Thursday, November 30, 2006

Street Corner, Hollywood

Hollywood is an enigma. Things aren't always what they appear to be and the glamorous facade is pure glitz. Even though it's famous for movies, most "Hollywood productions" are not produced in Hollywood. It's a strange place, where dreamers come to be discovered, only to discover that Hollywood is full of broken dreams. Is this a photograph of two women going for a walk, or two women walking the streets? In Hollywood, it wouldn't be a surprise to discover they're not even women. Your imagination is not far-fetched here. But reality is.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tower Records, West Hollywood

Unfortunately, this is the end of an era for bankrupt Tower Records. The once mighty music retailer has recently begun liquidating through its new owner, Great American Group, which plans on closing all 89 Tower Records stores. This store in particular has been a landmark on Sunset Blvd. for about 35 years, and often had live in-store performances from many bands and entertainers.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Jet Propulsion Lab, La Canada Flintridge

The NASA-JPL site is nestled at the base of the mountains below the Angeles National Forest. This lab was established by California Institute of Technology in the 1930s and is "part of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, designed to explore Earth and space and to send robots and humans to explore the Moon, Mars and beyond." (Note: The mailing address for JPL is Pasadena, but the physical location of the buildings is La Canada Flintridge).

Monday, November 27, 2006

Honolulu Ave., Montrose

Montrose is one of those small towns that has an old-time charm, where the main street has independent shops and restaurants and you find people just patiently strolling along. It's kind of hard to believe that it's only about 10 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Metro Gold Line, South Pasadena

The Metro Gold Line stops at Mission Station in South Pasadena to allow a rider & bicycle to exit at the corner of Mission and Meridian.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

View From the Pier, Santa Monica

The morning sunlight illuminates Santa Monica State Beach in this view from the pier.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Escalator, Century City

Early in the morning, on the Biggest Shopping Day of the Year (aka "Black Friday"), this escalator was moving quietly without shoppers at Westfield Century City. It must have been the calm before the storm.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving, Monrovia

There is so much to be thankful for, and certainly too much to post here. But it all starts with God and family. And after our traditional Thanksgiving dinner, I was truly thankful for the first slice of my wife's homemade pumpkin cheesecake and the opportunity to watch some football on TV.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Holiday Traffic, Duarte

Traffic builds in both directions on the 210 Fwy. as cars zoom in and out of town for the Thanksgiving holidays. This shot was made from the pedestrian overpass between Mountain and Buena Vista in the city of Duarte, looking east.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Golden Gate Theatre, East Los Angeles

This was once an incredible movie theater, with a cool exterior building and a covered courtyard entrance leading to the main building, which is now the only thing remaining. It stands at the corner of Atlantic and Whittier in East L.A. There is a great website devoted to old theaters, called Cinema Treasures, and there's a photograph of what the Golden Gate Theatre looked like in 1965. My older brother and sister would bring me here when I was just a little boy, and my grandparents lived a few blocks away.
On a side note, while I was snapping a few images here, a man approached me and asked if the rest of the theater was going to be torn down. I don't know. But we got into a discussion about this theater and the area. He told me his dad used to bring him to the movies here and he had vivid memories of that era. When he mentioned where he went to high school, I was surprised that it was also my alma mater. Then he said that he graduated in 1978 and I was blown away! We graduated from the same school in the same year, but didn't know each other. And here we are, nearly 30 years later, talking about people we knew in high school while standing in front of a shut down theater in East L.A.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bridal Shop, Temple City

The retail district in Temple City runs about a mile along Las Tunas Dr. between Baldwin Ave. and Rosemead Blvd. I counted at least 15 bridal shops in this short stretch of the downtown area. (The Temple City Bl. sign appears in the reflection of this store's window.)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Starbucks, Azusa

This could be pretty much anywhere in the country (or the world, for that matter) because it's the view of the baristas while you're waiting for your coffee at any Starbucks. I really don't consider myself a coffee drinker, but my wife got me started on an occasional small (oh. . .excuse me, I mean "tall") latte or mocha about a year ago. The Starbucks pictured here opened in Azusa this year at the corner of Foothill and Azusa.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Portable Toilets, Los Angeles

Man, I hate these modern outhouses. But they sure are convenient when you're not near a clean restroom. . .if you can handle the smell.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Doctors' House, Glendale

This Queen Anne Victorian style home is located in Brand Park next to the library. Originally built on a different site in Glendale in 1888, it was moved and restored in 1980 under the leadership of the Glendale Historical Society. The name of the house is in reference to the doctors who lived there at different times. It's open for tours and special exhibits.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Clown Sign, Norwalk

