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.

Contact the Editor


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


Monday, 3 April 2006
Movie References: Life in Southern California
Topic: The Movies

Movie References: Life in Southern California

Superman replica on display, Beverly Hills, California (photo December 2005)
In a window just off Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills this full-size replica seems to be for sale. See this - "Superman leaps tall buildings in a single bound, flies faster than a speeding bullet and, this summer, will land in audience laps in a 3-D version of 'Superman Returns,' set for Imax movie theaters. Imax and Warner Bros. film studio said they plan to feature 20 minutes of the big-budget Hollywood movie in three dimensions when it hits theaters in late June, marking the first live-action, 3-D movie on giant Imax screens."

Superman Returns is scheduled for 30 June, with Brandon Routh as the dude - "After the battle with General Zod and his gang of Kryptonian super-villains, Superman (Brandan Routh) mysteriously disappears for six years. After searching for more possible survivors from Krypton and finding none, Superman returns to Metropolis to re-assume the identity of Clark Kent. Once he returns, he discovers that Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) is in a relationship and also has a son. Superman also discovers that Metropolis has learned to live without him, causing him to lose his motivation to fight and protect. To make matters worse, Superman's old nemesis Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) has devised a plan to defeat the Man of Steel, for good. Superman must put his troubles behind him in order to protect his lost love, and the city who lost faith in him."

Whatever.

He's for sale, under glass, in Beverly Hills. Why wait for the movie?

Superman replica on display, Beverly Hills, California (photo December 2005)




































This weekend at a birthday party down in Orange County, for a young lad turning seven, the movie Village of the Damned came to mind.

Kids at Southern California birthday party


Posted by Alan at 6:53 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006 6:56 PM PDT
Sunday, 2 April 2006
Film Notes
Topic: Insider Stuff

Film Notes

The Director's Guide of America, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood

Will be out of town this date. But here, a block down the street, next week there's a week of French films, the ten annual City of Lights, City of Angels Film Festival - eighteen premieres of French feature films (and eighteen shorts). The program is here - and here we see Film Noir Night is Friday the April 7. The thing is sponsored by our Channel 5, KTLA, and TV5 Monde, the French cable channel, and Air France and Los Angeles Magazine.

Maybe it's time, after missing it a few years, to walk down the street and see what's up.

Photos here, documenting Hollywood, will resume tomorrow.



























By the way, this is your photographer, with his tripod, looking out over Hollywood, from Mount Lee, a few feet below the Hollywood Sign.

The view from Mount Lee, Hollywood, at the Hollywood Sign


Posted by Alan at 9:00 AM PST | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Sunday, 2 April 2006 9:03 AM PST
Saturday, 1 April 2006
Zigzag Time
Topic: Historic Hollywood

Zigzag Time

Smith House, 1929-30, J.C. Smale, 191 South Hudson Avenue, Los Angeles - Zigzag ModerneSometimes driving around Los Angeles one is suddenly reminded of the old Astaire-Rogers "white telephone" musicals, with their French farce plots and Manhattan-skyline sparkle, as James Wolcott once described them. That might happen if you drive past this.

Smith House
1929-30 J.C. Smale
191 South Hudson Avenue
Los Angeles

"One of the few Zigzag Moderne houses in the area in the Los Angeles area and probably one of the greatest. It is very elegant in an extremely elegant neighborhood. Paris would be proud of it." - David Gebhard and Robert Winter, A Guide to Architecture in Los Angeles and Southern California, 1977, Peregrine-Smith

Paris? Maybe. Fred Aistaire could have danced here, but there's no record of that. But it feels right.

Zigzag Moderne - "Zigzag Moderne developed from the classical-inspired designs of Bertram B Goodhue, the vertical Gothic schemes of Eliel Saarinen, the forms of the Paris Exposition des Arts Decoratif of 1925, and the early twenties designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. It was also influenced by the developing International style. The principal characteristics of Zigzag Moderne are: smooth surfaced volumes; windows arranged in sunken vertical panels; frequent use of central tower, whose summit recedes in a stepped pattern; a flat roof; symmetry and balance for each elevation; tendency for buildings to be monumental, formal and heavy; ornamentation of zigzags, chevrons, sunbursts, spirals and stylized plant and animal motifs."

