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, 27 December 2006
Leering Icons
Topic: Insider Stuff

Leering Icons

On Hollywood Boulevard, between Christmas and New Years, the characters are acting up. This fellow from Sesame Street just isn't paying attention to the right thing.

Character on Hollywood Boulevard eyeing pretty girl




















The Imperial Storm Trooper and Darth Vadar like the lovely young thing. And she enjoys the attention.

Imperial Storm Trooper and Darth Vadar on Hollywood Boulevard



















Imperial Storm Trooper on Hollywood Boulevard hitting on pretty girl
















Imperial Storm Trooper and Darth Vadar on Hollywood Boulevard hitting on pretty girl

Posted by Alan at 3:47 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink

Monday, 11 December 2006
Hollywood Christmas Images
Topic: Insider Stuff

Hollywood Christmas Images

So it's almost Christmas. You want Frank Kapra and E. B. White's cute naïf of a pig and peace and love and all that? It's at Hollywood and Highland - what passes for Times Square out here. "It's a Wonderful Life" - or so they say. Christmas is bit commercial out here, as it is everywhere. We just do it up, Hollywood Style.

Christmas advertising displays at Hollywood and Highland




















How about the scientologist Santa at the L. Ron Hubbard Center? Imagine Tom Cruise sitting on his lap. What would Tom ask Santa to bring him?

Scientologist Santa at the L. Ron Hubbard Center, Hollywood Boulevard




















Maybe Santa will stop here, and celebrate the secular side of Christmas.

Christmas window display, Hollywood Boulevard





















Oh, have a gay old time.

LA Gay Men's Choir poster, Hollywood Boulevard

Posted by Alan at 4:06 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink

Friday, 17 November 2006
How We Know What We Know
Topic: Insider Stuff
How We Know What We Know
What passes for epistemology on Hollywood Boulevard -

Fortune Teller Booth, Ripley's Odditorium, Hollywood Boulevard




















Psychic, Hollywood Boulevard

Posted by Alan at 7:10 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink

Thursday, 26 October 2006
In the Land of Not Quite What It Seems
Topic: Insider Stuff
In the Land of Not Quite What It Seems
The setting, West Hollywood, the north side of Santa Monica Boulevard, in front of 9017 - Charles Agapiou Ltd Rolls-Royce and Bentley. This is the place to go for parts and service, for your Rolls or Bentley, of course. They also sell classic models of both, but not new ones. This is a few doors down from 9071 - Dan Tana's, where the Hollywood celebrities go when they want second-rate Italian food, or a good steak (see the notes below the photos).

The first shot - you have your classic Rolls with an ad rolling by, appropriately, for the new James Bond film - as it all comes together for a moment. But the second shot - on closer inspection we see the Rolls in being held together with duct tape.

Rolls Royce, Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood
















Rolls Royce, Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood














A new Ferrari, in front of the Rolls - for the handicapped, of course -

A new Ferrari, with handicapped tag, Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood













"To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood." - George Santayana


Dan Tana's - 9071 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood - celebrity notes -

Dan Tana's is something of a local landmark, dating back to 1964. Located just two doors down from the famous Troubadour nightclub (where Elton John made his debut in 1970), this old-fashioned, checkered-tablecloth Italian restaurant in West Hollywood been open for business for thirty years, and is a favorite hangout for the Hollywood set - a virtual club for many in the movie & music business.

In part, that's because the food here is good (and perhaps partially because publicity-shy celebrities like Bob Dylan can hide in the shadows of its dimly-lit interior).

George Clooney has been coming here for 25 years. Regular Dabney Coleman ("Madman of the People") even had the one-pound New York steak named after him (it will set you back $39). John Cusak and Linda Fiorentino were spotted here together. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon chose the restaurant for an early interview to hype "Good Will Hunting."

Drew Barrymore loves the place, and says "I had my diapers changed here!"

Lakers chief Jerry West says it's his favorite restaurant. So does Corey Feldman. Jim Belushi likes it because it reminds him of his hometown, Chicago. For others, it reminds them of New York. Cramped and dark, with a noisy bar, it has that kind of old-fashioned feel.

In Feb 2, 2003, famed record producer Phil Spector had dinner here (the bill was $55 and he left a $500 tip). Then he went to the House of Blues for a concert, where he met actress Lana Clarkson. They went home together, shots were fired, and Spector was arrested for her murder.

According to Army Archerd, in 2002, Leonardo DiCaprio was spotted at Dan Tana's picking up an order of chicken Parmigiana, chicken piccata, New York steak, French fries and two Dan Tana salads. Later, in August, Nicole Kidman was spotted entertaining a fleet of agents.

Other sightings include Brad Pitt, Meg Ryan, Benicio Del Toro, Piper Perabo, Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow...

Following the 2001 Telethon for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, a number of the stars from that telethon stopped at Dan Tana's to watch the (tape-delayed) show on the restaurant's TVs. They included "Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Lucy Liu, Jim Woods and Benecio Del Toro."

Jay Leno also dines here. (According the Army Archerd, Jay was dining near the columnist when a man came over and thanked him for helping to push his disabled car off the road and trying to start it for him!)

Recently, James Woods and Lauren Holly were spotted at Dan's. So was Alec Baldwin.

In 1999, Jerry Seinfeld celebrated his 45th birthday there with friends including Garry Shandling, and while he was there his table was visited by Milton Berle and George Clooney.

Never trendy, its a red meat & whisky place, dimly-lit with red leather booths and wine bottles hanging from the ceiling. When you look under "Pasta" on this menu, you won't find "angel hair with sun-dried tomatoes" - you'll find spaghetti with meatballs and lasagna. Expect steaks & chops, and expect to pay a lot more than you would expect from the looks of the place. Says Variety columnist Army Archerd: "It remains one of the favorites with Hollywood's taste-conscious. One of the best places for steaks in the U.S. …"

Dan Tana's is open for dinner seven days a week from 5 PM to 1 AM. Reservations are hard to get - so get them way in advance. Dress is reasonably casual, and they offer valet parking.
No celebrities in this case - the shots are from late morning, Monday, 23 October. None of them are ever up and out and about that early.

Posted by Alan at 6:25 PM PDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink

Updated: Thursday, 26 October 2006 6:26 PM PDT
Monday, 18 September 2006
Hollywood - Television
Topic: Insider Stuff
Hollywood - Television
 Jay Silverman Productions, 1541 North Cahuenga Boulevard, HollywoodIt 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.

 Jay Silverman Productions, 1541 North Cahuenga Boulevard, Hollywood

















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.

 Improv Olympic, 6366 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood

Posted by Alan at 4:35 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006 4:44 PM PDT

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