Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Street Photography - Arvin, California

98 B Street - Arvin, California
Arvin is a small agricultural town in California's Central Valley near Bakersfield. It has a population around 20,000 people and, according to the census bureau, over 90% are hispanic. The median household income of Arvin is half of the median household income of the state of California. It has the distinction of having the highest percentage of unemployed adults in Kern County. It's a poor immigrant town.

Arvin was first settled in 1907 and the first post office was built in 1914. It remained a small dot on the map until the 1930's when 1) the Farm Security Administration opened a farm labor camp as part of a "New Deal" program and 2) oil was discovered in the area. It's still a relatively small town, but it has a downtown area with restaurants and small shops.

In 2007 the EPA listed Arvin as having the worst air quality of any town in America. It's very hot and dusty in the summer. The city's motto is "The best place on Earth" which seems ironic.
Mexican - Arvin, California
In July I had to make a trip to Arvin. The nearest DMV is there--almost an hour drive from my house.   Normally I would use the internet for DMV services, but I had to go in person this time.

After deciding that the estimated wait of over two hours at the DMV was ridiculous, I decided to take a stroll through the town. I had my one-and-a-half year old son in a stroller--it was the two of us on this trip. I had with me a Nikon D3300 DSLR with a 55-200mm lens attached, so I used this opportunity to photograph the downtown.

I wanted to do some street photography. The area was pretty dead, I think partially because of the heat. The road was quiet and the sidewalks mostly empty. Still, I was able to capture a few good photographs. Despite everything negative about the place--or, perhaps, because of it--Arvin makes for an interesting photographic subject. 
Casa Burger - Arvin, California
Done Shopping - Arvin, California
Chevron Owl - Arvin, California
Bear Mountain Blvd Tattoo - Arvin, California
Six Circles - Arvin, California
Beer Wine - Arvin, California

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