It's very strange.

Photos, Saturday, April 1, 2006.

Smith House, 1929-30, J.C. Smale, 191 South Hudson Avenue, Los Angeles - Zigzag Moderne
























Smith House, 1929-30, J.C. Smale, 191 South Hudson Avenue, Los Angeles - Zigzag Moderne







































Smith House, 1929-30, J.C. Smale, 191 South Hudson Avenue, Los Angeles - Zigzag Moderne





































Smith House, 1929-30, J.C. Smale, 191 South Hudson Avenue, Los Angeles - Zigzag Moderne

































Smith House, 1929-30, J.C. Smale, 191 South Hudson Avenue, Los Angeles - Zigzag Moderne


Posted by Alan at 4:12 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Saturday, 1 April 2006 4:24 PM PST
Friday, 31 March 2006
Gaudy Beverly Hills
Topic: Technical Exercises

Gaudy Beverly Hills

These are botanical studies, and exercises in getting the color right, and working "close in" with various depth-of-field decisions.

These are from Thursday the 28th, the only sunny day this week. (It's the rainy season in Los Angeles, as February and March are pretty much it out here.)

The location is Beverly Gardens Park, created in 1911 - a narrow, two-mile-long strip of lawns and a few flowerbeds. It runs for fourteen blocks along the northwest side of Santa Monica Boulevard, the complete length of the city of Beverly Hills. It does have a rose garden, and a few stone park benches, a lily pond, fountains, tall trees, a cactus garden, and a gravel path for joggers. The Beverly Hills Police Station is across the street from the small rose garden at Maple Drive. The whole place is more foliage and shade than much in bloom. But there are these.

Blooms in the rose garden, Beverly Gardens Park, Santa Monica Boulevard at Maple Drive, Beverly Hills, California
































Bloom in the rose garden, Beverly Gardens Park, Santa Monica Boulevard at Maple Drive, Beverly Hills, California



























Bloom in the rose garden, Beverly Gardens Park, Santa Monica Boulevard at Maple Drive, Beverly Hills, California


Posted by Alan at 5:34 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006 5:36 PM PST
Thursday, 30 March 2006
Hollywood Storefronts
Topic: Historic Hollywood

Hollywood Storefronts

Signs and symbols at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and CherokeeThe date, Thursday, March 30, 2006.

The time, ten in the morning.

The location, the six thousand block of Hollywood Boulevard, where this woman is chatting on her cell phone - and of course no one turns right in Hollywood, where all the liberals are. In the far background you can just make out The Montecito (1930, Marcus Miller) up on Franklin, where at one time or another James Cagney, Mickey Rooney, Geraldine Page, Rip Torn, George C. Scott and Ronald Reagan once lived, but now it's a retirement home.

The boulevard is still waking up. The security doors are stenciled with the images of dead celebrities.















Betty Grable? Who remembers her? And what's this about Dickies?

Betty Grable on Hollywood Boulevard security door
























Betty Grable and Scientology, together at last? Who'd have guessed? Take the stress test, as Betty may have raised your blood pressure. And maybe Tom Cruise will drop by.

Betty Grable on Hollywood Boulevard security door, with the Scientology office next door



















The late, flamboyant and seriously strange pianist from Milwaukee presides over his potted plant. Egyptian gifts? What?

Liberace on Hollywood Boulevard security door of a store selling Egyptian Gifts
































The "Hollywood Madam," Heidi Fleiss, is gone from the scene - after her three years in federal prison she now lives in Nevada, running her reverse brothel, for women, and hawking trashy lingerie on the internet. She gets her door. Why not?

Heidi Fleiss promo on Hollywood Boulevard security door























But let's get serious. Sunset Boulevard runs parallel to Hollywood Boulevard, and down there, on the same block, we get this, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights and its "Psychiatry: Industry of Death" museum. It's more likely you'll find Tom Cruise here. These are Scientology outfits, and "human rights" is not used here in its usual political sense. Don't take pills to make you feel better. Whatever.

But it looks impressive, and makes for a pleasant visual composition.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights and Psychiatry: Industry of Death museum, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood




Posted by Alan at 5:20 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Thursday, 30 March 2006 5:33 PM PST

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