1902: February 2019 Photography

February 2019 Photography

Winter Glass: The light was good at the glass corner, Wilshire and Roberson in Beverly Hills. The light was extraordinary, falling on the glass office buildings on that corner. Mondrian lives! Even the nearby old Art Deco building was looking newly mysterious. The winter light changes everything. ~ Thursday, February 28, 2019

Life Goes On: Everyone keeps repainting this end of Los Angeles – commercial murals, surrealism of all sorts, cultural commentary and angry politics. It’s all new each week or so – as it should be. It’s the visual flow of the world as it is, at the moment. ~ Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Something Else Entirely: Washington Boulevard between Caroline and Fay in Culver City, the Arts District – the major movie studios are on the other side of town. This is something else entirely. ~ Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Old Fantasies: This is an old fantasy – the Trainon Apartments – Leland Bryant, 1928 – 1750-54 Serrano Avenue – named after Marie Antoinette’s petite hideaway chateau at Versailles – possibly because “Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau,” the 16th century Burgundian military outpost that actually served as the prototype here, wouldn’t fit up on the roof. But this is still magnificent – another fantasy from Old Hollywood. This one is French, just off Hollywood Boulevard – and the dark Spanish Revival fantasy is just down the street, on Hollywood Boulevard itself, just under Olive Hill. Walk up the stairs. Frank Lloyd Wight’s Hollyhock House is up there, his 1919 Mayan fantasy – but that’s for another day. ~ Monday, February 25, 2019

Other Award Winners: It’s Oscar weekend in Hollywood. Half the streets are closed. There are media trucks everywhere, as if that stuff matters. The real stars are in the local public gardens. Some things out here are better than the movies. ~ Saturday, February 23, 2019

Long Shots: There’s a dusting of snow in the distant mountains – the view looking east from Mulholland Drive, just above Hollywood. This is winter in Los Angeles. The rest of America is on the other side of those mountains. Further down Mulholland, at the overlook above the Hollywood Bowl, the view south is the city and on down to Long Beach – under curious winter skies. Long shots with the telephoto lens best capture winter here. ~ Thursday, February 21, 2019

Establishing Darkness: There was a parking space in front of the Villa Madrid, the quite Spanish apartment building from the thirties, just above the Sunset Strip. But those days are long gone. Below, on the Strip itself, everything is now dramatically geometric and industrial and surreal. The Sunset Strip is now a dystopian science fiction movie. Here are the establishing shots. ~ Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Life in the Big City: Downtown Los Angeles – Spring Street – this is life in the big city. Life is highly stylized in Los Angeles. ~ Tuesday, February 19, 2019

At the Core: Los Angeles has its Historic Core District – the core of the city – where Los Angeles became a city, not just another dusty town way out west. This is Eighth Street at Spring Street. Los Angeles became a city in the first years pf the twentieth century. This is what remains of that. ~ Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Globe in the Clouds: Melrose and Gower – this is what’s left of the old RKO globe at what’s left of RKO Pictures, now part of the giant Paramount Pictures complex – on a winter’s day with mysterious skies. ~ Monday, February 18, 2019

The Sun Again: There have been too many rainy Saturdays in Los Angeles this winter. But the sun is back this week, for a day. That’ll do. The gardens are glowing again. ~ Saturday, February 16, 2019

Borne Back Ceaselessly: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” That’s the last line of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. And this is North Laurel Avenue here in Hollywood, where Fitzgerald spent the last few years of his life, looking much the same as it did in the late thirties, when Fitzgerald lived here and had his first heart attack in Schwab’s Drug Store up on the corner. The apartment building where Fitzgerald lived is long gone, but these remain – one Colonial and one an Italianate villa. This is Old Hollywood – and the Art Deco extravaganza is one block over on North Hayworth, where Fitzgerald ended up. The gossip columnist Sheilah Graham lived on North Hayworth. She took him in. Fitzgerald had two flights of stairs to climb to his apartment and hers was on the ground floor. It didn’t matter. He died there, and this is the scene of all of that – the past. ~ Friday, February 15, 2019

High and Dark: Mulholland Drive looking north – the San Fernando Valley as a Valentine’s Day storm blows through. That’s Warner Brothers in the lower right corner of the first shot – Casablanca and Blazing Saddles and all that. That’s Burbank and Disney and NBC, and the rest is just the Valley – Moon Unit Zappa – Valley Girls – Fast Times at Ridgemont High – miles and miles of modern suburbia. But up on Mulholland Drive it’s still wild, and dark. ~ Thursday, February 14, 2019

Heavenly Darkness: Los Angeles is having a wet winter – days and days of heavy rain – but the ducks at Heavenly Pond, up in the Franklin Hills, find that just heavenly. They’re happy. ~ Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Neighbors: Everyone has strange neighbors and in Hollywood they’re even stranger – the crowd on the wall behind a local tattoo parlor – the prehistoric hunters on the wall behind the local Jiffy Lube – and a bit more. ~ Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A Bit of Everything: Fairfax and Beverly – on one corner it’s the abandoned Fairfax Regency Theater– continually enhanced by the local street artists – but this is Raoul Wallenberg Square so he’s across the street on another comer, extending his hand. And on a third corner it’s that Spanish dancer and all the flowers – and a row of oddly geometric buildings. CBS Television City is on the fourth corner. That’s where every game show on television is taped and home to “Real Time with Bill Maher” and whatnot. There’s a bit of everything on this corner. ~ Monday, February 11, 2019

Even Better Wet: Los Angeles is having a rare wet winter. That makes the local gardens even better. Gardens always look better after a bit of rain. ~ Saturday, February 9, 2019

Surrounded: The new Hollywood surrounds Old Hollywood. New pastel condos and the sleek W Hotel now surround the old Pantages Theater. The soul of Hollywood is leaving. ~ Friday, February 8, 2019

Beach Walk: The doctor said walk every day. The beach south of the Santa Monica Pier will do – the beach at the end of the continent. That seems appropriate. “I grow old… I grow old… I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.” ~ Thursday, February 7, 2019

The State of Things: The local streets on the day Donald Trump delivered his second State of the Union address. The state of the union is disjointed. ~ Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Out of the Darkness: Hollywood Boulevard at Edgemont, East Hollywood, at the edge of Thai Town (where Thai Town meets Little Armenia under the 1919 Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House) – a full block of new murals – not quite finished yet – but on a rainy day they hit the spot. ~ Monday, February 4, 2019

Rainy Day Color: On a dark day there’s nothing like stumbling on a sudden burst of bright colors. This was Hollywood Boulevard at Kenmore in East Hollywood on a dark and rainy morning. Someone is making things better. ~ Monday, February 4, 2019

No Roses: High winds and driving rain all day – no power for three hours – the streets flooded and some closed – not the day to visit any local gardens. So it was time to consult the archives. This is early February here, but not this year. And there will be roses next week. ~ Saturday, February 2, 2019

Somewhere Else: Take a wrong turn off Wilshire Boulevard and end up in 1928 – or in a small town on the Amalfi Coast in the middle of winter. These things happen. This is South Sycamore Avenue between First Street and Second Street in the Wilshire District. Or it’s somewhere else. ~ Friday, February 1, 2019