1909: September 2019 Photography

September 2019 Photography

Assorted Fantasies: South Cochran Avenue between Wilshire Boulevard and Sixth Street – perfect Spanish Revival apartments buildings from the twenties, and at the other end of the block it’s Tudor City, across the street from new Bauhaus and old Streamline Moderne – something for everyone. Los Angeles used to be like that before everyone moved to the suburbs. ~ Monday, September 30, 2019

Light Rain: Gardens always look better in the rain and it’s that time of year again, an autumn shower in Los Angeles now and then. Ah, that’s better. ~ Saturday, September 28, 2019

Maritime Matters: This is the other Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Maritime Museum in San Pedro, on the main shipping channel at the Port of Los Angeles, with the Fire Boats ready and waiting next to the Battleship Iowa. But this is a working port with no use for history. Still, the history is everywhere. ~ Friday, September 27, 2019

That Old Light: Point Fermin Light – the lighthouse next to Angel’s Gate, the entrance to the Port of Los Angeles – high on the rocky cliffs – built in 1874 with lumber from California redwoods – designed by Paul J. Pelz, a civil engineer for the United States Lighthouse Board and from 1872 to 1877 its chief draftsman. He would go on to be the main architect of the Library of Congress in Washington, but he was really a lighthouse guy. The actual light here was extinguished in 1941 because of Pearl Harbor. It would be a beacon for enemy planes and ships. And then it wasn’t necessary. Radar would keep ships from slamming into the rocks below, and then GPS was even better. But the building was too impressive to tear down. In 1972 Point Fermin Light was added to the National Register of Historic Places and made new again, or old again. ~ Friday, September 27, 2019

In the Neighborhood: Skateboarding on the moon, sex and violence in the shops, and an actual ballet dancer, in a bright white tutu and a black leather jacket, doing pirouettes in the street for hours – it was just another day in the neighborhood. This end of Los Angeles is a curious place. ~ Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Times: This is the center of Los Angeles, once removed. It’s all illusion – City Hall and all the rest reflected in glass, and the massive and heroic Los Angeles Times building, now abandoned. Newspapers are dying. What’s left of the Los Angeles Times was moved to an industrial park in the suburbs. Now the center of the city is an illusion. That’s a sign of the times. ~ Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Under the Tower: The Hollywood Tower over on Franklin Avenue, built in 1929, was a luxury apartment building for the entertainment industry in the thirties. George Raft owned an interest in the building and lived there, but everyone knows it because it’s the model for Disney’s “Tower of Terror” attractions at the parks in Florida, California, Paris and Tokyo. Each has a replica. It’s iconic, but so is everything just down the hill on Vine Street at Yucca – the black and gold Avalon Theater from the twenties, and from 1956, the Capitol Records Tower, designed to look like a stack of records on a turntable with the spindle pointing skyward, surrounded by other bits of Midcentury Modern nonsense and, now, the severe geometry of the present. That’s what’s under the tower. ~ Monday, September 23, 2019

At the Equinox: Summer is ending. The autumnal equinox falls on Monday, September 21, just after midnight, Pacific Time. And this is in the gardens here in Los Angeles, two days before everything changes. But the changes are subtle out here. This is the land of endless summer. ~ Saturday, September 21, 2019

That Fast Lane: In 1976 the nation was two hundred years old and the Eagles released “Hotel California” – their album about how things had worked out. California was the end of the line. Everything had led to California, the land of absurd and empty excess. And one of the hit singles from that album was “Life in the Fast Lane” – that song about Hollywood excess. Faster, faster, the lights are turning red… Everything, all the time… And forty-three years later nothing much has changed here in Hollywood. Handsome healthy people ride bicycles and all the young millionaires drive swoopy absurdly expensive supercars, and the walls are covered with the good life, in the fast lane, still, after all these years. ~ Friday, September 20, 2019

Above and Beyond: David Lynch won the «Prix de la mise en scène» (Best Director Award) at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Director that same year, for “Mulholland Drive” – even if no one knew what that oddly unstructured movie was actually about. It was a mystery, a Noir mystery, with lots of sunshine, high above Hollywood. And this is Mulholland Drive now, still a mystery, and Heavenly Pond is still out there at the far end. ~ Thursday, September 19, 2019

In the Past: It’s just one block – La Brea between Beverly Boulevard and First Street – just south of Hollywood – but it’s packed with the past – old buildings from the twenties and thirties that really shouldn’t be here anymore, but really are here. It’s a good place to get lost in the past. ~ Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Hollywood Afternoon Light: There were two giant fake red balloons over the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard. There was an open parking space on Cahuenga. The camera was charged up and ready. The light was good. It was just another quiet afternoon in Hollywood. ~ Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Down on the Corner: Forget Willie the Poor Boy and forget Creedence Clearwater Revival and forget 1969 – that was fifty years ago. There’s no amateur jive music down on this corner. This is Melrose Avenue at Harper – hip and surreal in the long Los Angeles light. This is a Hollywood corner. ~ Monday, September 16, 2019

September Heat: This is what is hiding in the shadows in Los Angeles’ gardens in the latest heat wave. It shouldn’t this blazing hot in the middle of September, but the light is long and the shadows dramatic. And it’s quiet. Everyone is hiding in the air-conditioning somewhere else. This is what they’re missing. ~ Saturday, September 14, 2019

The Sharpest Colors: This is where the colors are so vivid, and the lines and shapes so sharp, and the contrast so high, that they hurt – the graphics at the Soap Plant / Wacko / La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Boulevard, where Los Feliz meets Silver Lake. Just standing here would make anyone jumpy. Some things are just too sharp. And some parts of Los Angeles are a bit scary. ~ Friday, September 13, 2019

From Afar: Close-ups are fine. Detail is good. But telephoto shots show more – the patterns of life – and all telephotos shots are candid shots. The observer is far away, unnoticed, so there’s no posing. There’s more truth. These are shots from or in Palisades Park, Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, looking down on Pacific Coast Highway and out across the beach to the bay and beyond. This is how things are. ~ Thursday, September 12, 2019

Testing the Limits: The camera and damaged lens are back from the shop. They seem to be working. This is the La Brea Arts District just north of Wilshire Boulevard. These few blocks are odd enough and colorful enough to provide a challenge to the rebuild. Everything is working fine again. Los Angeles is as strange as ever. ~ Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The September Sky: This is the last of the photography for a bit. This was on the memory card in the camera that died. Now to see if that camera can be repaired, but that will take some time even if it can be done. Drat. Still, the September skies were rather fine, before that little accident. ~ Monday, September 2, 2019