2004: April 2020 Photography

April 2020 Photography

Those Dark Trees: Stay home, they said. But a walk in the immediate neighborhood, for a breath of fresh air, is okay. Wear a mask, of course. Fine, but the immediate neighborhood contains North Orange Grove Avenue just off Sunset Boulevard, and the trees are a bit spooky. John Carpenter used this street in his creepy 1978 movie “Halloween” – he liked the trees. The trees everywhere in this neighborhood are a bit spooky. Even on a sunny day this is a dark place. ~ Thursday, April 30, 2020

At The Sunset: Those giant iron daisies are strange. This is the Sunset on Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip, a small somewhat hidden commercial plaza, the one with those giant iron daisies, and now with no one around to add anything even slightly like a human touch. The pandemic that shut down the world turned this into the Twilight Zone. That just turned real. ~ Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Cats and Dragons: Sure, it’s the end of the world and the streets are empty all day now, but out here in the far west there are cats and dragons and fire in the sky. That’s how the world should end. ~ Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Slippage: Time disappeared. It was 1930 on Wilshire Boulevard today. And all the people disappeared too. Everyone must stay home now. This was odd, and rather pleasant. This is Wilshire at Cloverdale, suddenly far removed from the present. Cool. ~ Monday, April 27, 2020

Thirty-Five Roses: Los Angeles is still locked down, now in the middle of a heat wave, with all the beaches closed and everyone hiding in their own private air-conditioned darkness. But there are the roses out in the streets. Step outside. Here are thirty-five of them. ~ Saturday, April 25, 2020

Roadside Assistance: California poppies and daylilies and hibiscus and butterfly iris line the roads. Summer got here early. ~ Saturday, April 25, 2020

Dead Quiet: Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, Friday afternoon, April 24, 2020, in the Year of the Plague – everything closed – not a soul in sight – dead quiet – the rich are gone –

Too Quiet Now: A lot full of the most expensive supercars in the world, banged up a bit, waiting for the body shop to open, if it ever does, and it was quiet over on Gower Street, too quiet. It’s that damned virus. All the studios have shut down production. The white walls of Sunset-Gower Studios are mausoleum walls. And everyone stayed in on Earth Day. There was a new mural or two but no one around to notice. There was just that bright sunshine. ~ Thursday, April 23, 2020

Duke’s Place: The nicely rounded skyscraper on the southeast corner of Wilshire and La Cienega was once the world headquarters of Larry Flynt Enterprises – Hustler magazine and all that – but it was built for Great Western Savings – now long gone too. Next door there’s the Wilshire Theater from the architect S. Charles Lee, originally the Fox Wilshire when it opened on September 19, 1930, now the Saban Theater. On November 4, 1953, it was Marilyn Monroe arriving on the red carpet for the premiere of “How to Marry a Millionaire” – but now the place is only a concert and lecture venue. Still, this is the Duke’s corner, with the giant Harry Andrew Jackson statue of John Wayne in the middle of it all. Wayne was the spokesman for Great Western Savings. He stuck around. ~ Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Just Not Now: The middle of the Wilshire District at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and South Catalina Street, one block from the site of the old Ambassador Hotel with its Coconut Grove ballroom (that had hosted six Oscars) – where Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated in the summer of 1968 – at the intersection of 1927 and now. The past is a place to hide in this plague year. ~ Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Emptied Out: Those giant eyes are watching the empty streets and shuttered stores of West Los Angeles. There’s not a soul around. ~ Monday, April 20, 2020

Rose Glow: This has been the darkest April in Los Angeles in years – days and days of rain and darkness. But the roses glow in the dark. ~ Saturday, April 18, 2020

Wet Work: This is what is in bloom here between the April storms. This is botanical persistence. ~ Saturday, April 18, 2020

Darkness Made Visible: There are those faces on that wall across the street from the CNN skyscraper on Sunset Boulevard, death masks, and in the parking lot out back there are those dark surreal butterflies. Everything is shut down. Pigeons rest on the Cinerama Dome and a sign points to the shuttered public library. And the wires sing under mysterious skies. This is darkness too. ~ Friday, April 17, 2020

Chance Encounters: There’s something odd about driving the empty streets of Hollywood during this plague. This place is filled with suddenly strange characters everywhere. A giant Mick Jagger says “Gimme Shelter” and even Rocky and Bullwinkle seem suddenly strange. ~ Friday, April 17, 2020

