1912: December 2019 Photography

December 2019 Photography

The Last Sun: On the last day of the year, and the last day of the decade, of course all the clouds blew far away. It was brilliant sunshine all day, because this is Southern California. And this is Hollywood – that bicycle parked in front of the vivid mural at the Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard, just down the street from the highly geometric Motion Picture Editors Guild, gleaming under impossibly blue skies. This is how it should be. There had to be dramatic lighting for this special day. ~ Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Dark Glass: The dark glass is the bronzed glass at the Directors Guild of America on Sunset Boulevard at Hayworth – under strange winter skies. The dark winter skies are over at Columbia Square on the other side of the Hollywood Palladium. The glass at Columbia Square is blue, but under these skies it seems dark enough. This is winter. ~ Monday, December 30, 2019

The Last Roses: These seem to be the last roses of the year, and the last roses of the decade, in bloom on the last Saturday of the year and the decade. Everything must end. But all of this will be here next week, much the same, on the first week of the year and the first week of the decade. Time is a human thing. ~ Saturday, December 28, 2019

Wired Up: The air was electric down on Melrose Avenue. The place was wired up. ~ Friday, December 27, 2019

Unsettled Skies: The Christmas storm has passed. The heavy rains ended. But the skies are still unstable over Wilshire Boulevard at the edge of Beverly Hills. The whole world seems unstable now. ~ Thursday, December 26, 2019

At the Solstice: One the darkest day of the year – the winter solstice – Roses, Azalea, Tree Peony, Poinsettia – because it’s not really darkest day, not here, not ever. ~ Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Usual: This is Hollywood Boulevard at Christmas – Scientologists and heavy-metal buskers and whatnot – the usual. After twenty-five years here all of this seems quite normal. Maybe it is normal. ~ Friday, December 20, 2019

Winter in Hollywood: A walk down Hollywood Boulevard from the Egyptian Theater to the El Capitan on a December afternoon is good exercise, good visual exercise. ~ Friday, December 20, 2019

Fiat Lux: Wilshire and Fairfax once again, because the late-year light was so good – Renzo Piano’s Broad Contemporary Museum, Chris Burden’s Urban Light, the new Academy Museum under construction and the swoopy Petersen Automotive Museum – the usual suspects, better light. ~ Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Local Shops: Ah, the local shops at Christmastime – all that’s missing is that screaming fellow that the Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch painted in 1893 – you know the one. ~ Tuesday, December 17, 2019

By Design: A giant chair, a giant lamp, the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood – and the vintage motorcycle shop next door, and the macabre jewelry design studio across the street – and the startling skies – because the light was good. ~ Monday, December 16, 2019

Somewhat Subdued: Of course the local gardens a bit subdued. It’s the middle of December after all, even in Los Angeles. But they’re still quite fine. ~ Saturday, December 14, 2019

Old Tales: The Fonda Theater at 6126 Hollywood Boulevard – originally the 1926 Carter DeHaven Music Box but now all Streamline Moderne – and at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, the Hollywood Pantages Theater, originally the RKO Pantages Theater that opened on June 4, 1930 – next to a billboard that reads “Old Tales New Blood”– because Hollywood is like that. ~ Friday, December 13, 2019

Echo Park Avenue: This is not Los Angeles but this is more Los Angeles than anyplace else – the bungalows in the hills, the city in the distance, and that lake to the right, with the birds and palms and strange skies. Mack Sennett filmed his silent comedies here. Jackson Browne wrote his introspective songs here. This is Los Angeles. ~ Thursday, December 12, 2019

High Drama: The skies shouldn’t be this dramatic, but they are, in west Los Angeles, as the year draws to a close. Look up. That’s where the action is. ~ Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Winter’s Edge: The edge of winter at the edge of Griffith Park at the edge of Hollywood, the hidden dell and just the quiet of the season, and this will do for now. ~ Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Street Decisions: There’s a new figure at Melrose and Spaulding, a cartoonish fellow trying to decide between love and money. But the street is full of odd characters, reflecting odd decisions. Keep walking. This is a dangerous place. ~ Monday, December 9, 2019

The Winter Rain: A cactus garden and a rose garden side-by-side in Beverly Hills in the slow steady rain, winter begins in Southern California. ~ Saturday, December 7, 2019

Universal Rain: Light rain at the Crossroads of the World – 6671 Sunset Boulevard – Robert V. Derrah, 1936 – built as “the world’s first modern shopping center” – a big Streamline Moderne ocean liner sailing the world, surrounded by Spanish Colonial, Tudor, Moorish and all sorts of little shops – with the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, from 1928, next door. This is one of the oddest places in Los Angeles. But the rain softens things and it all begins to make sense. ~ Friday, December 6, 2019

The Unnatural World: It was just a shortcut, a right onto Washington Boulevard to get to Venice Beach a bit faster. But that’s the Culver City Arts District. It was a bit frightening. This was not the natural world. ~ Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Old Days: Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument 427 – Cloverdale Manor, 364 South Cloverdale at Fourth Street in the Wilshire District – designed in 1930 by Clarence J. Smale. Smale liked it so much he decided to live here. The penthouse used to be Fred Astaire’s dance studio. But those days are long gone. The days are darker now. And everything gets old, particularly in this curious neighborhood. ~ Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Electric Skies: West Los Angeles, Adams at Genesee, the towers of power – the skies are electric between storms here. ~ Monday, December 2, 2019

That Corner: It’s just two museums and a bank, but Wilshire and Fairfax is endlessly fascinating. It’s a perpetual light-show. ~ Monday, December 2, 2019