Looking Back

The end of January in Southern California, from 2016 to 2020, from the archives –

Sunset Strip Blues (30 images): Color studies – the Sunset Strip on a winter afternoon – Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Shadow Studios (30 images): Sunset Gower Studios on a winter afternoon – the light was good – the shadows were mysterious. They’re shooting movies and television shows in there, but the old walls in the bright sunshine will do just fine. ~ Friday, January 29, 2016

Discontent in the Streets (40 images): Things have changed. Donald Trump is America’s president now. Everything will be about unfettered capitalism, and winning. Some are unhappy about that. Their discontent is in the streets. ~ Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wilshire Echoes (36 images): The Angel of Mid-Wilshire stands near the spot where Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in 1968 – at the old Ambassador Hotel, which isn’t there anymore – but there are echoes of the past everywhere – fancy buildings from the twenties and thirties, wedged between the new skyscrapers. Those are the echoes of the past. ~ Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Grand Illusions (35 images): It was just another Monday in Hollywood, and Hollywood was being Hollywood – another “world premiere” at the El Capitan and Dolby theaters – another superhero movie – and there was bit of Isaac Babel live on stage down the street at the Stella Adler – just to add to the mix. And all around, the fantasy buildings from the twenties, with their odd figures, stood watch. It’s all illusion. But that’s fine. It’s supposed to illusion. ~ Monday, January 29, 2018

A Little Ethiopia (30 images): Los Angeles is an international city. There’s that “blue boy” on the south wall of the French and Hebrew immersion preschool down in Little Ethiopia – Fairfax south of Olympic – which really shouldn’t be there, because Little Ethiopia is the heart of the Ethiopian community in Los Angeles. And there’s good coffee down there. Those folks invented coffee. It’s a good place. ~ Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Winter Afternoon (42 images): “Temperatures are set to drop to levels that parts of the United States haven’t seen in more than a decade. The days-long cold snap will drop temperatures below zero for more than eighty million people. Many major cities have the potential to set all-time record low temperatures in the coming days.” But that has nothing to do with Southern California. That has nothing to do with Venice Beach. This is winter out here. ~ Tuesday, January 29, 2019

At the Coronet (42 images): Men at work – the Coronet Theater, 366 North La Cienega Boulevard, built in 1947 by Frieda Berkoff of the Russian dancing family, the Berkoffs. That first year, 1947, it was the world premiere of Bertolt Brecht’s “Galileo Galilei” here, and then the west coast premiere of Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth” – and now the Coronet is a music and comedy club. Apparently it needed cacti. Or it’s that this is just another strange Los Angeles neighborhood. ~ Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Unsettled Skies (30 images): The thunderstorms rolled in just after dawn, one right after another. It was loud. It was heavy rain until late afternoon – the streets flooded – no one going anywhere. Then it was all over. The next set of storms is on the way, but that’s later. For now, the skies are simply odd. Step out the front door. Yes, odd. ~ Thursday, January 31, 2019

Reflecting Hollywood (40 images): The West Coast micro-campus of Boston’s Emerson College, with students majoring in television, film, marketing, acting, screenwriting, and journalism – 2014, Thom Mayne, FAIA, principal of Morphosis Architects – Sunset Boulevard at Gordon – and next door, the reflective glass walls of the Technicolor headquarters building at the Sunset Gower Studios, reflecting the blank white walls of Siren Studios across the street – next door to the perfect white grids of the new Netflix administrative offices. The light was good. ~ Monday, January 27, 2020

District Seven (30 images): The Caltrans District 7 Headquarters building at 100 South Main Street, for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, around the corner from Los Angeles City Hall and one block south of the heroic Los Angeles Times building, opened on September 24, 2004, and the principal architect, Thom Mayne, won the 2005 Pritzker Prize for this. It’s rather famous. It’s quite photogenic. And somehow it fits right in. ~ Friday, January 31, 2020

Coastal Dazzle (30 images): High winds blasting off the desert and out to sea, the long-angled winter light turning the pacific silver at noon, a high-surf warning and Catalina in the distance, this was a dazzling day at the coast. The light made the world mysterious from Manhattan Beach down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. ~ Wednesday, January 29, 2020


About Alan

The editor is a former systems manager for a large California-based HMO, and a former senior systems manager for Northrop, Hughes-Raytheon, Computer Sciences Corporation, Perot Systems and other such organizations. One position was managing the financial and payroll systems for a large hospital chain. And somewhere in there was a two-year stint in Canada running the systems shop at a General Motors locomotive factory - in London, Ontario. That explains Canadian matters scattered through these pages. Otherwise, think large-scale HR, payroll, financial and manufacturing systems. A résumé is available if you wish. The editor has a graduate degree in Eighteenth-Century British Literature from Duke University where he was a National Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and taught English and music in upstate New York in the seventies, and then in the early eighties moved to California and left teaching. The editor currently resides in Hollywood California, a block north of the Sunset Strip.
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