Completely unrelated to mushrooms

There's a first for everything. I've never been unacceptably late to a photoshoot; I'd always prided myself on knowing the Bay Area traffic patterns enough to accurately estimate travel time from any one location to another. So I'd figured 45 minutes would be plenty of time to get to a 4:30pm shoot in Oakland. At 4:15pm I'd not even reached the bridge yet, and I called my clients who were (understandably) frustrated and decided to cancel. I was still amidst the worst traffic I'd ever experienced in Bay Area.

It wasn't until the evening news when I understood what had happened: the Mehserle Trial Verdict had come out early that afternoon, and in anticipation of rioting, many Oakland businesses closed at 3pm, leading to a mass exodus of employees and worried residents as of then. The local news described the mad rush to leave Oakland like the reaction to an incoming hurricane. OK, so perhaps it wasn't That bad, but I've been in rush hour traffic and this was far worse. I still feel terrible about not being able to show up to the session, but at least I feel a tiny bit better knowing this was out of my control.

For those of you not in the Bay Area, in short, Mehserle is white cop who shot and killed a black (unarmed) man, 18 months ago. The verdict was Involuntary Manslaughter. You can imagine that Oakland communities would fear a violent reaction to this.

Sigh. One of those days! I'd never previously done an afternoon weekday shoot in Oakland, and this one shoot had to be scheduled on this day.... these things happen.