Sunday, January 31, 2010

Grave Diggers

Sierra Madre, CA -- Old cemeteries have a certain draw to them. Sometimes it's fun to explore the 100+-year-old stones for familiar names. I also find it interesting to read what loved ones write for the epitaph.

Today, we wondered on a couple of grave diggers. I introduced myself first and asked them questions about their work. No modern equipment allowed here; the grounds are too old and fragile. They made it clear that seven feet is the standard, not six feet. I asked if I could get a few shots, which they agreed. I shot this photo right after I told them that I may title this photo, "Modern Grave Robbers." They got a kick out of it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Long Leash

Los Angeles, CA -- It was past the "magic hour" and my shutter was dragging in the low light. I was still able to catch this woman walking her unruly dog. The dog never made it in the frame.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Trumped by Volume

Los Angeles, CA --From Alameda Street, the voluminous sound of mariachi filled the air. A small door from the main, LA thoroughfare leads pedestrians to the congested cobblestone street call Olvera where vendors, restaurants and street performers provide their unique goods and services.

Walking out from the hall leading to Olvera Street, was a man with his accordion, sitting on a bench. He is part of a trio that regularly performs for handouts. This time, however, the big boys were out (earlier post), and were drowning out the talented underdogs. The moment the other team finished, my friends began their simple set of tunes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Los Angeles, CA -- A white van pulled up to the sidewalk where I was walking and out jumped a dapper man in black followed by more handsomely-dressed performers. Ricardo and his crew were late for a performance, but he let me take a few shots of him anyway.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Guitarras Para La Venta

Los Angeles, CA -- I have a few guitars at home, but none so colorful (and cheep) as these.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mariachi at Olvera Street

Los Angeles, CA -- Mexican musicians perform mariachi for restaurant patrons at Olvera Street. Although all the instruments are acoustic, the melodic sound filled the city block with a wave of joyous music.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Young Ladies of LA

Los Angeles, CA -- The dance coach frantically lined up the young women in preparation to go on stage for their dance. The music was already playing and an audience of more than 100 were waiting for the show to begin. Another Sunday afternoon at Olvera Street; the oldest street in LA.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter Dive

Laguna Beach, CA -- Dive buddy Bill and I prepare for a dive to Mermaid's Grotto. Twice I think I've seen those pesky sirens taunting me at 60-ft below the surface in the magical forest of kelp. People usually ask what I see when I come up after an hour's tour under the sea. I tell them exactly what they want to hear: "I see mermaids, man-eating sharks and Sponge Bob on occasion." We all get a chuckle.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

High Fashion District Stores

Downtown Los Angeles -- They call this "The Fashion District."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rainbow Valley

When I took this photo, there was actually a rainbow in the distance. My camera didn't pick up the colors very well but I thought this 12-month-old photo was appropriate for the day. Today, Southern California has experienced one of the best rain storms in many years; five-days of hard-driving rain. According to my rain gauge, I show about 7-inches accumulated.

The news makers love the sensational stories, photos and video. We all love the freshness of the storms, not to mention the prospect of ending our drought. I do feel for those who have had their lives disrupted by the series of back-to-back storms.

As for Rainbow Valley, I may have to take a detour someday and see if it lives up to it's name.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beep beep!

Palm Springs, CA -- I see roadrunners mostly in parking lots and on the edge of golf courses. This time I found this mid-sized desert dweller on a wall at the Acme Corporation building. I looked around for Mr. Wile E. Coyote but I think he finally gave up and retired in Arizona.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Who's Complaining?

Los Angeles, CA -- Let it pour!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Niece

Another winter day at Lake Arrowhead. My niece, Megan.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rialto's Nip Tuck

South Pasadena, CA -- Another Southern California, Route 66 icon receives gentle attention.

When I saw the crane extended and men in hard hats working along the blocked off sidewalk, I had to pull over and get the scoop on the 85-year old theater. I spoke with the workers and they said some of the plaster was falling off the building (part of the National Register of Historic Places), and they were shoring it up. No major face lift today, just and a little lawsuit prevention.

Sunset at Malibu

Malibu is one of those iconic, Hollywood beaches in California. Minutes from this location, hundreds of Hollywood films were shot on the shore at Leo Carrillo State Beach.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Clever Imposters

Mobile phone towers dressed up like palm trees is a fairly common sight around LA. We also have pine tree cell phone antenna towers.

What kind of cell phone trees do you have in your part of the world?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Faces of Los Angeles

The Fashion District, Los Angeles, CA -- They call this "Santee Alley." I enlarged the photo so that if you click on it, you will see all the interesting expressions of the people of downtown LA.

Although many of the neighboring streets are packed with vendors and shoppers, nothing compares to the crowds that cram the alleyways like Santee. Looking for bargains? They are definitely found here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Calico Ghost Town

A Fence, a boot, a piece of Old Glory (American flag), and you've got art.

Monday, January 11, 2010

More on the Historic Orange

"Bonita" saw me squatting down, taking photos of the giant orange. She asked if I wanted my picture taken but I told her I'd rather have her in the photo. She agreed and she will receive prints in a couple days.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

View of Urban Decay

Not far from the California/Nevada state line is a road that leads to an old ghost town. The commercialized silver mining town was fun and educational, but the true roadside entertainment is found along side the byways of the high deserts.

This is an abandoned garage with it's back wall blown out by what looks like buckshot and weather-induced erosion. There is no sign of a home, which leads one to think that the trailer was hauled away years ago.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday Morning Breakfast

Downtown Los Angeles, CA -- When my buddy, Dean and his family visit from Sacramento each year, we always patronize The Pantry in the heart of Downtown LA. I have featured the venerable restaurant a few times before, but somehow this LA icon always makes it back on my blog.

They claim to have never closed (even at night) since 1924 and are never without a customer. The Pantry serves more than 20,000 cups of coffee each week.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

High Fashion Pedestrians

Long Beach, CA -- The light turned red and I was in a hurry. I slammed on my brakes and and let out a few words under my breath.

I glanced to my left to see two smiling seniors standing, waiting for the signal to turn green. I reached back for my camera on the floor of the back seat, rolled down my window and prepared to steal a shot. Then I decided to practice what I preach and I yelled out to the jovial couple and asked if I could take their picture. Both of them smiled, raised their hands and thanked ME for thinking of them!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bono's Pride

Fontana, CA -- Joe Bono took me on a tour of his prized, roadside diner recently. "This building has been in our family since the 30s," he said while pointing to an old photo on the wall. Bono's Deli has not been in service for a couple years but Joe is working on reopening the historic landmark very soon. Inside, the walls are lined with Route 66 memorabilia.

His family once owned 200 acres of vineyards along Baseline. The vineyards are long gone but he is trying to preserve the nostalgia by collecting wine bottles and building a wine tasting room attached to the 100-year old diner.

"You know there are probably six Route 66 enthusiast clubs out there; I belong to six of them," chuckled Bono. Looking back at the pictures on the wall, he pointed to a framed photo of he and Sonny. You mean Sonny as in Cher? I asked. Joe looked over at me with a big smile and said, "My cousin."

The large orange, pictured above, was built in the mid 1930s and was used as advertising. It used to be two miles down Route 66 but was recently moved to where it is now. Another example of vernacular architecture, which was very popular in the 30s and 40s.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Wishin' Ya'll a Happy New Year!

Burbank, CA -- The end of another year, another decade and another round of photos on the Daily Photo LA blog. What a great experience it has been, and God willing, will continue.

I met so many new people here and look forward to meeting more folks and sharing my part of the world with all of you.

Happy New year!