1803: March 2018 Photography

March 2018 Photography

The latest galleries at the sister site Just Above Sunset Photography –

Los Angeles Easter: Eastern weekend in Los Angeles – no Easter lilies in the neighborhood gardens – there are far better things in bloom. ~ Saturday, March 31, 2018

Charlie and the Frog: The Charlie Chaplin Studios were built for him in 1917 at the corner of La Brea and Sunset Boulevard – he filmed “Modern Times” and “The Great Dictator” here – but he had been born in 1889 in Walworth, South London, in poverty, so he had ordered up a Tudor mansion. That made no sense in Hollywood but made him happy, for a bit. He sold the place in 1953 and it became Kling Studios – used to shoot the Adventures of Superman with George Reeves. In 1959, Red Skelton bought the place and set himself up in Chaplin’s old office, and then, in 1962, he sold the place to CBS and the Perry Mason series was shot here though 1966 – and then Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss bought the place and turned it into recording studios for their new label – A&M Records. Carole King recorded her “Tapestry” album here. Then they moved on. In February 2000, Jim Henson’s children purchased the whole thing. That’s where the frog comes in. It’s the Jim Henson Company lot now, with Kermit on the roof, dressed as Chaplin’s “Little Tramp” – so everything is back as it should be, sort of. ~ Friday, March 30, 2018

Beverly Hills Bauhaus: The Beverly Hills Media Center, 100 North Crescent Drive at Wilshire Boulevard, an old office building, has been transformed by the ubiquitous architectural firm Gensler (M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates, Inc.) – because everybody needs a bit of Bauhaus now and then. Bauhaus was that German art school, founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919, that gave the world the Bauhaus style in modern design and Modernist architecture. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe took over the school in 1930, and that’s what this is about. The Nazi regime shut down the Bauhaus school – they said it was a center of communist intellectualism – but it wasn’t. It was a center of highly geometric architecture. It was harmless, and the Bauhaus style lives on. In this example, the City of Beverly Hills added a complimentary pocket park out back. ~ Thursday, March 29, 2018

Public Spaces: Public spaces – without the public – Wilshire Boulevard – Museum Row at the La Brea Tar Pits – are far better than public spaces with the public. They’re purer. ~ Wednesday, March 28, 2018

In the Abstract: Hollywood abstracts – Sunset and Vine up to Hollywood and Vine – because Hollywood is better in the abstract. The real thing is a bit seedy. ~ Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Ultimate Weapon: The sign on the wall said that illusion is the ultimate weapon. That may be so. That may the idea behind this street art, or not. ~ Monday, March 26, 2018

Ending March: Hot sunshine is next – months of it – but on the next to last Saturday in March, after a week of heavy rain, the gardens in Los Angeles are still a bit subtle. ~ Saturday, March 24, 2018

Flights of Fancy: A few flights of fancy hidden in the alleys in downtown Los Angeles on a breezy spring afternoon – with a nod to Alfred Hitchcock – and then it’s the Angels Flight to the mysterious top of the world. ~ Friday, March 23, 2018

The Old City: The past won’t go away – downtown Los Angeles near Pershing Square. ~ Friday, March 23, 2018

Wright in the Rain: Frank Lloyd Wright expected sunshine. This is his Hollyhock House on Olive Hill at the far end of Hollywood Boulevard – from 1919, from his Mayan period – in the unexpected heavy rain. Two days of steady rain have transformed the place. He didn’t expect this. Hollyhock House turned eerie. ~ Thursday, March 22, 2018

Rain Birds: Echo Park Lake in the rain – no one around – except the ducks and geese and grebes – and the place is all theirs now – for now. This is Los Angeles. The sun will return. So will the locals. Then they’ll hide again. ~ Thursday, March 22, 2018

Hidden in Silver Lake: Saint Francis of Assisi is hidden in Silver Lake. Lots of things are hidden in Silver Lake. This is Sunset Junction, halfway between Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. It’s a curious place. ~ Monday, March 19, 2018

