The Big, Empty Foreground


On Flickr, where I sometimes spend my time, there is a group of photographs called “The Big Empty Foreground.” These are urban places, usually wide-open spaces, without people. Many of the contributors come from Europe, a place one does not often think of as empty. Soccer fields, parking lots, office plazas, old factories, these are…

Dreaming of Exile


  Even if you have given up on LA, cursed its tackiness, screamed at its traffic, revolted from its inanities, choked on its air and dreamed of exile from its toxicities, you might be seduced on Sunday afternoon, as I was yesterday, by a place hidden away that seems like a small town in the…

El Color de La Vida.


Before the cold rains struck the San Fernando Valley late Monday afternoon, dark and menacing storm clouds went into formation. Seen from the empty asphalt of an abandoned parking in Panorama City, the view east lived up to its name. The craggy, inky, rock-topped San Gabriels permitted fog to brush their face. Eager to pursue…

They Had Promised Rain.


They had promised rain. We were going to be drenched, drowned, and flooded. The clouds would stay overhead for months, and there would be endless days of mudslides, dark clouds and gray skies. They had promised rain, clearly, and said it in English, many times; the word was rain, but there was so much of…

Paris


Paris First there was youth and young people, fresh faces, and smiles. There was festivity and the night, wine and laughter, the scent of exotic perfumes, the smell of jasmine, vanilla, sandalwood, tuberose and citrus, the flirtations and sensuality of life, the swing of partiers having fun. Music and entertainment and the dark, gathered inside…

In a Grieving Mood


The first anniversary of her death will be on September 1st. In the year since my mother died, I have experienced days of grief that just came over me, an intense sadness: unshakeable, persistent and gripping. And then, inexplicably, the darkness leaves and I’m set back into temporary equilibrium. I no longer cry easily and…