Bastille Day, Los Angeles
Topic: Unusual Events
Bastille Day, Los Angeles
We all know that Philippe Larrieu, Counsel General of France in Los Angeles, and city councilman Tom LaBonge (his real name, actually), mean well, but this year's Bastille Day Los Angeles, down on the grounds of the Page Museum and next to the La Brea Tar Pits, was a bust. It wasn't so much that it was one hundred degrees in the shade - and there wasn't much of that - or that the nearby tar pits made the whole place smell like hot asphalt. It just wasn't very French.
Our Paris-born friend of many long years said something was missing. She was right. The booths were mostly local American outfits, offering "French-like" doodads, or just the usual junk. Oh there were a few Tahiti tourist tables, TV5 that provides French language broadcasting out here, some Moroccan food stands, and the local pétanque folks with a small area for boules (probably not sanctioned the Fédération Française de Pétanque et Jeu Provençal). There was the same old black thirties Citroën from last year parked on the lawn. But the stage was local rappers and South Seas acts, all in English. They seemed to be having trouble getting anyone to run in the hokey waiters' race. Paris, the center and soul of France, was a long, long way off on Sunday afternoon, July 16, 2006.
But what was missing? Flags. There was not one French flag anywhere, not even the small ones. Nothing, nada, rien.
We left early. What was the point in staying?
Five shots will give you a sense of the event -
Hollywood in One Shot
Topic: Insider Stuff
All of Hollywood summed up in one shot - an alley on Wilcox, behind the Hollywood Studio Building, an old Spanish Revival thing (1927) on the boulevard, Saturday morning, July 15. The details say it all.
Bastille Day fireworks in Paris, 2006
Topic: Guest Photography
Ric's notes from Friday, July 14, 2006, received at seven in the evening in Hollywood, but just before dawn the next day in Paris - It's that day…
Our Man in Paris, Ric Erickson, editor of MetropoleParis
, was at the Bastille Day fireworks in Paris, with his camera. He sends nine photos, with notes. The full write-up and the shots in higher resolution will be in the new issue of Just Above Sunset
this Sunday, the very day Los Angeles celebrates Bastille Day with a big celebration down on Wilshire at the Page Museum and La Brea Tar Pits (the French counsel in Los Angeles has a sense of humor).
It seemed as if there were more folks out to see the free show this year. Arriving about forty-five minutes early, the entire place in front of the Ecole Militaire was already full. That meant that there were another 350,000 beyond that structure you see in the photos. Here are "before" photos and the event, and two afters" - new, the little blue lights in some photos, low down, are the blue windows of folks' phones. Looks like blue candles, like we were at a mass.
As usual everybody tried to leave at the same time. For the second time I walked home. Riding the métro to get there was enough. Music was old Mozart this year. Dunno what it was. Really, I would really prefer somebody like Slim Harpo.
And here they are -
Photos (and text) Copyright © 2006 - Ric Erickson, MetropoleParis
Another Day in Paradise
Topic: Light and Shadow
Another Day in Paradise
These are sort of standard shots for the files - the sort of "commercial" photography that's suitable for brochures and the like. Perhaps that is a kind of iconography. You get what you expect and are reassured - Hollywood is palm trees and glass buildings where executives plan how the market the next fluff movie for the exact teenage demographic. Well, grown men do that out here, and drive home to Beverly Hills in their Bentleys and Porsches. It makes them rich. It's very odd.
This is Sunset Boulevard at Stanley Avenue.
But it's not exactly paradise. Everyone is hiding inside in the air-conditioned darkness. Hollywood has become unbearable.
The predicted high temperatures, July 14-16 - Friday through Sunday -
Downtown Los Angeles: 91, 95, 91
Pasadena: 100, 103, 100
Burbank: 97, 102, 98
Hollywood is hotter than downtown, but not as hot as Burbank. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued an "extreme heat advisory" Thursday in light of high temperatures expected to continue through this weekend. It's like this -
The heat is expected to peak across the region on Saturday. High temperatures should rise above 100 degrees in most locations in the valleys and across lower elevations in the mountains. Temperatures in the Antelope Valley and in the hottest locations of the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys will likely rise to between 105 and 110 degrees.
Relative humidities are expected to begin to rise on Saturday which could push heat index values to excessive heat warning levels across portions of southwestern California. Subtropical moisture is forecast to increase across Southern California by Sunday. That could spread some mid and high levels cloudiness into the region which would help bring temperatures down a bit.
There is a slight chance of thunderstorms across the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties and in the Antelope Valley each afternoon and evening through Saturday... but such activity is expected to be rather isolated in nature. The increase in subtropical moisture across the area late in the weekend into next week will bring a greater threat of showers and thunderstorms Sunday afternoon into the middle of next week.
Charming. From the window here in Hollywood, would-be starlets at the pool -
The palm tree is better as a negative. It's more unreal, and closer to the truth, or something.