Sunday, April 29, 2012

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE

GARBAGE IS PEOPLE, TOO
Recently I had occasion to drive through downtown L.A. on the 110 South during rush hour. Traffic was at a standstill, a thick layer of smog shrouded us hapless motorists, and just as I was starting to sink into despair I thought to get out my camera.

There were many items along the left shoulder: lots of clothing (are people having sex while driving?), an aluminum extension ladder, a drawer pull.

LIGHT STANDARDS, SHOOTING THE BREEZE

BRIDGE ABUTMENT
with ghostly hand.
I was on my way to the Century Regional Detention Center in Watts where I go from time to time to talk to the gals who are incarcerated there.

The next week I drove to another jail: Twin Towers in downtown L.A. Having arrived early, I  took a stroll around the adjacent streets (Vignes, Alameda, several cul de sacs), again checking out the bridges and tunnels that may not look like much, but if you were in a fetid windowless lock-down communal "pod" for a day or month or years, would probably appear pretty damn sweet.




PHILIPPE'S FAMOUS FRENCH DIP
INTERSECTION ALAMEDA AND N. MAIN

TUNNEL, CESAR CHAVAZ BETWEEN ALAMEDA AND VIGNES


7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the meander. When I lived in CA I loved the forms of the curving concrete freeways. And that Franz Kline is gorgeous too.

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  2. I love the way you notice and appreciate everything, paying special attention to places between places, walls, parking lots, lampposts, expanses of concrete and tossed out things on sides of roads. Maybe all a bit like the people you visit. You have such a feel for the forgotten and outcast things. And your embrace is so wide, it even includes the recognised and the praised - the art by Rothko, etc. I like those extremes. You love the outer edges of things ... and the popular art, the attention-grabbing displays, leave you cold. What good, sound instincts you have! So unlike those of the world. Thank you for everything you share - your thoughts, your daily life, yourself ... I just love this blog.

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  3. Good morning. Your road shots are prompting me to comment and ask a little something that's been on my mind for a while.

    I attribute part of my love for performer Tom Waits to being Catholic and to my interest in some of the same characters and authors you are. I, however, do not have the added bonus of being from or living in the LA area.

    Do you know of him or like his music?

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  4. Thanks for the road trip photo assay. ;-)

    Lovely red wall.

    & with paintings such as those two above the lovely red wall I should never be embarrassed by anything I paint again.

    P.S. I AM going to paint, today!

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  5. When I drove to Santa Monica early one morning this February, the traffic seized up around Crenshaw and we came to a complete stop. I opened my door to look at the road surface and gasped at the beauty of it. The oil blotches were like flowers, and the angle of the sun did lovely things to the drainage lines milled into the road surface. Beauty is everywhere to be had.

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  6. Oh thanks, everybody...forgive me if I've seemed a bit distracted these past couple of weeks--I'll be on a red-eye back to Boston tonight to visit my ailing mother and to be with my family.

    I don't claim to be a Tom Waits groupie but I like what I've heard so much, Francis...Altoon! Always good to hear from you. Jane--yes! The outer edge--and yet I hope in the middle somehow, too...Owen, no, we will not be embarrassed by anything we paint/write again! And Anonymous, I lived in K'Town for years and saw so many dusks at the intersection of Olympic and Crenshaw...a seemingly friendless spot at which, sometimes standing in line at the (also seemingly friendless) Rite-Aid there, I always tried to leave a little blessing...

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  7. Love the photos and the photo of you. You notice so much. I tend to look at the entirety and did not remember the minute. Ah, perhaps in time.

    I hope your Mom is better.

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