1908: August 2019 Photography

August 2019 Photography

Heat Advisory: Summer ended as it should here in Los Angeles, with a heat advisory for the entire Labor Day weekend. Each day will be hotter than the one before. Stay inside. Or hang around the gardens. They’re even better in the heat. ~ Saturday, August 31, 2019

Cool Venice: Hollywood was unbearable hot. Venice is always ten degrees cooler, but Venice Beach is no good on a summer afternoon – too many people, too much noise. The rest of Venice was just fine, with what is left of its canals and the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) on Venice Boulevard and at the south end, the sailboats leaving the Marina. That’ll do. That’s cool. ~ Friday, August 30, 2019

Filming in Hollywood: The productions were “Twenties” and “This Is Us” – the location managers had decided this corner of Hollywood by the old post office on Wilcox had just the right feel for those two titles. The twenties (and thirties) do live on here, and this is the heart of Hollywood. This is us. ~ Thursday, August 29, 2019

California: Love: There were all those small eyes on that black wall, and that giant blue hand, and those lips. And all the street art said California, Love. And ya gotta love it. ~ Wednesday, August 28, 2019

To the Library: Take a walk from the top of Bunker Hill one block west and then down the hill, to the Los Angeles Central Library – 1926, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, with its tiled mosaic pyramid with suns on the sides with a hand holding a torch representing the “Light of Learning” at the apex. There are sphinxes and snakes and celestial mosaics too. But the walk there is just as amazing. The center of Los Angeles is filled with public art, of the Los Angeles sort. ~ Monday, August 26, 2019

The Glass Inferno: Los Angeles, from Grand to Hope – that would be from Grand Avenue to Hope Street. It’s summer in the city. “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.” Remember your Dante. ~ Monday, August 26, 2019

Summer Intensity: Los Angeles gardens are most intense when summer is most intense. That would be now. That would be here. ~ Saturday, August 24, 2019

A Hollywood Afternoon: The sun was brutal. The smog was thick. It was another summer afternoon in Hollywood, at the Hollywood Palladium on Sunset Boulevard at Argyle. That’s an odd corner of Hollywood. And it’s getting odder. ~ Friday, August 23, 2019

The Real Birds: If life were a Hitchcock movie this would be frightening – thousands of pigeons and a gaggle of geese and the usual gulls at the lagoon in Playa Del Rey. But this isn’t frightening. It’s kind of cool. The kids love it. ~ Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Real Beach: A long time ago, back east, in high school, there were the Gidget movies and the Beach Boys singing about those California Girls. And it was cold and raining. Was there really such a place as California? Was any of that real? Yes, it was real, and it’s still here on a hot summer afternoon in Manhattan Beach. ~ Thursday, August 22, 2019

Dry: It’s dry out here – the bird sanctuary in Griffith Park just up the road from the Greek Theater, the road up to the observatory. There are no birds. They’re hiding. It’s too dry. ~ Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Someplace Else: California isn’t good enough – on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, at Stanley, a recently restored Moroccan restaurant, for trips elsewhere – next to what’s left of a British pub from the late sixties, when half of the rock stars in town were Brits – next to the Italianate auction house from the late twenties, for the rich movie people, and still in business. Everyone seems to dream of someplace else. ~ Monday, August 19, 2019

An August Afternoon: Just another summer afternoon in Los Angeles, slow, quiet, and filled with color. ~ Saturday, August 17, 2019

Not Invisible Now: Something changed. At the county art museum on Wilshire Boulevard, Rodin has company – “Zak Ové (born 1966) is a British visual artist of Trinidadian descent. His sculptural installation, The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness, encapsulates the complex history of racial objectification and the evolution of black subjectivity. The title’s references – Ben Jonson’s 1605 play, The Masque of Blackness, and Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel, Invisible Man – mark two milestones in black history: the first stage production to utilize blackface makeup, and the first novel by an African American to win the National Book Award. In addition to literary references, the artist draws inspiration from Caribbean Carnival… The installation’s 40 graphite figures stand tall and dignified to represent the strength and resilience of the African diaspora.” And somehow they fit right in. ~ Friday, August 16, 2019

