It was time, last week, to take a mini-vacation to nearby Santa Rosa. It would give me a chance to get back to a town that I’ve grown quite fond of and to test out a new camera lens that my friend from Kurty Photography lent me. I had just finished helping with his last headshot shoot in Palo Alto, and he sent me on my way with lens in tow.
Going back to Railroad square In Santa Rosa, offered a quaint and fun place to visit and would allow me a chance to see how the small businesses are fairing here in the second year of the Pandemic. And to see some old friends there. I stayed at the La Rose Hotel, which is right across from the Railroad station, located in Old Town.
They have excellent accommodations, a helpful & humorous staff, it’s in walking distance of good restaurants, bars and cool architecture. It gave me the perfect little mobile-work-space, where I could do my blogging and photo editing, just right for this Santa Rosa Photo Junket.
Railroad Square Nightlife
Getting back out there in Santa Rosa, last week, was a fun romp in a nearby town, that had lovely pubs and ancient architecture. I got to visit with my Cousin Raymond (does sound like a sitcom), who lives and works in Santa Rosa, and currently loves his job.
The first evening, I went to Jackson’s Bar & Oven and tested the waters, to see how social distancing, mask wearing and general pandemic protocols would go: and the nice bar maiden, assured me that it’s ok to take off the mask, and enjoy a meal with the limited crowd who was allowed into the place.
And thanks to Hot Couture Vintage Fashions, I felt a little more equipped to dress the part for this night life excursion.
Movie Set Destinations
Railroad Square in Historic Old Town Santa Rosa is where Alfred Hitchcock and his crew filmed scenes from ‘The Shadow of a Doubt’ staring Joseph Cotton. (1942) Today, the old town rail system is used by Bay Area commuters and tourists seeking a get-away to the Sonoma Wine Country.
Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Church: The church behind ‘Potter’s School’ where Alfred Hitchcock and his crew filmed ‘The Birds’ back in 1963 in Bodega
Sonoma Wine Country
The Final Result
When it comes to the performance of the Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 D lens, that Kurty lent to me to take a little spin, (and thanks to my wife, for allowing me to take her Prius, ‘Silverado’ for a spin too!) I was quite happy with the results. It gave my Nikon D4 DSLR stability, while I handled it. Even without VR, the shots taken at full 200mm were in focus and the bokeh I got was quite pleasing.
And a trip to Santa Rosa wouldn’t be complete without a my annual Chicken Fried Steak at Hank’s Creekside Restaurant. I got to talking with Stephanie, the head waitress there, and she had told me the harrowing story of what they had to do to stay open during the Pandemic, but thankfully they did, and you could see that the business was picking up and more waiters were coming back to work.