More Socal Specialness

June in Los Angeles was a bit more subdued than other months because I was planning for some upcoming trips out of the city (Montreal: Part II post coming soon…), but that didn’t stop me from capturing some new endearing places in Southern California.

6.5 + 6.13 - Hollenbeck Park

I’ve driven many miles and seen many neighborhoods in LA due to Uber and Lyft so there are times I think I’ve covered it all (which is not true). Every once in a while a new little gem pops up and catches my eye. Such was the case with Hollenbeck Park, just outside of downtown LA in Boyle Heights (St. Louis Street). It’s been there since 1892, and boasts a pretty cool man-made lake. On the first instance of coming across it, I did not have time to explore or photograph it (I forget why I had to leave so quickly). Another time, 6/13, I took a moment to capture a few shots. There’s still more I can explore, but I’m glad I’ve now discovered it.

The last two images in the set are from Whittier Blvd not too far from the park. There is a overpass under construction, so for now, the road simply stops. The closure, at sunset, made for a great view:

6.6 - el monte, ca

Confession regarding the year 2019: I currently live in an AirBnb. Yep. I set up a long term rental with a renter and live in an AirBnb in El Monte, CA. The monthly payment is comparable to an apartment. Utilities and parking space included, use of a kitchen, no permanent roommates, therefore…privacy. It’s not a bad deal. (My domestic focus is nowhere to be found lately. I’m much more focused on creative projects and traveling so getting into an official apartment is just not a high priority to me right now. I’ll address it next year.)

With this living scenario comes a unique situation: there are a lot of short term renters, you know, “normal” AirBnb renters. People come in and out of this rental house and I get the opportunity to meet people from literally all over the world and learn their stories (there’s always a positive side and opportunity in every decision you make). There have been many faces, like two young medical students from London. There was a mother from Arizona of a 40 year old son who has had schizophrenia for 21 years and she’s bounced around medical facilities trying to find an affordable but comfortable fit for him. There was the Hungarian family with a baby daughter who would stare at me for 5 seconds and then smile. I became friends on Facebook with the mom, and she said I can visit anytime :) I have Hungarian friends now.

Pictured below, this trio of friends from Miami was just hanging out in LA for a few days. Rachel (left), Brando (right) and I have to get better at remembering 100% of names. Sorry, guy in the middle. They were sitting in front of the house’s garage chatting (like photo 1), and I knew immediately it was an image worth capturing. I was gun shy though, not knowing if they’d be cool. It turned out they were sitting outside because they had locked themselves out, so before I was able to drive away, Guy in the Middle, asked me if I could let them. As a trade, I said I would if they let me photograph them. They agreed, and “posed” for a candid shot, and then looked at the lens for a portrait:

6.8 - royal palms beach

This was another find courtesy of the AllTrails app. I always need a soul refresher at the ocean and this day presented that opportunity. The good thing is that I am legitimately not getting tired of the views and coastline. Royal Palms Beach is very pedestrian and family friendly as you’ll see cars and a parking lot. That definitely didn’t take away from the beauty:

6.8 - long beach, ca

After dropping of an Uber passenger, I noticed a great view of the Vincent Thomas Bridge from Summerland Ave, facing east. in Long Beach. I always get mixed feelings when viewing the Vincent Thomas Bridge. I love the design and color, and it’s proximity to all the shipping yards. It always makes for a great image, but then I immediately remember that this is the spot that one of my favorite film directors, Tony Scott, decided to take his own life in 2012… That’s morbid, I know, but I thought I’d share. It was a real shame because he was an incredibly talented artist and undoubtedly a major influence on my soul and eye. He was one of my bucket list, “would love to meet or work for/with one day” kind of people. I guess it’ll have to wait until Heaven.

6.29 - various, los angeles

I think the best sunsets wait to appear until I’m in a random parking lot:

6.30 - mulholland drive

Another one of the locations I try to frequent whenever I’m nearby is the Hollywood Bowl Overlook. Eddie Furth and I ventured there in our early Los Angeles days. On this particular afternoon it was closed, but that didn’t stop me from capturing a few shots along Mulholland Drive:

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