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Thursday, March 15, 2007 - LA Images

Each Thursday the Los Angeles Times runs an odd feature in the entertainment section - how famous and soon-to-be-famous people would spend their ideal weekend here in Los Angeles.  A few years ago Drew Carey said part of his ideal weekend would include dinner Saturday night at the Smoke House in Burbank, across the street from the Warner Brothers Studios. He must have been kidding - the studio "suits" do go there, perhaps, but the food is awful and the lounge act usually a trio doing covers of seventies soft-rock crap.

This week it was My Favorite Weekend: David Wenham -

    "When I first started coming to L.A.," says Aussie actor David Wenham, "it was a bit frightening, an overwhelming place. But I've been here 30 times in the last handful of years, and now I feel at home as soon as I step off the plane. I have great memories here."

Wenham, one of the stars of that new movie 300, has the "overwhelming" thing down right - four million people in the city, and ten million in the county - and one of the largest freeway systems in the world, with twenty-seven of them, all nine-hundred eighty-eight miles usually jammed (think of a daily collective migration of about one hundred million miles). We're the most car-populated metropolis in the world - one registered automobile for every 1.8 people.  And there's that occasional earthquake, and the tourists looking for stars in Hollywood, and the surfers, and the business folks - Los Angeles County is the nation's largest manufacturing center, and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are second only to New York as the largest customs district in the United States. It's not just the movies.

There's no one image that captures the place.

Freeway merge sign - Los Angeles

Hill Street Blues - the Hollywood Freeway, the LAPD cruiser, the mysterious poster (with an anti-war sticker), palm trees and construction, and an angry woman on a cell phone. Hill Street - downtown Los Angeles.

Hill Street Blues - the Hollywood Freeway, the LAPD cruiser, the mysterious poster (with an anti-war sticker), palm trees and construction, and an angry woman on a cell phone.  Hill Street - downtown Los Angeles.

Self-Promotion - This fellow has been tooling around the city for twenty years now, with little success, and here he is in his latest vehicle, on Highland, heading north into Hollywood.  For years it was a highly modified pick-up truck, then a van.  Hope and delusion can be confused.  He never gives up.

Dennis Woodruff Car

Hill Street History - the "pioneer" monument at the site of what was Fort Moore, built by the "Mormon Battalion" in 1847 during the war with Mexico - just after the Siege of Los Angeles The Mormon Battalion is the only religious "unit" in American military history. No one remembers.

Fort Moore Pioneer Monument, Hill Street, Los Angeles
Fort Moore Pioneer Monument, Hill Street, Los Angeles

This is what passes for history now, at Hollywood and Highland, the mall and theater complex that hosts the Oscars. The place is somehow supposed to look like the set from D. W. Griffith's biblical epic Intolerance (1916) - but the original sets, built in the dunes near Oxnard, one county north - are long gone.  We get an elephant reproduction.  It will have to do.

Elephant - Hollywood and Highland

And you have to know which way the current wind is blowing on Hollywood Boulevard.

Weathervane - Hollywood Boulevard

The name Los Angeles comes from the name given to what is now the Los Angeles River by the Gaspar de Portola expedition that camped on its banks in 1769. The river was named by the Spaniards El Rio Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula (The River of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciuncula). Twelve years later, Spanish California's military governor, Felipe de Neve, founded a new settlement on that campsite near the river and named it El Pueblo de la Reyna de los Angeles (The Town of the Queen of the Angels). The name was eventually shortened to Los Angeles. This is the entrance to the parking garage at our new cathedral - The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.  We need angels.

Entrance to the parking garage - The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
Freeway merge sign - Los Angeles

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.

[LA Images]

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