1911: November 2019 Photography

November 2019 Photography

Between Storms: Thanksgiving was rain and more rain, the day before and the day after. But this was the break before the next set of storms rolls in. The local gardens had been washed clear. ~ Saturday, November 30, 2019

Shooting Up: Hollywood and Vine is dreary at eye-level. Hollywood and Vine is dramatic shot from below, looking up, on a dark afternoon with rain on the way. ~ Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Studio Tour: This is the alternative Paramount Pictures Studio Tour. This is Gower and Melrose, with the old RKO globe and a curious neighborhood. ~ Monday, November 25, 2019

Special Lighting: The local gardens shouldn’t look this good in late November. But this is Hollywood where the light is always good. And it’s better than good at this time of year. ~ Saturday, November 23, 2019

Raymond Chandler Square: “The Big Sleep” was that 1939 Raymond Chandler novel, the first to feature the detective Philip Marlow, and that became the 1946 film noir directed by Howard Hawks. Humphry Bogart was Marlow. Lauren Bacall was the femme fatale. William Faulkner was one of the screenwriters. And in both the novel and the film Marlow’s office was in the Cahuenga Building. That’s what Chandler called the Security Pacific Bank Building, 6383 Hollywood Boulevard, at Cahuenga Boulevard – 1921, John and Donald B. Parkinson. That intersection is now Raymond Chandler Square. Hawks used the exterior of the building for establishing shots, but Marlow’s office was on a soundstage at Warmer Brothers out in Burbank. But then so was the “Rick’s Café Américain” in Casablanca. Still, this building is where one might find a cynical but honest private eye, even now. Anything is possible at Raymond Chandler Square. ~ Friday, November 22, 2019

Assembling Hollywood: The little pine tree and the small American flag? That’s another new building topped out here Hollywood. But this place isn’t built of steel. Hollywood is built of light. ~ Friday, November 22, 2019

Above Olive Hill: The skies above Olive Hill at the east end of Hollywood Boulevard – ignoring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House and the art gallery and art school and the big theater – because sometimes, after a winter storm blows through, the sky is enough. ~ Thursday, November 21, 2019

Darker Days: Madonna is back, and Koreatown is as spooky as ever. This is Wilshire and Western on a dark day. Storms are coming. ~ Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Watching the Skies: The light is extraordinary in Los Angeles in November. Then it’s best to sit quietly and watch the skies. ~ Monday, November 18, 2019

Being Emotional: If one is going to be emotional, orange is the proper color. That’s the current thinking in the streets here. ~ Monday, November 18, 2019

That Late Light: The light changes as autumn winds down. This is long light that comes in at an angle and adds deep shadows and backlighting. The local gardens glow in a different way. ~ Saturday, November 16, 2019

Thai Time: A quiet Friday afternoon in Thai Town (ไทยทาวน์) – the six blocks of Hollywood Boulevard on the other side of Western Avenue – the only designated “Thai Town” in the United States – and yes, just beyond Little Armenia. What, you expected Hondurans speaking Spanish? Get real. This is Los Angeles. ~ Friday, November 15, 2019

The Pico Sky: B’nai David Judea – 8906 Pico Boulevard here in Los Angeles – formerly the Fox Stadium Theater, designed in the late twenties by Carl and Robert Boller, opened in 1931 and closed on September 5, 1961, and in March 1965 it became a synagogue. And in 2004 and 2005, the B’nai David congregation undertook a massive renovation project that made the place even better – an Art Deco showcase – but really, the clouds were good this day. That’s what this is about – the sky – and also that giant All-American Screaming Eagle around the corner, and that new proudly lesbian Wonder Woman. This corner of Los Angeles was too cool not to stop and take it all in. ~ Thursday, November 14, 2019