I couldn't resist taking a snapshot of this sign in Norwalk because it reminded me of an encounter I had many years ago. I used to own a Honda Accord, and it broke down one day while exiting the freeway. As I pushed it to the side of the road, a car pulled up next to me and I heard a voice ask, "Do you need any help?" When I turned around, the good samaritan was a guy in a clown suit! I said, "Uh, no. I think I got it covered, man." And the clown went on his merry way.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

L.A. Equestrian Center, Burbank

A handler readies a horse for participation in the Los Angeles National Horse Show, this week at the L.A. Equestrian Center. They do more than make movies in Burbank. . ."They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Big Tires, City of Industry

Do you think tires this size would look cool on a Chrysler PT Cruiser? Does Pep Boys stock these babies?
The oversize load is being carried by a truck heading north on the 605 Fwy. in the City of Industry.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Vacant Lot, Monterey Park

OK, so a vacant lot isn't the most interesting subject matter. But vacant land is becoming more scarce, especially in areas that have experienced the growth that this city has in the past 20-30 years. The property is at the southeast corner of Atlantic Blvd. and Hellman Ave., and is already being primed for development of a new shopping center. I'm familiar with the area because I grew up in Monterey Park. The influx of Asian immigrants changed the demographics so dramatically that by 1990, this city had the first Asian-descent majority population in the continental U.S. There was some backlash from area residents and politicians, and at one point an ordinance was passed that required businesses to post their signs in English. It's a diverse and interesting community now, with some of the best Chinese restaurants in Southern California.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Lakers, Los Angeles

The Lakers warm up at Staples Center before the start of their NBA matchup against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies as the Laker Girls wait their turn to take the court. The Lakers won the game, 91-81.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Homeless, Los Angeles

This is Larry. He is a Vietnam War veteran. He is one of hundreds, possibly thousands, of people who live on the streets of Los Angeles. He sleeps in a sidewalk tent, which is becoming more difficult because of LAPD crackdowns on homeless encampments in the Skid Row area. Somehow, he gets by and says, "God blesses me everyday."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Storefront, Highland Park

What is it about these commonplace, generic storefronts on York Blvd. that makes them so intriguing? Are they empty? Is there a covert operation going on behind the blank facades? I see so many of them throughout L.A. Maybe next time, I'll stop and knock on the door. . .

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Student, South Gate

A lone student navigates through the corridors of Southeast Middle School in South Gate. This school opened in 2004 and has an enrollment of approximately 1800 students.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Barber Shop, San Marino

Oak Knoll Barber Shop is one of those places that represents a slice of Americana. It's a small shop that offers regular haircuts for men and the barber skillfully utilizes a traditional straight-edge razor and hot shave cream for a nice, clean finish around the edges. It has a barber pole out in front, and antique chairs inside. I hope this type of shop does not become a dinosaur due to the increased competition from unisex style salons. There's just a cool, old-school masculinity about real barber shops.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

November 7th, Long Beach

It looks like summer. It feels like summer. But it's actually early November in Southern California. The temperature reached 91 degrees today in Long Beach.

Monday, November 06, 2006

In-N-Out, Arcadia

The first In-N-Out Burger opened in Baldwin Park in 1948 and has become quite an institution in Southern California. They've managed to keep the menu simple, the food fresh and delicious, and the service consistently good. I have relatives who come in from out of state and they wouldn't consider their trip complete without eating at In-N-Out.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Carnival, Eagle Rock

St. Dominic's Catholic Church and School is the site for a small carnival in the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles. Eagle Rock gets its name from the unique rock formation rising above the intersection of Figueroa Street and the 134 Freeway that resembles an eagle.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Flag Football, El Monte

A running back from the El Monte Jets eludes an Arcadia Indians defender during a San Gabriel Valley Junior All-American flag football game at Viking Stadium in El Monte. The Jr. Gremlin division features players 6-8 years of age, learning the basics before graduating into tackle football in upper divisions.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

After nearly five years and $93 million in upgrades, the famed observatory reopens to the public today. Observatory director Edwin C. Krupp is calling it a "return to space."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

This architectural masterpiece, designed by Frank Gehry, opened in 2003 as part of the Music Center complex. The metal exterior panels reflected so much intense heat that they later had to be sanded to reduce the glare.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Campo Santo Cemetery, San Gabriel

A courtyard at the San Gabriel Mission is home to the oldest cemetery in Los Angeles County, first consecrated in 1778. I thought this would be an appropriate image to display during Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) festivities, first celebrated by ancient Aztec tribes in memory of their deceased ancestors.