Topic: Historic Hollywood
Hollywood - Cahuenga Boulevard, the block south of Raymond Chandler Square - film noir lives on in its surrealistic way. As Chandler said, "It is not a fragrant world."
See also - "Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off."
"The pebbled glass door is lettered in flaked black paint: 'Phillip Marlowe … Investigations.' It is a reasonably shabby door at the end of a reasonably shabby corridor in the sort of building that was new about the year the all-tile bathroom became the basis of civilization. The door is locked, but next to it is another door with the same legend which is not locked. Come on in - there's nobody in here but me and a big bluebottle fly. But not if you're from Manhattan, Kansas. - The Little Sister
"It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window." - Farewell, My Lovely (Chapter 13)
"She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket." - Farewell, My Lovely (Chapter 18)
"From thirty feet away she looked like a lot of class. From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away." - The High Window (Chapter 5)
"I'm an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard." - The King in Yellow
"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Ana's that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge." - Red Wind (opening paragraph)
The Other Primary Colors
Topic: Color Studies
Three color studies - orange, green, yellow - noontime full light, Tuesday, September 12 - the first (Orange), Cosmo and Selma, central Hollywood; the second (green), just around the corner on Cahuenga; the third (yellow), Concept Art on Selma, at the corner of Wilcox (the intersection where Paris Hilton was arrested for DUI the previous Thursday night).
Topic: Geometric Shapes
Metal work - the shape of America in its glory days - a classic Cadillac fin, and the fender of the 1949 Buick Super Sport Convertible Eight - side by side on the lot at Frank Corrente Classic Cars on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Actually, it's Frank Corrente's Cadillac Corner at 7614 Sunset - as featured in a Sports Illustrated video ("Watch Swimsuit Model Yesica Toscanini in her photo shoot at Frank Corrente's Cadillac Corner!"). The fin is a 1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville with the original "Woodrose" exterior, and inside, the original rose "Coronado" cloth with rose metallic leather trim. Wow. But it's been sold, so you can't have it. The Buick is still available.
Six new photos of the Buick were added to the parent site, Just Above Sunset, Monday, September 11 - they rolled it out front and put the top down. That new page is here.
Up on the roof...
Around six-thirty in the evening, Sunday, September 10, 2006 - Sunset on Sunset - the Directors Guild of America building with the La Brea apartments in the flats below, the corner of Sunset and Laurel with the Laugh Factory and all, and looking the other way, the view out across Hollywood at Griffith Park Observatory - shot from the roof here -
Topic: Color Studies
Everyone thinks of Los Angeles as urban, particularly the triangle of Hollywood with its tacky glitz, Beverly Hills with its thirty-million-dollar mansions, and the endless wide streets lined with strip malls in the flats below. But at the north edge of it all are the Hollywood Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains. In the hills are deep, odd, secluded valleys. Turn north off Sunset Boulevard at Rexford, and go uphill only a few blocks. Turn left at Coldwater Canyon Park. Within a few hundred feet you'll be in Franklin Canyon, a thousand or more acres of wild scrub and live oak trees. It's totally silent. You're in the middle of Beverly Hills - not far from four major film studios, not far from the most expensive homes in the world piled on top of each other choking the hills, and not that far from Hollywood with all the tourists and souvenir shops just a few miles east. You're at Franklin Canyon Park, with its small lake, just sitting there quietly.
Heavenly Pond is a small duck pond located just west of the lake. That's what you see here. There's more information below the photographs.
Most of Franklin Canyon was owned by the Doheny family until 1977 - now it is part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The information on its current configuration and facilities is here. It was saved from development in the seventies. Activists convinced the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the National Park Service that it shouldn't be subdivided into homes for the very rich.
It was Los Angeles Department of Water and Power land, really. In 1914, William Mulholland, the man who developed the complex water systems for the DWP (see Chinatown), began construction of the reservoirs in Franklin Canyon to provide the main water service for downtown and West Los Angeles. The Upper Reservoir, the lake, was intended only to provide stability to the main facility and electric generating plant at the lower reservoir. By 1916, both reservoirs were in operation. After the 1971 Sylmar earthquake the strength of the reservoir system was questioned, and studies were done to asses the danger. They decided to take both the upper and lower reservoirs out of service and build a single, more modern and stable reservoir facility a quarter mile north of what was then the lower reservoir. The new rubber-covered facility is the Franklin 2 reservoir - in operational since 1982. It's ugly. The rest is now a park.
There's a good history here, although it concentrates on the more than thirty episodes of the 1962-1967 television show Combat! that were filmed here - no palm trees, so it looked like Europe in the forties, or close enough. You also may have seen the lake in into opening titles for the old Andy Griffin Show - Opie and Andy walking to the fishing hole. This stuff goes way back. In the 1930s the movie industry made arrangements with DWP to use the area for filming. It was an ideal site, close to the studios but far from any urban development, and completely off-limits to the public. Claudette Colbert's famous hitch-hiking scene in "It Happened One Night" was filmed here in 1935. The site is still being used, almost daily, by the film and television industry, although much of that is done far from the public areas. And a curiosity - the album covers for the Rolling Stones' album "Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass)" and Simon and Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence" were both shot here.
A few photos of the place were posted earlier here (July 13, 2003) and here (December 28, 2003).