Squandered Opportunities


Nearing completion, now, is a one-story mini-mall on the north end of the LA Fitness parking lot near Sepulveda and Erwin. Pleasantly innocuous, in a beige/brown way, the mall (with circa 1999 cornice) is being landscaped, pretty extensively, all around, with various trees and shrubs to decorate the sea of asphalt. Zoned commercial,  this is…

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…

Incident at Wendy’s


This morning, as I drove through Wendy's parking lot on my way to LA Fitness, I saw a man lying face down on the parking lot asphalt. I stopped my car and asked him if he was all right. He barely responded. Not knowing whether he had overdosed, been stabbed, shot, or merely collapsed, I…

LA Fitness Van Nuys.


  Fast-food wrappers and soda containers litter the parking lot of the LA Fitness on Sepulveda in Van Nuys. For at least five months, discarded lumber, illegally dumped, has lain scattered.  Members on their way to step class or leaving the gym scarf down burgers, fries and dump their refuse right on the pavement. The…

The Empty Spaces


Large expanses of asphalt and black tar bake in sun day after day. These are the parking lots behind retail stores, many untenanted, forgotten and forlorn on the west side of Halbrent,north of Erwin, east of Sepulveda. This area is chiefly known for two businesses: The Barn, a six-decade-old, red-sided furniture store and Star Restaurant…