, beating out green, burgundy, and a silver and gold color scheme. The repainting of Tower Bridge was finished in 2002.Tower Bridge over Sacramento RiverIn 1982, Tower Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places which it definitely deserves to be. Iconic and beautiful bridges such as this one should be cherished and preserved as long as possible.

Tower Bridge Sacramento, CA

Unfortunately while I was in town, I did not get to see the bridge lifted.  Hopefully someday I will be able to return to Sacramento and get the chance to see a boat pass underneath it.

As a huge fan of bridges, I’m always looking for more to explore and document.  What are some bridges you think I should photograph?

On Tour With Lemuria – Part 6

This is part 6 of my photo essay series about touring with Lemuria. The previous part can be found here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 5. Or you can start from the beginning here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 1.

On the Fall 2011 tour with Lemuria, we were in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving and found ourselves with a couple days of free time (which is sometimes rare on tour). My one dream going to Los Angeles was to visit Galco’s Soda Pop Stop and I was ecstatic to learn that we’d have time to go there.

Galco's Soda Pop Stop

I love soda, and am constantly looking for new flavors to try.  This lead me to start Thirsty Dudes, a non-alcoholic drink review website back in 2009 with former Lemuria bassist Jason Draper and Mike Literman. I was still writing for the site during this tour so a trip to Galco’s was my holy grail at the time.

Galco's shelves

Inside there were rows and rows filled with soda.  I had never seen anything like it before (and still haven’t since). It was quite overwhelming to be honest, I didn’t know where to start.

Photo by Sheena Ozzella

Root beer, ginger ale, cola, blackberry soda, cream soda, Jolt cola, Hot Lips soda, ginger beer, birch beer, orange soda, apple soda.  You name it, they had it.

Soda shelves

After spending what seemed like an hour, I ended up with a box full of a dozen different sodas, totaling $31.46.  I didn’t have a way to review them on the road so I kept them in the back of the van in the box.

Photo by Sheena Ozzella

I wish I could tell you how delicious each of them was, but I can’t.  They were safely in the van for the next week, until we got to Canada, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to be exact. It was below 0°F in Saskatoon when we arrived and dropped even lower during the night.  I awoke the next morning to find that all the bottles had froze and broke during the night.  I thought about taking a photo of the aftermath, but I was too bummed out.

Lemuria in Galco's

I learned a very important lesson that day, don’t leave glass bottles of soda in a van in the dead of winter. I thought the van would keep them from getting too cold, but I was wrong.

On Tour With Lemuria photo essay series:

On Tour With Lemuria – Part 5

This is part 5 of my photo essay series about touring with Lemuria. The previous part can be found here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 4. Or you can start from the beginning here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 1.

This brings us to our third and final member of Lemuria, drummer and singer Alex Kerns.

Alex Kerns Twin Peaks

Of everyone in Lemuria, Alex and I are the closest.  I’ve also known him the longest (a couple hours longer than Sheena), and was also roommates with him for a year or so.  We lived above Amy’s Place, hands down the best restaurant in Buffalo, NY.  It’s rare that I make a trip to Buffalo without going to Amy’s Place with Alex at least once.

Alex looking far away

I love Alex because we can talk about anything and hours will go by before we know it.  This lends very well for long drives or long winters stuck inside.

Alex staring in the van

One of my favorite tour stories with Alex happened at the beginning of the Fall 2011 tour.  We just had dinner at Balloon’s in Ellicottville, NY and were driving through the night to Washington DC to pick up Sheena on our way to The Fest in Gainesville, Florida.  An hour into Pennsylvania, we noticed some flashing lights in the distance ahead.

Alex sitting

At first we thought there was an accident ahead, but the lights got brighter and we didn’t approach any emergency vehicles. We slowly realized the lights were coming from the sky.  A quick Google search of local news sites informed me that we were witnessing northern lights, which obviously is very rare in the middle of Pennsylvania. It was amazing and the perfect way to kick off a six week tour.

Alex drumming

Alex is a great friend and an awesome person to tour with.  We share a love for movies and taking jokes too far. He taught me everything I know about selling merch at shows, and is always willing to lend a hand when I need it.

Alex laughing

One of the things I miss about living with Alex is his “down for whatever” attitude.  There were so many times where we’d go to a random show at the last minute or drive up to Toronto at 1am just to get veggie dogs and bubble tea. I love that about Alex, he’s always open to new experiences and new ideas.

Alex and Sheena are goofy
And he’s goofy, very very goofy. Alex can always make me laugh, which is a rare and important quality in a friend on tour.

On Tour With Lemuria photo essay series:

On Tour With Lemuria – Part 4

This is part 4 of my photo essay series about touring with Lemuria. The previous part can be found here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 3. Or you can start from the beginning here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 1.

