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 -


Wednesday, 12 July 2006
Wings
Topic: Botanical Studies

Wings

Just two more botanical studies - late light (six in the evening), Stanley Avenue at Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, Tuesday, July 11, 2006 -

Bloom in the late light (six in the evening), Stanley Avenue at Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, Tuesday, July 11, 2006



Bloom in the late light (six in the evening), Stanley Avenue at Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, Tuesday, July 11, 2006



Posted by Alan at 7:13 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Tuesday, 11 July 2006
Abstracts: Another World

Abstracts: Another World

Door of Dar Maghreb, Moroccan restaurant on Sunset Boulevard at Stanley Avenue, HollywoodGolden Door with Manhole Cover - Dar Maghreb, the high-end Moroccan restaurant on Sunset Boulevard at Stanley Avenue, on the east end of Guitar Row, across the street from Kinko's and All-American Burger. It's a bit out of place - behind it are blocks and blocks shady streets of Craftsman bungalows. This isn't exactly Casablanca, or Marrakech or Rabat. It's a moderately gritty part of Hollywood - one of the scruffy areas of Sunset, between the Strip and Hollywood proper. But this is the land of fakery. It will do. It is very classy, just in the wrong place.

Frommer's says this (among other things) -
Enter an exotic Arab world of genie waitresses who wash your hands with warm water and belly dancers who shimmy around an exquisite fountain in the center of a patio. You'll feel like a guest in an ornately tiled palace as you dine at traditional tables on either low sofas or goatskin cushions.

Nothing is available a la carte here. The fixed-price meal is a multi-course feast, starting with bread and traditional Moroccan salads, followed by b'stilla, an appetizer of shredded chicken, eggs, almonds, and spices wrapped in a flaky pastry shell and topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon. The main courses - your choice of lamb, quail, chicken, and more - are each sublimely seasoned and delectable. Perhaps it's the atmosphere that makes everyone eat more than they expected, but you'll be thankful that dessert is a simple fruit-and-nut basket, accompanied by warm mint tea poured into traditional glasses. All is eaten with your hands - a sensual experience that grows on you as the night progresses. Tip: If you have high-speed Internet access, be sure to check out the restaurant's most entertaining belly dancer/waitress video.
So click on the top link if you're interested in the dancers. Here is just an exercise in framing, patterns, and light and shadow. The door is on Stanley Avenue, facing west, as seen on Tuesday, July 11, 2006, at six in the evening.



Door of Dar Maghreb, Moroccan restaurant on Sunset Boulevard at Stanley Avenue, Hollywood



Above the door -

Roof detail, Dar Maghreb, Moroccan restaurant on Sunset Boulevard at Stanley Avenue, Hollywood



Context -

Dar Maghreb, Moroccan restaurant on Sunset Boulevard at Stanley Avenue, Hollywood




All-American Burger on Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood


Posted by Alan at 7:48 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006 7:51 PM PDT
Monday, 10 July 2006
Scary Stuff
Topic: Oddities

Scary Stuff

De L'Esprie - The Path of Life - Culver City Senior Center, Culver City, CaliforniaThe De L'Esprie "Path of Life" - commissioned for the Culver City Senior Center, July 2001, installed March 2003 - on Overland Avenue, across from the Sony Studios (formerly MGM). Inscription at the base - "Wisdom, maturity, joy, passion, and the exuberance for life that takes place every day within the walls of this fine structure are captured here forever in this bronze."

If only it weren't so frightening, and manic. Maybe it's the hyper-realism. Maybe it's the unrelenting cheerfulness, mixed with nothing else at all - no second thoughts, no sense of "mind" or anything like that. Maybe it's the "born again" business (see below), where the negative, or even the neutral, is something you just never acknowledge. Utter joy can be just as frightening as determined and pure malevolence. It's the purity, perhaps.

From the sculptor's website -
... Petite, brunette, and beautiful, De L' Esprie is an energetic, serious professional, one of the few living artists to be recognized and honored by the Laguna "Pageant of the Masters," who performed some of her various sculptures. In order to fully appreciate this amazing artist and her work, one has to experience them, be in their presence as it were, if only for a few moments.

Born in Montreal in the Province of Quebec, Canada, De L'Esprie comes by her talent naturally. Her mother is a painter, and her sister, a miniaturist (a sculptor, but in miniature form.) She grew up just outside the city of Montreal next to a Mohawk Indian Reservation.

