Brad, It is hard to describe how a piece is done in a paragraph or two but I'll try. I do a lot of whatever works.
The mailbox was a clean mailbox which I photographed in Hawaii. I painted over it with transparent layers. Most of the buildings going back in perspective were created with the photoshop brick texture then transformed. The windows were cut from photos, transformed and the perspective depth corrected. The building (back right) I think is mostly a photo with the perspective corrected.
The FG building was made from a brick texture with a lot of manipulation.
I had a bit of sidewalk and street to work with, adding on and making it convincing isn't too difficult. The red awning is mostly painted (you can see the top ribbed pieces are cloned from one). I "borrowed" the Chinese characters. The posters were clean new posters, I just painted the ripped appearance.
What really brings everything together is the final lighting which I do with dodge layers and atmospheric perspective done mostly with a screen layer but also with a normal layer.
Credits include Martrix Revolutions, Reloaded, Lord of the Rings, Animatrix (Final Flight of the Osiris), Final Fantasy, Mission to Mars
Remember me, Thomas Esmeralda? I think the last I heard from you was when you called me up at EA a couple years ago (regarding Irvine). I tried getting back to you, but was unable to reach you. Anyways, I think you eventually ended up working with Barry at EALA . . .
Anyways, just wanted to say "Hi" and tell you that your site looks great!