Old Cool Now Gone: There is no “77 Sunset Strip” – that was just a television detective show that ran from 1958 to 1964. Private detective Stuart (“Stu”) Bailey (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) was a former government secret agent. Jeff Spencer (Roger Smith) was a former government agent too, and a non-practicing attorney. They worked out of stylish offices at 77 Sunset Boulevard, Suites 101 and 102 – on the south side of the Strip next door to Dean Martin’s real-life lounge, Dino’s Lodge – at 8524 Sunset Boulevard. Warner Brothers chose a better sounding number – and added a teen heartthrob, the very cool Gerald Lloyd “Kookie” Kookson III (Edd Byrnes), the rock and roll-loving, wisecracking, hair-combing hipster and aspiring private eye who worked as the valet parking attendant at Dino’s, the club next door – torn down in the seventies. Now the whole block is high-end shops and fancy new condos. But there’s a plaque in the sidewalk. This place used to be cool. ~ Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Going Places: Sometimes it seems that Los Angeles is all freeways and nothing but freeways. People are going places. Everyone is going places. No one knows where. But the movement is hypnotic. And the geometry is mesmerizing. This is the looking south into the city, from the overpass where Sunset Boulevard passes over the Harbor Freeway, on its way to Chinatown. This is Los Angeles. ~ Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Hollywood Squares: This isn’t that. Hollywood Squares was that wildly popular daytime novelty game show that ran on NBC from October 17, 1966, to June 20, 1980, and then was gone. These new Hollywood Squares are the geometry of the new Netflix studios and offices on Sunset at Bronson. This town is changing. Or it isn’t. There are those late morning dreamers across the street, waiting for their big break. ~ Monday, November 11, 2019

November Roses: The sun is brutal and it’s hot as hell, and there are fires everywhere, but at least local gardens look like late autumn. The light is right for that. ~ Saturday, November 9, 2019

Peace and Love: Ringo Starr has lived out here in Beverly Hills for years, with his wife of nearly forty years, Barbara Bach, the Bond Girl from “The Spy Who Loved Me” – and for two years he’s been trying to give this Peace and Love hand, his hand, by sculptor Jeremy Morrelli, to the city. The city’s now-disbanded Fine Art Commission rejected the gift in September 2017 – this wasn’t really art – but two years later the city decided an eight hundred pound polished steel monument of Ringo’s hand making a peace sign was art after all, so here it is, six days after they cut the ribbon, next to the lotus pools across the street from City Hall and just down the street from Robert Merrell Gage’s noble American Indian in the fountain on the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards – a Noble Savage in touch with nature in an odd way now. It’s all good. ~ Friday, November 8, 2019

City Haze: The white haze off the Pacific softens the city – Grand Avenue, Bunker Hill, Los Angeles – and the two minimalist red-glass cubes are Larry Bell’s “Bill and Coo at MOCA’s Nest” – new at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) there on Grand. Bell has been part of the California Light and Space movement since the sixties, experimenting with surface treatments on glass that manipulate light, reflections and shadows. These cubes belong here. The light is good. ~ Thursday, November 7, 2019

Autumn in the Streets: There are new faces on the walls. The long light casts deep shadows. It’s autumn in the streets out here. ~ Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Detour Ahead: Wilshire Boulevard was closed at the La Brea Tar Pits down on Museum Row, but there was an open parking space, and the camera was in the trunk of the car. It was time to walk. Los Angeles is pretty cool when everything is at a standstill. ~ Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Reliable: You can rely on Hollywood to be full of dramatic angles and deep shadows in early November. This is more than Reliable Crane Services showing off. All of Hollywood is showing off. ~ Monday, November 4, 2019

Better Light: After a week of brutal sun and fires everywhere and smoke and ash in the air, everything changed – a pleasant light breeze off the Pacific and scattered real clouds – and much better light – no harsh shadows. The local gardens looked much better. The light was translucent. ~ Saturday, November 2, 2019

That Lighthouse: This is how Southern California should be, the 1926 Point Vicente lighthouse with Catalina in the distance. That’ll do just fine. ~ November 1, 2019

The Cove: It was time to calm down. Malaga Cove, Palos Verdes, on Santa Monica Bay, a few miles south of the Los Angeles bustle, is a good place to calm down. ~ November 1, 2019