CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The New 49ers and soon to be extinct off beat San Franciscans

 

 

 

Incredible images of California's second gold rush and the prospectors who gambled everything to hit the jackpot

A photographer left her Brooklyn, New York home in 2009 and traveled across the country, joining a new wave of gold prospectors hoping to hit the jackpot while the price of gold is at an all-time high.
Sarina Finkelstein was not searching for gold, but seeking to document the new gold rush, occurring 160 years after the original California Gold Rush in 1849.
Her shots of the rugged prospecting community show a unique subculture of eccentrics, dreamers, entrepreneurial spirits, veterans and victims of the financial crisis drawn to California by the skyrocketing price of gold.
'These are people who are willing to take a risk and gamble everything by living outside the social norm, united by an all-consuming passion for something they strive to find, the personal sacrifices they make for it and the lifestyles they create for themselves,' she told Slate.
Finkelstein spent four years in 'Nugget Alley,' a community by the edge of a river canyon in the Angeles National Forest taking pictures of its inhabitants. It has since been disbanded.
Finkelstein's photographs have been compiled into a book called
The New Forty-Niners which was selected as a winner in the book category of the 2014 Photo District News Photo Annual. The shots are currently being exhibited at RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco until June 21.

Makeshift town: Bernie McGrath, unofficial Mayor of Nugget Alley, Angeles National Forest, California, 2009

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Makeshift town: Bernie McGrath, unofficial Mayor of Nugget Alley, Angeles National Forest, California, 2009

Companions: Duane and his dog Moses at Independence, Klamath National Forest, California, 2013

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Companions: Duane and his dog Moses at Independence, Klamath National Forest, California, 2013

Skyrocketing gold prices: Chalkboard with the price of gold, Columbia Historical Museum, Columbia, California, 2009

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Skyrocketing gold prices: Chalkboard with the price of gold, Columbia Historical Museum, Columbia, California, 2009

Prospector: Martin, Angeles National Forest, California, 2012

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Prospector: Martin, Angeles National Forest, California, 2012

New technology: Dave and Rich with their underwater suction gravel transfer system at Independence, Klamath National Forest, California, 2013

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New technology: Dave and Rich with their underwater suction gravel transfer system at Independence, Klamath National Forest, California, 2013

Gold subculture: Lydella at Sluice Box, Klamath National Forest, California, 2013

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Gold subculture: Lydella at Sluice Box, Klamath National Forest, California, 2013

Treasure hunting: Avery in his digging hole by the Scott River, Klamath National Forest, California, 2009

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Treasure hunting: Avery in his digging hole by the Scott River, Klamath National Forest, California, 2009

Off the grid: Rick's second camp at Brown's Gulch, Angeles National Forest, California, 2010

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Off the grid: Rick's second camp at Brown's Gulch, Angeles National Forest, California, 2010

Stunning backdrop: The Klamath River, California, 2010

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Stunning backdrop: The Klamath River, California, 2010

Tools of the trade: Chris's classifiers, Italian Bar, California, 2010

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Tools of the trade: Chris's classifiers, Italian Bar, California, 2010

Young dreamer: Sparky walking along Nugget Alley, Angeles National Forest, California, 2009

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Young dreamer: Sparky walking along Nugget Alley, Angeles National Forest, California, 2009

Golden opportunity: Olan at the LDMA claim at Italian Bar on the Stanislaus River, California, 2011

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Golden opportunity: Olan at the LDMA claim at Italian Bar on the Stanislaus River, California, 2011

Published: Finkelstein's photographs have been compiled into a book called the New Forty-Niners

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Published: Finkelstein's photographs have been compiled into a book called the New Forty-Niners

 

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Snapshots of the Bay Area's most eccentric inhabitants before they disappear as the city continues to gentrify due to the Silicon Valley tech bubble.

 

Holden believes in taking site-specific portraits and chooses to capture his striking subjects in either their own home or at their job before they become nothing more than a memory.

