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Photography

Friday, July 25, 2008 Getting All Italian

Painting the signs on an Italian restaurant on Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks

Back in 1953 there was that pleasant movie Roman Holiday Audrey Hepburn on a Vespa and that sort of thing. She won the Oscar she was delicious as the sheltered young princess who sneaks out and discovers the real world and Dalton Trumbo won the Oscar for the screenplay, although, given his politics, the fellow who fronted for Trumbo got the award.  There was that Black List thing, you see. That was all fixed in 1993, when the Academy re-awarded the Oscar in question to Trumbo's widow Joe McCarthy was long gone and it was finally safe to admit what every in town knew all along, even if Trumbo was long dead by then. Such things happen.

But it should be noted that Hollywood has always been fascinated with all things Italian it's not just young Audrey Hepburn buzzing around Rome, but all the gangster films with the oddly fascinating Mafia, reaching a peak with the Godfather epic and then the Sopranos.  So of course there are ultra-high-end Italian restaurants all over the place and, from the Sunset Strip through Beverly Hills, some days every other car you see is a shiny new Ferrari or Lamborghini and of course there are the tailored Italian suits and thousand dollar shoes these folks must wear. Italian is good.

So you drive over the hill out back and down into Studio City, turn left on Ventura Boulevard and head west, and things get Italian.  Under the sign painter there's the obligatory Ferrari.

"Under the sign painter there's the obligatory Ferrari."

And right there is the big Vespa dealership but no Audrey Hepburn.

Vespa dealership, Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks
Vespa dealership, Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks
Vespa dealership, Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks
Vespa dealership, Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks
Vespa dealership, Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks

But it's not all Italian.  Across the street from the Vespa dealership, something from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, not Pontedera, Italy

Harley-Davidson chopper parked on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks
Harley-Davidson chopper parked on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks

And there's always the JUST ABOVE SUNSET staff car parked next to the Vespa dealership manufactured in the UK, in Oxford actually, by a German-owned company, BMW, with an engine from Brazil.  Some of us just don't get the Italian thing at all.

JAS Mini-Cooper

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:

Photographs after March 3, 2008, were taken with a Nikon D200 or a Nikon D70 when noted. All previous photographs were taken with the D70. The lenses used are (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300 mm telephoto, or (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. Photography here is modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0.  The earliest photography in the archives was done with a Sony Mavica digital still camera (MVC-FD-88) with built-in digital zoom.

[Getting All Italian]

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