Southern California Photography by Alan Pavlik, editor and publisher of Just Above Sunset
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Photos and text, unless otherwise noted, Copyright 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik

If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.

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Visitors from February 28, 2006, 10:00 am Pacific Time to date -


Friday, 7 July 2006
Beautiful Fluff
Topic: Oddities

Beautiful Fluff

Automobiles and American culture, and Hollywood… Elsewhere there are a few shots of a 1992 Vector W8 twinturbo sitting in front of the French sidewalk bistro at Sunset Plaza (here), showing something about conspicuous consumption and Hollywood and whatnot. And that was a back-at-you to Ric Erickson, editor of MetropoleParis, who at his site usually carries his "Fiat 500 of the Week" photo. Life here. Life there.

Ric reacted, with a challenge -
Thanks for the 'back at you.' I dialed up the blog to see a Hollywood version of the Fiat 500, and saw this plywood shitbox instead. Hey! It was supposed to be an absolutely mint, stock, 1950 Ford convertible! Get out there on the street and shoot it now!

But really - I think your Fiat 500 is probably the California cars of the '50s, from '52 to '58. The wrap-arounds, the fins, the three-tones. They symbolized the United States, the winner of WWII - what the Soviets weren't, couldn't. All that beautiful fluff.

A tip of the old chapeau to America. You had it all.
Maybe we did. Friday, July 7, at six in the evening, on Sunset Boulevard at the edge of Guitar Row, a classic - a mint 1954 Cadillac convertible - beautiful fluff. And it's for sale.

1954 Cadillac for sale on Sunset Boulevard



1954 Cadillac for sale on Sunset Boulevard



1954 Cadillac for sale on Sunset Boulevard




1954 Cadillac for sale on Sunset Boulevard


Posted by Alan at 6:41 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Thursday, 6 July 2006
A Simple Wall
Topic: Light and Shadow

A Simple Wall

Sunset Plaza on the Sunset Strip at Sunset - July 3rd - long light on a French-looking façade - across the street from Mel's Drive-In -

Walls - Sunset Plaza on the Sunset Strip at Sunset



See L'Étranger in a Strange Land
Michel Houellebecq's Weekend in L.A.
Brendan Bernhard, LA Weekly, issue of June 23, 2005

Bernhard interviews the notorious French writer Houellebecq, on Houellebecq's first visit to Los Angeles, while the author is "smoking a cigarette at a sidewalk table at Mel's Diner on Sunset Boulevard." We learn he's trying the Santa Fe Chicken Salad, but gives up on it and opts instead for a quadruple espresso. How French. Mel's is a faux "American Graffiti" kind of tourist trap, with bad food and no carhops at all (they have valet parking, of course). This is what he saw across the street. Was he homesick?


Posted by Alan at 7:44 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Wednesday, 5 July 2006
All-American Parade
Topic: Unusual Events

All-American Parade

Some shots from the 2006 Fourth of July parade in Rancho Bernardo, about twenty miles north of San Diego, inland. It was cool. All seventy-four photos will be posted in an album soon. That's geek work. It's in process. (The shots that are political in nature are here, with commentary.)

The 2006 Fourth of July parade in Rancho Bernardo



The 2006 Fourth of July parade in Rancho Bernardo


The 2006 Fourth of July parade in Rancho Bernardo



The 2006 Fourth of July parade in Rancho Bernardo



The 2006 Fourth of July parade in Rancho Bernardo



The 2006 Fourth of July parade in Rancho Bernardo



The 2006 Fourth of July parade in Rancho Bernardo





Posted by Alan at 10:38 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Tuesday, 4 July 2006
The Fourth of July
Topic: Light and Shadow

The Fourth of July

Out for the day. Family picnic. A long drive south.

"In the United States there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is. That is what makes America what it is." - Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), The Geographical History of America (1936)

American flag as seen from the Page Museum Atrium at La Brea Tar Pits, Wilshire Boulevard, July 5, 2005


Posted by Alan at 7:52 AM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Monday, 3 July 2006
Conspicuous Consumption
Topic: Oddities

Conspicuous Consumption

Ric Erickson, editor of MetropoleParis, has his automotive shots - the "Fiat 500 of the Week" on the streets of Paris. Things are different out here. Sitting in front of the French sidewalk bistro at Sunset Plaza, a 1992 Vector W8 twinturbo - six hundred twenty-five horsepower, with its Kevlar, carbon-fiber, and fiberglass body - a local product, built down in Wilmington, at the harbor. Hollywood note - a red W8 made a rare appearance in the 1993 movie Rising Sun - Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes and the Japanese and all that. The Vector is a bit over the top - the car's first customer was Andre Agassi. Vector intended to follow the W8 with the Vector WX-3 and Vector WX-3R, but series production never got off the ground. Production of the W8 ended in 1993, when the company was purchased by Megatech, and pretty much disappeared. No more Vectors. More on the car here and the company here. Amusing.

1992 Vector W8 twinturbo on Sunset Boulevard



1992 Vector W8 twinturbo on Sunset Boulevard



A stretch limo pulls in front -

1992 Vector W8 twinturbo on Sunset Boulevard



Across the street, a bit of a contrast -

Not a 1992 Vector W8 twinturbo on Sunset Boulevard



Posted by Alan at 8:13 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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