Part 3 of my photo essay series was about Lemuria’s bassist Max Gregor.  This post will be focused on Sheena Ozzella, guitarist and lead singer of Lemuria.

Sheena sitting

Along with Alex Kerns, Sheena is the founding member of the band.  My friendship with Sheena began a couple years before Lemuria started.  She was in several bands prior to forming Lemuria, but in my opinion none are greater than Team Chocolate.  This a sweet and catchy acoustic band she was in with Eric Ellman.  I loved them so much that I put out their only 7″ EP as the first release on my now defunct record label All Things Ordinary.

Sheena playing guitar

Sheena is a great friend on tour.  We usually have a common goal of finding the best food and coffee in each town.  We also tend to make sure the van is clean and free of trash and useless things.

Sheena intelligentsia coffee

One of my favorite memories with Sheena on tour is also one of the most terrifying.  We were driving through the Canadian Rockies from Kelowna, British Columbia to Edmonton, Alberta. We had to do this 9 hour drive overnight.  All night we were driving on winding one lane roads uphill with semi trucks barreling past us.  Once day broke, we were finally able to see the breathtakingly beautiful mountains that we had been driving on all night.  After what seemed like an eternity, we finally found a place to pull off the road and take a quick bathroom break.  I remember it being ridiculously cold (this was in December), but Sheena and I couldn’t stop admiring the mountains around us.

Sheena stare

It’s great to hang around Sheena on tour because everyone knows how much she loves sweets and candy.  Because of this, you can usually get a free cookie or cupcake if you’re nearby.  When we’re on the road, Sheena and I can usually be found in the candy aisle of the nearest gas station.

Sheena and Danny

Sheena and I may not stay in the best contact throughout the year, but when we’re in the same town or on tour we can easily jump back into being good friends. We’re almost always the first ones to be ready to go so we spend a lot of time together hanging out waiting to go to the next city, restaurant, or show.

Sheena Ozzella and Chris Moore

This fall Sheena is marrying Chris Moore and I couldn’t be happier for the two of them.  He was able to join us on tour the last time I was out with Lemuria and it was great hanging out with him.  They weren’t engaged at that point, but I could tell that it was only a matter of time.

Sheena spoon

Sheena’s goofy demeanor is one of the things I love about her the most.  She always can put a smile on my face, which is sometimes hard in the middle of a month long tour on the other side of the country.  I’ve always been thankful of that because Sheena always made my homesickness a little easier to handle.

On Tour With Lemuria photo essay series:

On Tour With Lemuria – Part 3

This is part 3 of my photo essay series about touring with Lemuria. The previous part can be found here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 2. Or you can start from the beginning here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 1.

For those who don’t know, Lemuria consists of three members: Alex Kerns, Sheena Ozzella, and Max Gregor.  This part of my photo essay series is focused on Max.

Max Gregor ice cream cone

Max is Lemuria’s fourth bass player, but easily my favorite. I briefly met Max in Buffalo once but then got to know him better when I was living in Portland, OR and he came through when he was touring with Lemuria as tour manager (while Kyle Paton was playing bass).

Max sitting against wallMax is the person in the band I know the least, which is to be expected since i’ve known him half the time that i’ve known Alex and Sheena.  It’s also the product of having never lived in the same city as him (I was living in Portland during the times he was living in Buffalo).

Max and Matt Ebert of Joyce Manor

I would love to know Max better, so on tour is pretty much the only time I get to spend quality time with him.  It almost always ends up being me and him as the ones up front for long drives through the night. We have spent many of these sleepless nights talking about music or listening to episodes of Ongoing History of New Music. While we both probably wish we were sleeping, we always make the most out of those nights.

Max writing

One of my favorite memories from a late night drive with Max is actually the last time.  We were driving from our last show of tour in Phoenix non-stop through Arizona and New Mexico so Max could get home to Austin, TX.  There was a section of the drive that we were in the middle of the desert and the stars were brighter than either of us have ever seen. At first Max tried looking at them without crashing but then decided to stop for a minute so we could take it all in.

Max Gregor record shopping

I tried taking a photo of the sky but it just didn’t do it justice.  It was truly one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen and I’m so glad I got to share that moment with Max.

Max is also the reason why I was able to work at a music fest since he is the Production Manager for Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas. If you want to experience one of the best music festivals, I highly recommend going to Fun Fun Fun Fest because it’s not just a clever name.  What other music festival has a taco canon?

I’ll leave you with a photo of Max lounging on a beach in San Diego with his Fun Fun Fun Fest fanny pack.

Max on the beach

On Tour With Lemuria photo essay series:

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