Sunshine After Rain: The neighborhood gardens in Hollywood are back in business after a day of heavy rain – bees and all. Spring has sprung. ~ Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Oddest Mix: Mid-Wilshire on a dark day – the side streets of old Spanish Revival and French-Norman apartment buildings from long ago – the old white Federalist bank, now the Korea Center – the movie palace from the thirties with its inlaid colored sidewalks – out on the boulevard, the Art Deco skyscrapers from the late twenties – and dark skies – a storm barreling in off the Pacific. It’s an odd mix. It’s Los Angeles. ~ Friday, March 16, 2018

The West End: This is the west end of the Sunset Strip, just before Sunset Boulevard ambles off into leafy Beverly Hills – just before Sunset Boulevard becomes residential – with the giant mansions. The last of the Sunset Strip is a hodgepodge of curious old buildings – mostly modeling agencies and small production companies – and then there’s a blast of new giant highly geometric skyscrapers. This is how the Sunset Strip ends. This is how the world ends. ~ Thursday, March 15, 2018

Raw Trees: Los Angeles’ winter isn’t quite over – a street of trees still stripped to their essence – Highland Avenue, Hancock Park. ~ Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Darker Days: Hollywood Boulevard the week after the Oscars – the Academy Awards – the show that this year no one watched – because no one cares anymore – was looking dark. There was rain on the way, but that wasn’t it. The glory is long gone. Hollywood is dying. Look around. ~ Tuesday, March 13, 2018

More Daylight: The streets here on the Monday after the nation, once again, shifted to Daylight Savings Time – more daylight – and all sorts of creatures came out to play. The street art will be more intense now. ~ Monday, March 12, 2018

Shot in the Rain: Shooting in the pouring rain is always a bit problematic, but the results are not. The local gardens aren’t shot. They just look a bit different. It hardly ever rains in Los Angeles. When it does, things change. ~ Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Civic Maze: Public architecture can be symbolic. The Beverly Hills Civic Center is a colorful geometric maze. Local government is a bewildering maze. That works. ~ Friday, March 9, 2018

Beverly Hills Light: There was a storm on the way. The light was translucent. Beverly Hills became a movie set – the mysterious overwrought old City Hall – the blank walls of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts across the street – the swoopy old gas station from the days when cars had fins and little boys dreamed of outer space. This was dream lighting. ~ Friday, March 9, 2018

Hollywood Faith: Hollywood is not godless. Hollywood is just a little different. Over on Franklin Avenue, on the east side of Hollywood, just below Griffith Park, there’s the old Armenian Evangelical Church of Hollywood, directly across the street from the Kadampa Buddhist Meditation Center, and around the corner there’s the giant Korean “Full Gospel” church. There’s something for everyone on these quiet residential streets – and everyone gets along just fine. ~ Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Threat of Happiness: The Smiley Face was designed by Harvey Ball in 1963, and for commercial purposes, the rights to the Smiley trademark are owned by the Smiley Company. SmileyWorld Ltd, in London, creates or approves all the Smiley products sold in countries where it holds the trademark, and in 1997 Smiley World attempted to acquire trademark rights in the United States – and ran into Wal-Mart, who had been using the face for years. In June 2010, Wal-Mart and the Smiley Company settled – but it doesn’t matter. There are non-commercial uses, and here, in a local parking lot, the Smiley Face has been weaponized. Be happy, or else. It’s a bit frightening. But the whole neighborhood is frightening. Be happy, or else. ~ Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A Dry Place: This is Los Angeles as intended – without the water from elsewhere – the public cactus garden in Beverly Hills. It’s wedged between the Episcopal Church that Humphrey Bogart attended and the Catholic Church where Rod Stewart married one of his many wives, and where they had an amazing funeral service for Frank Sinatra. The cactus garden is a reminder of another world. ~ Monday, March 5, 2018

Infinite Variety: The infinite variety of botanical gems in Santa Monica at the edge of the Pacific as March begins – Saturday, March 3, 2018

Blown Away: Watching a winter storm depart – from Malibu to Catalina – from Palisades Park in Santa Monica, Saturday, March 3, 2018

Women and Snakes: A new mural on a side street off Fairfax Avenue behind an Irish pub – women and snakes, and a bird – think Marc Chagall on drugs. That makes sense. The mural is two blocks north of Museum Row on Wilshire Boulevard, where a new museum is under construction. It’s Renzo Piano again. It’s a strange neighborhood. ~ Thursday, March 1, 2018