1910: October 2019 Photography

October 2019 Photography

City of Angels: That is what it said on the side of that building on Formosa at Melrose. Maybe this is the City of Angels, or Devils. The streets are mysterious. ~ Thursday, October 31, 2019

Cactus Life: A wall of stylized cactus, James Dean, a new Ferrari – Hollywood icons at Trashy Lingerie on La Cienega – another Hollywood icon – just before Halloween.  It’s just Southern California. ~ Wednesday, October 30, 2019

In the Clear: The massive fires all around Los Angeles filed the Los Angeles basin with smoke and light ash falling here and there. Breathing was difficult. But the winds kept shifting. And there was no smoke at Echo Park Lake at the edge of the city. And there were the waterfowl. Things are always clearer down there. ~ Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Late Garden: The light is longer in late October. The shadows are deeper. The colors are richer. The gardens are better. ~ Saturday, October 26, 2019

Far Beyond Pink: Pink’s Hot Dogs on North La Brea at Melrose, down the street from Paramount Pictures, is quite famous. Orson Welles used to drop by at least once a week. He ate eighteen hot dogs on one visit. Bruce Willis proposed to Demi Moore at Pink’s. The marriage didn’t last. But the place is very pink. And the massive Art Deco building across the street is now bright turquoise and pink. This corner is just popping with color in the California sunshine. This was a pleasant walk. ~ Friday, October 25, 2019

The Dive: The neon diver across the street from Barney’s Beanery, the dive where both Jim Morrison and Janice Joplin used to get thoroughly drunk long ago, down on Santa Monica Boulevard at the bottom of the hill next to the big white Emser Building from the first Lethal Weapon movie, the scene with the suicide jumper… this is a strange neighborhood indeed. ~ Thursday, October 24, 2019

A Bit of Bauhaus: The Bauhaus school was founded by the architect Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919 and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was its architect-director from 1930 until 1933, when the school was closed. The new Nazi regime said it was a center of communist intellectualism. Whatever – the architecture was clean and cool and not political at all. But there was no point in arguing about it. Everyone headed for Southern California. Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Mann and Arnold Schoenberg settled here too. And of course that meant Bauhaus-style buildings went up all over Las Angeles in the late thirties. Many have been restored. This is Highland Avenue just south of Hollywood. ~ Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Color Work: The crew from Sky High Murals was at it again, another hand-painted giant bit of advertising for something or other. But it doesn’t matter what it is this time. All that matters is the color everywhere. That’s Melrose Avenue. ~ Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Golden Streets: The light was good in the land of absurdly wealthy people. This is Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, around the corner from Rodeo Drive, where everything is golden and dramatic, in the abstract. ~ Monday, October 21, 2019

Summer-October: There are no seasons in Southern California. In the gardens, the middle of October looks just like the middle of July. But who’s complaining? ~ Saturday, October 19, 2019

A Topanga Afternoon: Some things are just pure California, like an autumn afternoon at the beach on Pacific Coast Highway at the foot of Topanga Canyon. ~ Friday, October 18, 2019

The Pacific Rocks: Life is hard. This helps – the Pacific coast at Big Rock Canyon in Malibu. ~ Friday, October 18, 2019

Harper Avenue: Another visit to the North Harper Avenue Historic District just off Sunset Boulevard by the Chateau Marmont, because the autumn light was so dramatic – Old Hollywood – Ramone Navarro had to live somewhere. ~ Thursday, October 17, 2019

October Glass: There was an open parking space on Gower – the light was good – Columbia Square, 6121 Sunset Boulevard, the home of CBS’s west coast radio and television operations from 1938 until 2007 – opened in 1938 with a special radio broadcast starring Bob Hope, Al Jolson and Cecil B. DeMille. Lucille Ball filmed the pilot episode of “I Love Lucy” here in 1951, and James Dean once worked here as an usher – but CBS moved out and it’s been rebuilt and it’s all glass now. Most of it is Viacom now. But it does catch the light nicely. ~ Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A Slow Day: There’s autumn in New York – a fine song – and then there’s autumn in West Los Angeles. Things are different here, and yes, it was a slow and quiet fall day, but it was oddly fascinating. ~ Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Hidden Gems: Smoke in the air from distant fires – oddly filtered light and deep shadows – there were hidden gems in the local gardens. ~ Saturday, October 12, 2019

Distant Smoke: The massive fires were far away – far north – out by Magic Mountain – but the light was strange up on Mulholland Drive. The rest of America is on the other side of that wall of mysterious distant mountains. The view south was different. There was a white haze off the Pacific and Los Angeles was just Los Angeles. ~ Friday, October 11, 2019

Assuming Genius: “Embrace Your Genius” That’s what it said, in very big letters, on a wall hidden in an obscure alley. But all Los Angeles street artists embrace their genius, or think they do. Everyone’s a genius in their own eyes. Every one of them embraces something or other. They think that it’s genius. The rest of us just find it curious. The streets here are a strange place. ~ Thursday, October 10, 2019

Home Light: Housebound for a few days, but that’s not so bad here, one block above the Sunset Strip in a midcentury modern apartment building straight out of an old Perry Mason show from the late fifties, or maybe this place is just a big David Hockney painting. Either way, the autumn light is rather wonderful. ~ Tuesday, October 8, 2019

October Close-Ups: Here in Hollywood, October is when the “serious” movies are released. The studios are trolling for Oscars. Major stars give amazing performances. But the best close-ups are in the local gardens. ~ Saturday, October 5, 2019

In Sunshine: The colors of the Sunset Strip really do pop in the afternoon in the late fall light. Nothing really changes. The Rainbow and Roxy and Whisky are still here. It’s the same rather mad place. But the light changes. And then it’s gone. The Sunset Strip was made for the night. But old men prefer the sunshine. ~ Friday, October 4, 2019

Hollywood Gothic: October ends with Halloween and the Pantages Theater was looking appropriately spooky. But it always looks spooky. Hollywood and Vine always looks spooky. It’s the rather frightening Pantages, and next door, the big white Equitable Building with its gargoyles. Howard Hughes had an office there for a time. He was a bit strange. But he had a view of the serene Taft Building across the street. Or maybe that building is simply surreal. Halloween will be here soon. Hollywood is ready. ~ Thursday, October 3, 2019

A Red Afternoon: Late afternoon at the county art museum – it’s all Chinese red – the architect, Renzo Piano, is famous for that, and famous for his inside-out museums – and that new museum for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is almost finished – the glass dome shimmers in the sun. But everything shimmers in the sun on this quiet afternoon. ~ Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Spaced Out: October opened with strange light in West Hollywood. It was spacy. It was a bit spooky. ~ Tuesday, October 1, 2019