BuiltWithNOF

 

Counter added Sunday, March 25, 2007 -11:00 am Pacific Time

Statistics
 

Just Above Sunset Logo - Click here to return to the home page -

Photography

Monday, August 6, 2007 – Comforting Surrealism

After a week in New England and Cape Cod there is something comforting in returning to the gentle surrealism of Southern California, and Hollywood.

Those of a certain age remember the soft-rock group America – Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, and Dan Peek doing a poor man's version of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. It worked for them in the seventies.  God knows what "A Horse with No Name" was about, but you might remember "Ventura Highway."  If not, there is this video clip from 1974 to jog your memory, and the odd lyrics –

    And the days surround your daylight there
    Seasons crying no despair
    Alligator lizards in the air, in the air…

Harmless and pleasant Southern California surrealism took them quite a way, even if they were from the UK – their fathers were military, stationed at the US Air Force installation at RAF West Ruislip, London, and married to Brits.  All three attended London Central High School, and the Beatles producer, George Martin, produced seven of their albums.  But everyone thought they were from LA – they got the place down cold.

As for "Ventura highway in the sunshine, where the days are longer, the nights are stronger than moonshine" – well, it is still surreal after all these years, in that harmless and pleasant Southern California way. There's this carwash on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City – that's where "Ventura Highway" starts on its way up the coast.

Hand Car Wash - Ventura Boulevard in Studio City
Hand Car Wash - Ventura Boulevard in Studio City
Hand Car Wash - Ventura Boulevard in Studio City

The new surreal on the Sunset Strip – across Sunset Boulevard from the famous Whiskey a Go Go with its rock acts, this stag advertizes a certain brand of tequila. Like all things surreal, the connection to tequila is puzzling, but perhaps if you do enough shots and get buzzed on some obscure post-punk band at the Whiskey, wander outside and look up, it makes perfect sense.

Across Sunset Boulevard from the famous Whiskey a Go Go with its rock acts, this stag advertizes a certain brand of tequila
Across Sunset Boulevard from the famous Whiskey a Go Go with its rock acts, this stag advertizes a certain brand of tequila

Ah, a new poster on the east wall of the Whiskey –

A poster on the east wall of the Whiskey

Up on Hollywood Boulevard things are the same as ever.

Star Maps - Hollywood Boulevard

The big shoes of the kid working the boulevard as SpongeBob SquarePants –

The big shoes of the kid working the boulevard as SpongeBob SquarePants - Hollywood

The usual surreal faces are still there.

Little Richard graphic, Hollywood Boulevard
Face on mural at Hollywood High School

Oh yeah, these guys just finished covering the event earlier in the day – Michelle Pfeiffer got her Walk of Fame star in the sidewalk.  Life goes on.

News van, Hollywood Boulevard

If you wish to use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me. And should you choose to download any of these images and use them invoking the "fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, please provide credit, and, on the web, a link back this site.

Technical Note:

Most of these photographs 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.  Earlier photography was done with a Sony Mavica digital still camera (MVC-FD-88) with built-in digital zoom.

[Comforting Surrealism]

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 - Alan M. Pavlik