Two hundred twenty four years ago today, November 18, 1787 to be precise, Louis Daguerre, the inventor of photography was born.
The Los Angeles Times describes him as "a painter, a physicist and a dreamer who wanted to somehow capture those images he saw in his camera obscura." Eventually he figured out a way to capture those images, although the process that he first invented involved noxious chemicals, super-long exposures and up to 8 hours in his chemical laboratory. Unfortunately, the images were not permanent and few examples of his original process have survived. Fortunately, he moved to Paris and met and partnered with Nicéphore Niépce. In about 1827 they developed a more permanent process, one very similar to the film process that we still use today, if we use film at all.
Today we record our memories on digitized electronic bits, but it all goes back to Louis and his crazy fantasy that we might be able to somehow make a permanent record of our dreams.
After over thirty years of filmwork the above image is one of the very last I made in roughly July of 2007 using a Daguerre/Niépce-like film process before switching entirely to digital.
Another Los Angeles gem hidden in plain sight, situated on an urban peninsula, Angelique offered French bistro-style food (not cuisine, mind you, but basic French countryside food - eggs benedict and Croque Monsieur were staples, while their onion soup was always superb). The service was usually excellent, but when it was bad, it was tres mal. (Come to think of it, that's actually something of the American perception of the French in any case.)
Architecturally, the place is unique, even in a city noted for its eclectic buildings. Visitors to downtown LA were always charmed by its style and location, and neighborhood regulars always had the elevated terrace to while away a Sunday afternoon in the gorgeous southern California sunshine with a boutille de vin ordinaire.
Alas, she has closed. Whether a victim of the recession or bad management is a mystery to all, and no one who knows is talking. In the meantime, the cafe is on the market and it's hoped by the former regulars that whatever the Angelique morphs into, they keep serving the onion soup. It was always tres magnifique.
Nikon D1 w/Nikon 18-55mm f3.5 AF-DX
Cliquez sur dessus l'image pour une plus grande version
Late afternoon shoppers stroll past the old Arcade Theater on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.
The Arcade was designed by architects Morgan & Walls in 1910 for Alexander Pantages as a vaudeville music & variety theater. Today the interior remains roughly intact, although the seats have been removed and the interior space is used for stock storage. Its former lobby now houses a discount electronics store.
The property is one of several historic theaters and other properties in the historic core owned by Joseph Hellen of Australia. Mr Hellen has proposed demolishing the building and constructing an upscale retail building. This particular proposal has been blocked by alarmed preservationists, although Mr Hellen is open to suggestions for what else to do with this unique property.
In the meantime, you can still get a pretty good deal on a digital alarm clock.