At the Soup Kitchen: St. James Episcopal Church, 3903 Wilshire Boulevard – the first services held in 1908 – the parish established in 1912. The current church building was designed by Benjamin McDougall, the San Francisco architect, in Gothic Revival style, and completed in 1925. In 1965 the funeral of Nat King Cole, who was a parishioner, took place here, attended by Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra and Robert F. Kennedy – and the soup kitchen was open this day. And there’s the Art Deco building next door – the Wilshire Professional Building, 3875 Wilshire Boulevard, Arthur E. Harvey, 1929 – the year the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. Here we go again. ~ Thursday, April 16, 2020

Pandemic Unicorns: It’s that damned virus. The local unicorn dealership is closed. And the Troubadour is closed too – shut up tight – not even an echo of the glory days of Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne and the Eagles and Carole King and James Taylor. Now there are just those stylized acrylic cacti out front, with that tiger next door at Beverly Hills Karate keeping an eye on things. All the good stuff is gone. ~ Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Another Dark Corner: Pick a corner, any corner, pull over, grab the camera from the trunk, point left, shoot, point right, shoot, and then head on home to see what you’ve got. It was this. This particular corner of West Hollywood – Melrose at La Jolla – seemed particularly dark this day. But maybe it’s all the death in the air. The city, and county, and state, are locked down. That may stop the final pandemic. But the world out here looks strange. ~ Monday, April 13, 2020

Easter Roses: There are no Easter services this year. Everyone has to say home. The nation is locked down to slow the terrifying pandemic, and even the city’s parks and gardens have been closed to the public. But that doesn’t stop the roses. These are curbside all over Los Angeles. Everyone grows their own roses, and Easter looks just fine out here. ~ Saturday, April 11, 2020

Summer Right Now: Summer arrived early in Los Angeles, on Easter weekend, starting with the California Poppies. ~ Saturday, April 11, 2020

Dead Hollywood: Pandemic photography – Los Angeles is locked down – Hollywood Boulevard is closed – Hollywood is closed. And this is the fifth day of rain. And this is Hollywood Boulevard. Hollywood is dead. ~ Friday, April 10, 2020

Still Around: Red Studios Hollywood, formerly the Desilu Cahuenga Studios and then Ren-Mar Studios, is a rental studio on Cahuenga Boulevard built in 1915 as Metro Pictures Back Lot #3. In 1953, after filming the first two seasons of “I Love Lucy” here, Desilu moved on. The place faded. This is the scruffy Hollywood studio in the first scenes of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” But in January 2010, the Red Digital Cinema Camera Company bought the place, spiffed it up, and renamed it. It’s new again, and then there’s the Sunset-Vine Tower. This is the skyscraper that went up in flames in Irwin Allen’s 1974 disaster movie “The Towering Inferno” – but it never did. It’s still around too. ~ Friday, April 10, 2020

Easter Bunnies: This is a wall of framed art-rabbits on Fairfax in the Melrose District. There is no explanation anywhere, but, as these rabbits appeared in early spring, these must be Easter Bunnies, very scary Easter Bunnies. Be afraid, be very afraid. And this was Good Friday. ~ Friday, April 10, 2020

Right Here: Bronzed: Pandemic photography while Los Angeles is locked down – stay home – do not leave the immediate neighborhood – the bronzed glass Directors Guild of America building at Sunset and Hayworth – one block from home – Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Right Here: Unions: Pandemic photography while Los Angeles is locked down – stay home – do not leave the immediate neighborhood – two Hollywood union buildings, Cinematographers and Motion Picture Editors – Sunset Boulevard at Norths Genesee Street – two blocks from home – Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Immediate Roses: This pandemic may kill us all. They said stay home. But step out for a bit of fresh air if necessary. That was necessary. These are the roses in the immediate neighborhood, these few blocks just off Sunset Boulevard. ~ Saturday, April 4, 2020

Not That Dark: The world is hiding from that virus that might kill us all, hiding in social isolation, but it’s not all that dark just outside the front door here. The world is in bloom. Spring is here in Hollywood. ~ Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Direct Order: The city is locked down. Stay home. That’s written on the walls. That’s written in the sky. And one must obey. Shepard Fairey is the street artist and graphic designer best known for his 2008 Barack Obama “Hope” poster. Forget that. Fairey created the “André the Giant Has a Posse” sticker campaign while attending the Rhode Island School of Design and that evolved into his “Obey Giant” campaign, intentionally ambiguous, but something to cause people to question their relationship with just about everything. There’s that face. Obey! Why? Now we know. That’s on the local walls too. ~ Friday, April 3, 2020

Hollywood Limited: There are limits. “Everyone in California is required to stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary healthcare, or go to an essential job.” There are no exceptions. And this is home. ~ Thursday, April 2, 2020