'Familiar faces and places are quickly disappearing. Photos I took just two or three months ago show people and buildings that are already gone. It feels like I'm in a race against time,' writes Holden in an interview with Citylab.com.

Troy Holden began his project after being commissioned by the non-profit, North of Marker/ Tenderloin Community Benefit (NOMTLBCD)in 2012.

Holden's work has been on display on June 15th at the San Francisco Museum at the Mint and will be shown until August 17. For more information about the exhibit you can visit the website here.

Little passenger: This young San Franciscan sits on the back of the bus going up one of the city's historic inclines

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Little passenger: This young San Franciscan sits on the back of the bus going up one of the city's historic inclines

Denizen: This old man knows the streets of San Francisco like he knows the back of his hand

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Denizen: This old man knows the streets of San Francisco like he knows the back of his hand

Biggest fan: Photographer Troy Holden loves photographing San Francisco's characters in their natural setting even if they don't like the attention

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Biggest fan: Photographer Troy Holden loves photographing San Francisco's characters in their natural setting even if they don't like the attention

Wise: San Franciscans have both the knowledge and sophistication that comes from living in a big city

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Wise: San Franciscans have both the knowledge and sophistication that comes from living in a big city

Musical: San Francisco is a creative hub for busking musicians whose stage is the busy street

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Musical: San Francisco is a creative hub for busking musicians whose stage is the busy street

City cat: San Francisco's stray cats do their best to keep watch at night

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City cat: San Francisco's stray cats do their best to keep watch at night

Bending over backwards: San Franciscans sometimes need to take a break from their busy lives to stretch

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Bending over backwards: San Franciscans sometimes need to take a break from their busy lives to stretch

Bagging rights: This character proudly walks down the street with a plastic bag covering his face

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Bagging rights: This character proudly walks down the street with a plastic bag covering his face

Winodw: Each photograph peers more and more into the lives of San Francisco residents, and in this case canine citizens

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Winodw: Each photograph peers more and more into the lives of San Francisco residents, and in this case canine citizens

Desire: Troy Holden's photographs display the hopes and dreams defferred of San Francisco's population

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Desire: Troy Holden's photographs display the hopes and dreams defferred of San Francisco's population

Bridging the gap: Troy Holden's work connects his audience to a unique point of view of San Francisco's landscape

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Bridging the gap: Troy Holden's work connects his audience to a unique point of view of San Francisco's landscape

Pigeonholed: Troy Holden's work shows residents in their natural, sometimes constant environments

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Pigeonholed: Troy Holden's work shows residents in their natural, sometimes constant environments

Hills and valleys: San Francisco's architecture is characterized by ups and downs, many of which are reflections of city life as well

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Hills and valleys: San Francisco's architecture is characterized by ups and downs, many of which are reflections of city life as well

Reflective lens: In this snapshot, Troy Holden's reflection can be observed in this older man's spectacles

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Reflective lens: In this snapshot, Troy Holden's reflection can be observed in this older man's spectacles

What are you staring at?: Troy Holden sometimes takes his subjects off guard, photographing them when they least ex[pect it

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What are you staring at?: Troy Holden sometimes takes his subjects off guard, photographing them when they least ex[pect it

Kitsch: San Frnacisco is filled with knick knacks on the street that may be one man's trash and anther's treasure

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Kitsch: San Frnacisco is filled with knick knacks on the street that may be one man's trash and anther's treasure

Timeless: Tory Holden's photos depict the present, but their value knows no decade

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Timeless: Tory Holden's photos depict the present, but their value knows no decade

City never sleeps: In a city that sleeps about as much as New York, sometimes it's time to rest on a mattress regardless of where one found it

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City never sleeps: In a city that sleeps about as much as New York, sometimes it's time to rest on a mattress regardless of where one found it

Waiting: Two boys and wait for a bus to come and take them up San Francisco's hills

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Waiting: Two boys and wait for a bus to come and take them up San Francisco's hills

Dapper or dilapidated?: This man has some San Francisco swagger and a little bit of grunge

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Dapper or dilapidated?: This man has some San Francisco swagger and a little bit of grunge

 

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