Return to East Rustic Road.


One sweltering day, sometime in July 2012, I left Van Nuys with my camera to escape the 105 degree heat. I got off the 405 and drove west, towards the ocean, along San Vicente, until I came into a picturesque canyon, shrouded in fog. I parked my car and ventured on foot to photograph the…

The Streets Were Spotless


On Sunday I went to Burbank to take photos of a 25-year-old actor.  We met at Chili John’s, a “World Famous” landmark, now out-of-business, a spot of streamline slickness with a neon sign, all of its recent Covid signs still intact. Somewhere I had read that preservationists were fighting developers on this site but could…

Around the Neighborhood.


Since the pandemic began, in earnest, last March, one of our routines is the morning walk around our neighborhood. The fact that most of us live and work at home, self-incarcerated by choice or duty, has produced a strange life. Beside the societal disasters that befell our nation in 2020, the ordinary existence of the…

Mike Mandel, Photographer, San Fernando Valley, 1970s


Mike Mandel ________________________________________________________________________ The New Yorker has a photo essay about Mike Mandel, who was born in 1950, studied at CSUN, and made a large body of photography here in the 1970s. His work reminds me of the people who grew up here during that time, kids who were lucky to live a good life…

1975 Los Angeles by Ed Ruscha


The Getty has 45,856 digitized photographs of Los Angeles by Edward Ruscha. I went to look at just a part of it, May 1975 (3,724 images).  There are black and white photographs of entire stretches of streets in our city, for example every structure along Melrose Avenue for miles. Many who possess far greater insights than I will concoct…

Why You Taking Picture?


A housing and planning blog I read, Granola Shotgun, recently had a post about how the author is hassled for taking photos in public for such elements as parking lots, buildings, encampments or anything structural connected to a human. In the past 15 years, since I started this blog, I have had similar experiences of…