Sunday, February 28, 2010

Refuge From The Storm

Sierra Madre, CA -- A reluctant vehicle takes shelter from the rain. The 24-hour storm total: 2-inches (5.1cm).

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Other Hollywood

West Hollywood, CA -- "Hollywood" conjures up all kinds of images. Tourists driving Hollywood Boulevard will most likely find more disappointment than stars, except for the embedded stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

However, a drive down Santa Monica Boulevard--parallel to Hollywood Boulevard--gives motorists an eye full of spectacles, exhibitionists and eccentric pedestrians to say the least. Posting photos of my drive along the boulevard would most likely offend readers, so I decided to display a representation of my reaction and expression to what I saw.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Book of Dreams

Back in the mid 1980s, I found this book at a thrift shop. Published in 1977, the 2nd edition coffee table book inspired me to point my VW Camper in the direction of anyplace wild, scenic and mostly under-explored. The back road trips include LA local deserts, the Coastal Mountain Corridor, the Central Valley, Sierra and the gold rush territory of Northern California.

Recently, I rediscovered this treasure and began thumbing through it's rustic, hand-written pages (very 70s). Inspiration struck again--I must hit the highway for another road trip! Photos to follow....

Back Roads of California by Earl Thollander
Publisher: Sunset Books, Incorporated
ISBN-13: 9780376050151

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Los Angeles, CA --Every major metropolitan city has a Chinatown, and every Chinatown has it's own style, feel, look and aromas. Like most immigrant towns throughout the USA, Los Angeles' has had other locations other than it's present. The original Chinatown was established in 1880 and was located where Union Station is now. The new Chinatown was founded in 1938, a few blocks from it's original location and still remains an interesting and somewhat romantic window into another culture.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Three Cups and a Ball

Los Angeles, CA -- Men crowd around a makeshift table used to play Three Cups and a Ball. One by one, men bet $20 that they could tell which cup the ball was under after being shifted a dozen times.

Friday, February 19, 2010

LA City Hall

Los Angeles, CA -- Two classic icons of LA.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Art of Chaos

Los Angeles, CA -- Outside the Museum of Contemporary Art is a glob of aircraft fuselages, wings and propellers. A harsh contrast to the symmetrical lines of the nearby buildings. Perhaps one could say one structure helps compliment (or appreciate) the other.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Desert Church

Barstow, CA -- A simple, cinder block building suffices for a house of worship in this weather-beaten, high-desert town. For some, the emphases is placed on God and each other rather than on architectural aesthetics.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

River Runs Through JPL

Pasadena, CA -- Arroyo Seco translates to "dry creek" in Spanish. Locals calls it "The Arroyo." It begins in the foothills above Pasadena and winds its way through Pasadena and into the Los Angeles River; eventually to the Pacific Ocean.

Pasadena received over seven inches of rain in the last few weeks; flooding homes, burying cars and filling reservoirs. This photo was taken nearly a week after the last major rain. A Pasadena Public Works employee said that the water reached 2-feet from overflow on Devil's Gate Dam and completely filled the Hahamogna Watershed Park area pictured above. NASA's famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is the small city in the background.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love on the water

Diamond Valley Lake, CA -- For some, bass fishing is the love of their life. Happy Valentines day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Union Station Platform

Los Angeles, CA -- Film Noir preserved the romance of the train station. Rainy days with busy people in rain coats, black umbrellas and soggy cigarettes, swarm the station as the steaming iron wheels of the locomotive begin to spin. Passengers and loved ones on the platform blew kisses to each other as the sleek locomotive rumbles down the track.

Union Station in LA used to be one of those places. Today, however, modern locomotives and light rail replaced the mighty steam engines. Although the platforms have changed as seen above, the interior of Union Station was preserved and still remains a very special place to visit.

Friday, February 12, 2010

For the photographer that has everything...

Sylmar, CA -- Vehicles today don't have hood ornaments like they used to. In the med-century, wealthy coach owners could buy, or would have custom ornaments made for their cars. Perhaps the original owner of this statuette--found at the Nethercutt Collection & Museum --wanted the world to know he/she was a photographer. I wonder who this person was?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sign of Sun and Neglect

Unlike downtown Los Angels, the California desert is a place of mystery and open spaces. Though many view it as an unbreakable stretch of useless dirt, rock and an occasional tumble weed, it is not. Our deserts are fragile and ecologically delicate. That's what makes this place so special. Leave any foreign object out here in the sun and it will surely fade into the landscape, much like this traffic sign. However, one element refuses to fade: the California desert sky.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hills Above Malibu on Skywatch Friday

Malibu, CA -- The diversity of Los Angeles never ceases to amaze me. This is the Serrano Canyon Trail at Pt. Mugu State Park. The beach, the sand and surfers were only an hour away.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Ghost of Sierra Madre

Although this is a mere snapshot of an overgrown bush on a power line, look long enough and the image begins to take on a creepy nature.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Brown Stones for Birds

The housing inventory seems to be a bit abundant for our feathered friends. Fancy row housing comes cheep in the foothills of Los Angeles. One simply has to put up with advertising--that's all....

Monday, February 1, 2010

LA Beaches

Malibu Beach, CA -- Although the surfer may consider this wave as "walled out," it still was a one-of-a-kind masterpiece in my book. No one could argue it's Beauty with the California sunset in the background. I love LA.