Once upon a time, this liquor store in East LA was a fine example of the optimistic 50's idea of modern architecture. The wrap-around window treatment, originally designed to allow the brilliant Southern California light to flood the store, became a weak point for the store's survival in a rather harsh cultural climate.
These days, it's become rather buttoned down, almost jail-like. The open doors suggest the entrance to a questionable labyrinth, rather than an invitation to 'come on in' and pick up some party supplies.
The day that Americans planted a flag on the moon was also the day I first set foot in Paris. After a long bus ride in from Lichtenstein, I emerged from up out of the Paris Metro and the first thing I spotted was a newspaper kiosk with Le Figaro's amazing heading in 128pt Bold announcing "L'Homme sur la Lune!" How apropos, I mused.
Since then Paris has always held a special place in my heart and I was very pleased to recently come across a very French photographer's blog, Street Photography in Paris. For those who have been to Paris, many of the images will be instant nostalgia, and Yanidel covers all of Paris' neighborhoods, from the banks of the Seine to the alleys of Montmartre.
Although Yanidel's photographs are rendered in post-modernist desaturated color, he's obviously inspired by the noted French street photographer Robert Doisneau. And like the peripatetic Parisian photographer Atget, his coverage of Paris is almost encyclopedic. More to the point, his daily postings are a reprieve from the banal bombardment of the usual.
This is Broadway, just above 4th Street. The renovation of the Broadway corridor continues, slow and steady apace. This spot has been like this for at least two years and may one day host a shop or two (I have no idea what or which. The signs give no clue).
The central core of Los Angeles is undergoing gentrification at a mad pace, although the recession has slowed it down somewhat. Still, the owners of this loft building on Main just south of 6th have apparently found some cash and are hard at it. For our bicyclist, his day is apparently done.
I've recently been working with the local Los Angeles artist Robert Vargas. Vargas does mixed-media portraits as well as fine art. Here he's seen at the Downtown Comedy Club in LA, as part of the monthly Art Walk, doing on-the-spot portraits in front of a sometimes distracted audience.