Picture This: At the far end of the Sunset Strip, where Sunset Boulevard dives into quiet residential (and absurdly rich) Beverly Hills, there’s a bronze movie director from the silent era – “Director” – Frank Meisler and Arie Ovadia, 2007, 9200 Sunset Boulevard. And what’s he looking at now? That would be surreal skyscrapers. Hollywood changed. ~ Thursday, August 15, 2019

Blue and Cosmic: There’s a new blue man in the neighborhood. One block away, hidden in an alley, there’s a wall that’s more than a bit cosmic, depicting a world that someone imagined was just around the corner back in the late sixties. Well, it is just around the corner. And between the two, a Hollywood animation studio is painting the walls too. It’s all quite cosmic. ~ Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Dream Worlds: Just down the street – Frank Capra filmed “It Happened on Night” in there – Gilligan’s Island was in there – that’s Sunset-Gower Studios – with a bit of Siren Studios across the street – with new glass towers everywhere and the Hollywood sign in the distance. They build dream worlds here. And this is a dream world too. ~ Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Lost in Chinatown: What does it all mean? “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.” Jake was Jack Nicholson. That was a strange movie, but Los Angeles’ Chinatown is a strange place. ~ Monday, August 12, 2019

In the Pink: Los Angeles – early August – all the gardens are in the pink – quite literally. ~ Saturday, August 10, 2019

Banking on Hope: Saint Basil’s Roman Catholic Church on Wilshire Boulevard at Harvard – A. C. Martin and Associates, 1969 – directly across the street from the Bank of Hope – and next door to the Wilshire Boulevard Temple – from 1862 to 1933 Congregation B’nai B’rith, the oldest Jewish congregation in Los Angeles. The temple was completed in 1929 – designed by architect Abram M. Edelman, the son of the congregation’s first rabbi, Abraham Edelman. Things changed in those forty years. The neighborhood turned Korean. The Bank of Hope is Korean. But there’s always hope. ~ Friday, August 9, 2019

Intense Color: There’s no message. There’s no deep inner meaning. There’s no symbolism. Sometimes intense color is enough. The city is full of it. ~ Thursday, August 8, 2019

Ocean Park Summer: Down through the odd geometry of the parking lots, past all the bicycles for rent, look left, look right, and suddenly there’s beach volleyball and endless summer in Ocean Park, just south of Santa Monica. It’s perfect. The thunderheads are inland. ~ Wednesday, August 7, 2019

That Other Hollywood: Down in the flats, far from Hollywood and Vine, Santa Monica Boulevard at El Centro, it’s that other Hollywood. ~ Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Playing the Angles: The Sunset Strip on a hot August afternoon is a mysterious place of odd shapes and odd angles. But of course that’s a matter of perspective. ~ Monday, August 5, 2019

The August Explosion: This happens every August in Los Angeles. There’s a heat wave. Everyone hides. And the gardens explode in color. ~ Saturday, August 3, 2019

Just One Block: Just one block in Hollywood, Schrader to Wilcox at Sunset Boulevard, the old YMCA from the late twenties, the heroic main Hollywood post office from the late thirties – a WPA project – the shadows at the Hollywood Athletic Club where a young John Wayne used to shoot pool, and the shabby old Hollywood News building – and in the middle of it all, new skyscrapers shooting up. It’s Hollywood. It’s all mixed up. ~ Friday, August 2, 2019

Net Sunshine: To be specific – “1.78 Beverly Hills, a sculpture in Janet Echelman’s Earthtime Series, is currently installed between the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and Beverly Gardens Park, as part of Beverly Hills’ annual BOLD Summer festival. It will be on exhibit through August, 2019. This work examines the complex interaction of the many systems of our physical world with one another. The sculpture’s materials embody this. When any one element in the sculpture’s network moves, every other element is affected.” And it’s to the right of the lotus pools and hovers directly over the somewhat puzzled hunter and his hounds. The world is a mysterious place. ~ Thursday, August 1, 2019