Topic: Technical Exercises
A technical exercise - shooting through glass to get both what's there and what's reflected from the street - Hollywood Wigs, 6311 Hollywood Boulevard, on the north side, between Ivar and Vine - Tuesday, September 19, 2:00 pm, full sun -
An appropriate place for the woman to wear the wig - The Frolic Room, 6245 Hollywood Boulevard, next to the Pantages - look for Hedy Lamarr's star out front in the sidewalk -
Bob's Frolic Room was featured in the movie LA Confidential - Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) has a drink here, thinking about what to do next. It's just a dive neon bar from the thirties.
Hollywood - Television
Topic: Insider Stuff
It will only mean more tourists in their dinky rental cars - only Avis buys the base Chevrolet Cobalt, no "civilians" do. But this replacement for the hapless Chevrolet Cavalier will soon fill the main drag here - the Sunset Strip - with dad driving too slow, mom carefully reading the map (this really isn't Iowa), and the kids poking their heads out the rear windows, looking and looking and looking. Those of us who are locals need to be extra careful. These folks are dangerous. It's the sudden dead stop in the middle of everything, or the u-turn that brings all lanes, both ways, to a halt.
The problem is that the fall television season started Monday, September 18, with the highly anticipated Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip from NBC. The link is to the Tom Shales review in the Washington Post - but what matters out here is that there is just no such place on the Sunset Strip, just the Tiffany Theater at the Actors Studio, with real plays and live actors. It has nothing to do with television. And there's no "Studio 60" anywhere. Oh well. Someone is going to be disappointed.
By the way, Shales is not impressed with this new show. From the folks who gave us The West Wing (Aaron Sorkin and crew), we get a series about backstage life at a sketch-comedy show much like NBC's own "Saturday Night Live." Whatever. You can read the review.
To the right is a real television studio, Jay Silverman Productions, 1541 North Cahuenga Boulevard - in the block between Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards - three big state-of-the-art stages and an exterior "sky wall" if you need one. In spite of this visual filigree, it's the real thing.
Television trivia - about a block east, the side door of Improv Olympic, 6366 Hollywood Boulevard, the west coast branch of the Chicago outfit. Some of the non-fictional "Saturday Nigh Live" folks started here - Rachael Dratch, Tina Fey, Adam McKay, and Horatio Sanz. Conan O'Brien stared here, for what that worth. The tourists never seem to find this place. It's not exactly mainstream. It's pre-mainstream.
Topic: Botanical Studies
Missed a day - but there's a whole lot of fresh high-resolution photography in the new issue of Just Above Sunset, the weekly magazine-format parent to this site. That went online today - Volume 4, Number 38 for the week of September 17, 2006.
The photography pages -
- The Other Primary Colors
- Hollywood Noir
- The Beach
- Signs and Symbols
- American Glory - the BIG Cadillac
- Botanicals - September Blooms
- Botanical Humor
- Pairs Photos - Our Man in Paris: Paris Wants You
- Guest Photography - Teaser - Vintage Cars at Watkins Glen
One of the botanicals -
The Beach Today
Topic: West of Hollywood
California can be rather nice. The Santa Monica beach, Friday, September 15 - late morning - looking down from Palisades Park on Ocean Avenue, across Pacific Coast Highway, to the sand and beyond - using the telephoto lens. This is an exercise in composition and framing.
Signs and Symbols
Topic: Light and Shadow
These two shots seem to be suffused with symbolism, but it's hard to figure out what is it. The man working is covering all that peace stuff with cheery blue skies, on Thursday, September 14, a dreary and dark afternoon in Los Angeles. The location is Sunset Boulevard at Formosa. It must mean something. It probably doesn't.
The location is famous, sort of. Out here we have an odd sense of what makes for historical significance. This will have to do. The spectator is watching the billboard work.
Directly across the street, the ineffable sadness of Los Angeles - a palm tree that makes you want to shoot yourself for ending up out here, at the end of the world.