Days 31 & 32: The Valley, Downtown, Hollywood

I think I set my own new personal record in the past two days, taking more than 400 photos for the website. I took Saturday night off from Flickr/the blog to visit an aunt and her husband that I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. Then, I was too wiped out from insane amounts of city driving and getting stuff up at Flickr last night to put together anything coherent here. So, well rested!, let me get this thing done while the sun is making its way up high enough to not make orange-y photos.

The dogs have been making do with abandoned lots as there haven’t been any dog parks in the heart of the city and I haven’t wanted to sacrifice valuable shooting time trekking back and forth to Laurel Canyon. As soon as we finish L.A. County (today I hope!), I promise them some good long running.

I’ve got tons of blog-worthy photos — where to begin? How about some buildings? One of the things I research and seek out on my roadtrips is storybook homes. You know, the Hansel & Gretel-y buildings with curvy roofs and details meant to make them look old. There’s a great book about them here:

and there are tons of them in L.A. that I’m not going to get to on this trip. I’m resisting starting a new section at my website. I’ve got all the topics I can handle already. So I don’t really know what will become of these photos. Here are a couple from a neat little courtyard in/near Glendale:


Another thing I seek out to shoot are Egyptian Revival buildings. So far I’ve resisted creating a section at my website for them, too. Their photos are just sitting on my hard drive for now. Here’s an example of an apartment building in Hollywood:


Here’s another striking building from Hollywood. I know I have a little info in my notes somewhere but don’t have the time to dig it up right now. Maybe someone else can help me identify this house while I’m off shooting:


Here’s a beautiful old building — but what’s with the shrubs?


And here are a couple modern buildings. Actually, I’m not sure of the age on this one. It appears to be contemporary but it could be “tarted up” midcentury:


And this one is much more impressive in person. Yes, that’s no optical illusion — the painted sides of the buildings are really shaped that way.


Here are a couple more flowering trees that I can’t identify:


The flowers on this beauty have yellow centers:


I’ve seen this in a few cities on my trip: groups of novices on Segways. I remember seeing a group of senior citizens on them in — was it Tucson? How come you never seen experienced, fast-moving people on them? Actually, I did see a police force on them — was it in San Diego?


Gremlin finds L.A. endlessly fascinating. The rest of the gang waits for her to bark at the “important stuff” and then get up to check things out.


A pit stop in downtown L.A. — the place was actually called Famima which I found appropriate since I was famished. I believe they are a Japanese company expanding to the U.S. ( so they have lots of interesting Japanese items. I had to sample some of the ice creams. Sorry, in my haste to photo and get back to the van before getting a ticket, the upper right item is upside down.


The root beer was nothing special and I didn’t care too much for the eggy things. I had hoped they would have yellow yolks. But they were just vanilla ice cream in a kind of chewy coating. The other goodie was better: like vanilla ice cream in a waffle cone — only shaped differently:


I miss seeing these newsstands in Hollywood. In NYC, we just have the little street corner kiosks. But these are much more impressive — some of the ones in downtown Hollywood are what seems like a block long. Do they exist anywhere outside of L.A.?


This cute guy, in Glendale I think, was on the roof of an Italian restaurant:


I wash shooting an old Mobil gas station (the super rare drum type) and the owner had a lot of these vehicles around. He serenaded me with some kind of crazy political, religious, incoherent song as I took my photos:


I went to shoot another old gas station and a wall made of bottles (which I never did find) in/near Echo Park. There were scary, I mean SCARY, steep hills that had me peeing my pants. I’m glad Sparkle had her brakes done recently. I recommend avoiding Baxter Street at all costs. It might not look so bad in this photo (sorry about the buggy windshield) but really, it was really a white-knuckler.


Lots of incredible painted wall murals in L.A. — here are a couple examples:


OK, so these guys are not “high art” but I still liked them:


Time for some signs — far from original condition:


I’m not sure how old this cute guy in L.A. is. He’s at a comic book store:


And lastly, this impressive sign in the making. I thought they only used vinyl computer-generated signs on big buildings like this now. But from the scaffolding and paint-by-numbers style markings on the wall, it appears they are painting the whole thing:

2 thoughts on “Days 31 & 32: The Valley, Downtown, Hollywood

  1. We still have a few months here until the cherries & magnolias. Boy, how I miss them! No idea what “Bright Horizons Health Services” used to be. The address is 10511 South Western Avenue (Los Angeles) if anybody feels like investigating.

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