... De L'Esprie attended California State University, Northridge and completed her degrees at Loyola University in Montreal. She first studied counseling and then business before turning to sculpture. Believing she could not make ends meet with art alone, De L'Esprie thought her business and counseling degrees would open doors to more lucrative employment. But then she realized her artwork was paying her way through university and could sustain her afterwards. After obtaining her degrees, she attended Brandis Art Institute taking both private and group classes over the course of four years.

... During this time of artistic exploration, De L'Esprie discovered truths about herself that changed her life forever. "I've always had a lot of nervous energy,"she explained. "I never felt like I belonged anywhere, always felt lonely, like there was something missing in my life. I spent most of my time chasing rainbows that didn't exist thinking they would fill that gap. Then I was introduced to a Messianic Jew, a woman who was born Jewish, but believes Jesus is the promised Messiah. She invited me to join her local Bible Study. When I read the Bible before, it never made any sense, but this time, God's word became alive in my heart. Between reading on my own and listening to the Bible Study teaching each week, I realized why my life had felt so empty. I needed Jesus Christ to bridge the gap between God and me so I could have peace within and peace with God as well.

"One day after class, I went to the mountains, climbed a hill, and spent the next two and a half hours praying to God. I confessed I was a sinner and owned up to every wrong thing I had ever done and believe me, there was a lot! Then I asked God to forgive and cleanse me from my sins, and that I wanted Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I haven't been the same since that day. All the feelings of loneliness, not fitting in, not having any purpose in life disappeared. I belong to Almighty God now, and He loves me as a precious daughter. My purpose in life is to give Him glory in all I say, do, and create. My days of chasing vain illusions are over. Now the only rainbows I seek are those in the sky after a rain shower."
The work is unsettling. The elderly who pass by it as they enter the senior center avert their eyes.

This woman's work is all over Southern California. Welcome to our nightmare.

De L'Esprie - The Path of Life - Culver City Senior Center, Culver City, California



De L'Esprie - The Path of Life - Culver City Senior Center, Culver City, California



De L'Esprie - The Path of Life - Culver City Senior Center, Culver City, California



De L'Esprie - The Path of Life - Culver City Senior Center, Culver City, California




Posted by Alan at 6:52 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006 6:56 PM PDT
Sunday, 9 July 2006
White
Topic: Botanical Studies

White

The heat wave in Los Angeles continues. Water heavily. It keeps things from being burnt in the brutal sun and heat. There's been a lot of damage. These are okay so far.

Rose, gardens of Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills



Daylily, gardens of Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills



Posted by Alan at 7:02 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Saturday, 8 July 2006
Beating the Heat
Topic: Light and Shadow

Beating the Heat

The high downtown in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, July 8, 2006, was ninety-six in the shade, and in Hollywood, about one hundred, maybe a bit more. It was well over one hundred over the hill in the valley - Burbank and places like that.

There's the advisory -
A very warm air mass will continue to bring hot temperatures to inland portions of southwest California on Sunday. Triple digit heat can be expected across portions of the interior valleys, mountains and Antelope Valley on Sunday. High temperatures are expected to range between 95 and 106 degrees across most valley and lower mountain slopes of Los Angeles and Ventura counties while the Antelope Valley is expected to range between 100 and 107 degrees. Inland portions of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties will experience another warm day on Sunday. Temperature forecasts of near 90 degrees at San Luis Obispo and 103 degrees at Paso Robles are anticipated; however, coastal areas will be cooler than on Saturday.

If you plan to be outside where temperatures will be in the 90s or higher please take precautions to protect yourself from the heat. Reduce outdoor activities if possible, at least from late morning through early evening. Wear loose fitting light weight clothing and drink plenty of water. Take advantage of shade and air conditioning if available.

Children and the elderly are most susceptible to heat stroke. Never leave a person or pet in an enclosed vehicle even for the shortest amount of time. Temperatures quickly rise to life-threatening levels, even if the windows are partially opened.
What to do? Find a cool pool.

The reflecting pool at Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills, Saturday, July 8, 2006



The reflecting pool at Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills, Saturday, July 8, 2006



The reflecting pool at Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills, Saturday, July 8, 2006



The reflecting pool at Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills, Saturday, July 8, 2006, mid-morning...


Posted by Alan at 3:20 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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