In 1996 I began to make pictures of my hometown in Southern California. A beach town, it offered photogenic attractions like sunsets and “views”, but these weren’t what drew me. Instead, I chose as my subjects details of the suburbia in which I had grown up, apartment facades, back yards, bits of parks and schools, as well as odd, anonymous objects – railings, fences, electric meters. Like my subjects, practically invisible myself in my middle-aged pursuits, I photographed these methodically from a tripod onto black and white film, a wordless man bent over the camera framing images of a retaining wall or ground littered with eucalyptus leaves.

With these words, I embarked on a long journey of family history, observation and reflection, not as straightforward narrative but discursively as themes and chapters presented themselves. The result is Vista Del Mar, a 65,000-word memoir in search of a publisher, and the purpose of this website is to introduce it to you, our – author and characters together – most honored guest. Welcome.

News from Vista Del Mar! Neal is proud to announce his essay “Meter to the Black” has found a home in the Summer 2015 Print Edition of Catamaran Literary Reader of Santa Cruz! Thanks to editor Catherine Segurson and the whole Catamaran staff for making words and photos look so great in their beautiful magazine. You can order copies and check out Catamaran at

Leave a Reply