2003: March 2020 Photography

March 2020 Photography

Closed: No one expected this – Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard, Guitar Row – everything is closed and Hollywood is finally as surreal as it should be – under a spherical rainbow. Perhaps this is the end of everything. ~ Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Past Glory: Los Angeles County sent a blunt alert to residents’ cellphones Friday: “Stay home this weekend, and weekends until April 19. Only travel to seek medical care, do essential business and run necessary errands.” Authorities said they will be out in force this weekend looking for scofflaws but are not planning to cite people if they comply with officers’ orders to go home… The good stuff is in the public parks and gardens. The police are watching. They have been telling people to just go home. So, botanical memories from the archives this Saturday, that’s all. ~ Saturday, March 28, 2020

Quiet City: The music would be Aaron Copland’s “Quiet City” from 1941, but this is 2020 and things have changed. This is the Plague Year – a parked and empty Hollywood tour bus or two on Wilshire Boulevard, across the street from those sections of the original Berlin Wall that were enhanced by local artists eleven years ago, that odd new white Totem women, and the now iconic “Urban Light” installation at the county museum, and Wilshire Boulevard itself, silent and empty at noon. ~ Friday, March 27, 2020

No Touching: These are strange times – the Roxy and the Whisky and the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip on a weekday afternoon – and no one around – no one at all. Almost everything is closed up tight. It’s the pandemic. There will be no touching. Stay home. Shelter in place. And it’s quiet, too quiet. But it’s kind of cool. ~ Thursday, March 26, 2020

Empty Sunshine: Sometimes the light here is a bit unnerving. And with the state and city in a lockdown that will not end anytime soon, no one is around. There are no distractions. There’s just the light. This is the 9000 block of Sunset Boulevard. Everything glows. ~ Thursday, March 26, 2020

Making Do: The governor said stay home. The mayor said stay home. The pulmonary team at the medical center left a voicemail – do not go out, at all. Okay – fine – but that’s boring. The sky was an impossible blue Sunday morning. Monday morning it was storm clouds departing. Tuesday afternoon it was bright sun and deep shadows. That’ll do. That will have to do. ~ March 22-24, 2020

Forbidden Roses: The governor said stay home. The mayor said stay home. That was an order, to everyone. But there were roses out there. ~ Saturday, March 21, 2020

The First Saturday: It was the first Saturday of spring. There was Azalea. There was something fuzzy. There was Grape Wisteria. There was that snail. Yep, this is spring. ~ Saturday, March 21, 2020

Appropriate Skies: Los Angeles has been shut down. California has been shut down. The nation is shutting down. Everyone must stay home. Or we’ll all die. The “pathetic fallacy” is a literary term for the attribution of human emotion and conduct to things found in nature that are not human. It is a kind of personification that occurs in poetic descriptions, when, for example, clouds seem sullen, when leaves dance, or when rocks seem indifferent. The British cultural critic John Ruskin coined the term for what is essentially a cheap trick. But some things just happen. The skies here looked like this. ~ Friday, March 20, 2020

Quiet Hollywood: California Governor Gavin Newsom called for the home isolation of all seniors in California as well as those with chronic conditions, so there’s no going out for anything but groceries now. A few days later Newsom ordered bars and restaurants and gyms and movie theaters and anything nonessential to close – immediately – so no one is going anywhere. Consider this extreme social distancing, but staying home makes photographing this particular part of the world impossible. All there is left is what’s outside the front door and outside the office window, and out back from the balcony, the skies above Laurel Canyon. But that’s enough. The fourth and fifth days of home isolation looked like this. ~ March 18-19, 2020

Home Isolation: California Governor Gavin Newsom called for the home isolation of all seniors in California as well as those with chronic conditions, so there’s no going out for anything but groceries now. A few days later Newsom ordered bars and restaurants and gyms and movie theaters and anything nonessential to close – immediately – so no one is going anywhere. Consider this extreme social distancing, but staying home makes photographing this particular part of the world impossible. All there is left is what’s outside the front door and outside the office window, and out back from the balcony, the skies above Laurel Canyon. But that’s enough. The first three days of home isolation looked like this. ~ March 15-17, 2020

Fresh Roses: Two days of steady rain have washed the local roses clean. When the sun finally comes out they’ll shine too. ~ Saturday, March 14, 2020

Wet Work: Nothing out here was made for this rain, especially the cactus species that expect bone-dry sunshine. But the rain adds mystery. Mystery is good too. ~ Saturday, March 14, 2020

The New Hollywood: Netflix and Viacom are the New Hollywood. The New Hollywood is highly geometric. The New Hollywood is glass. ~ Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Up There: A storm blew through. Hollywood had its head in the clouds. ~ Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Late Winter Beach: This is late winter in Southern California, a quiet Monday in early March at Venice Beach. Yes, there is no winter here, really. The rules don’t apply here. They never have. ~ Monday, March 9, 2020

Another Saturday: Each and every Saturday begins, in late morning, in the gardens here in Los Angeles. And they never disappoint. March opened with this display, as mesmerizing as ever. ~ Saturday, March 7, 2020

The Richest Light: Somehow the rich get the best of everything, even the amazing light here in Southern California. A return to the Beverly Hills City Hall, 1932, William J. Gage and Harry G. Koerner, in the Spanish Revival Churrigueresque style, after the architect and sculptor, José Benito de Churriguera (1665–1725) – because the light was good, and good right here. And the geometric Beverly Hills Civic Center next door got the best light too. All photographers go back for more. ~ Friday, March 6, 2020

Even More Paint: It’s been more than a month since Kobe Bryant and his daughter died. The memorial services finished up weeks ago. Everyone is playing basketball again. But every week, somewhere, there’s a new Kobe mural. The painting doesn’t stop, and of course it’s more than Kobe. The painting never stops in these streets. ~ Thursday, March 5, 2020

Up Top: Drive up Laurel Canyon. Try not to think about Joni Mitchell, or Mama Cass, or Crosby or Stills or Nash or Young, or about Don Henley and the Eagles. Carole King is not sitting in that window with her tapestry. And up top, hang a left onto Mulholland Drive. And try not to think about that David Lynch movie. Stop at the “scenic overlook” just down the road. Check out the sky. Note that the San Fernando Valley, far below, is filled with smog. It’s good to be above the smog. That’s cool. That’ll do. ~ Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Infinitely Puzzling: Street art catches up with real life all the time. Modern life has become infinitely puzzling. ~ Tuesday, March 3, 2020

That March Lion: March didn’t come in like a lion and it may not go out like a lamb. It was just more of the same in Los Angeles, a new mural in the works on Melrose Avenue at Harper and a new scary one around the corner, and brilliant color everywhere. March came in like a psychedelic surreal lion. ~ Monday, March 2, 2020