Tag Archives: los angeles

historic downtown la on a friday morning in december

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Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

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Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

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Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Motorist, Jawbox, For Your Own Special Sweetheart, 1994, | LINK

the photography:
so when you’re stuck in downtown los angeles without a car, there are very few places for you to roam especially if you don’t have enough time to ride the bus or take a cab anywhere. what’s a shutterbug to do? well, i did what i thought was right. like dell, i wandered.

after about five blocks i found myself smack dab in the middle of “old theater heaven” also known as historic downtown los angeles. HDLA instantly reminded me of the less populated sections of hong kong, much of the the lower east side of new york circa 1995 BG*, the old irving park neighborhood in chicago, and a few other busy market streets in various cities across the world. city block after city block was filled with turn of the century architecture that has fallen into disrepair and is inhabited by square foot after square foot of little shops and eateries. and every block has at least one broken down theater that, before the second war, was the heart of the street with gigantic marquees and flashing lights that used to call out who, what, and when. pretty awesome.

after checking out the of the standard, i left my bags with the front desk so all i had on my person was my wallet, my phone, and my camera with the 28mm. the 5D body with a prime 28mm lens on it is pretty sneaky. the rig is big but not big enough to be un-hideable. that’s not even a word but you know what i mean. the entire camera and lens can be hidden quickly if you feel like you’ve possibly taken a photo that will get you into legal trouble or if you feel like it might be time to leave before you get beat-up. it’s tough to walk around a foreign city in 65 degree sunshine when my body is used to 35 degree slush and rain. but i managed, hoodie and all.

*you know, (B)efore (G)iuliani

the music:
jimmy fallon (this is the last time i’ll mention his name in print) reunited the band jawbox to play live on his stage last night for his ill-conceived yet amazingly-talented-musical-guest-lineup tv show. jawbox are re-releasing remastered copies of their early records from desoto records. what can i say about jawbox that i a)haven’t already said b)someone with a better knowledge of music hasn’t already said c)hasn’t been tattooed on the arms of many a post-rocker? if you are looking to get into heavy indie music and haven’t already?

look no further as jawbox is the real deal. bred from the heart of the hallowed dischord label, these washingtonians have compiled some of the best records recorded in the 90’s. the irony is that it takes the jimmy fallon show to get them out into the public eye after not playing live since 1997. j robbins is a genius. if you don’t agree, you’ve never heard the records he’s produced. it’s phenomenal. yum yum yum jawbox.

here are the links to the videos from last night’s fallon performances. 3 songs. hot shit indeed and 12 years of rust kicked off in one note:

Jawbox – Savory

Jawbox – 68

Jawbox – ff=66

the standard hotel, la

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Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Stars, War Paint, Exquisite Corpse, 2009, | LINK

the photography:
i like boutique hotels. i have stayed in a number of them through the years. the best being a japanese boutique hotel that my wife and i stayed in while vacationing in Beijing a few years ago. what i like about boutique hotels is that they match form and function to create class and style. usually boutique hotel means classy designer furniture coupled with hip outfits, cool bars, and everything matches and looks like it came out of the pages of the magazine Dwell. unfortunately, the standard hotel in downtown los angeles is all about the snark. and i say “snark” with the curled-est of lips. the LA standard is probably just like all the other standard hotels across the globe (they have many locations) but since it’s the only location i’ve stayed at (three years in a row), it’s the only one i can comment on. let’s start with snark, shall we?

first off… no hotel in it’s right mind should have valet’s who wear $200 jeans, have $150 haircuts, and who all wear ray-bans. it just shouldn’t happen. second: every hotel room in the world should have more than one trash can and if you are going to have just one, make sure it lives in the bathroom. no one likes to carry their used q-tips to the living room. the standard in LA covers it’s room and bed riser in carpeting only to add one cool chair, a mattress on said carpeted riser/floor, a plexiglass window that looks into the bathroom from the bedroom, and the whole shooting match gets tied together with some line drawing wall paper that feels too “Logan’s Run” to be anywhere near cool.

what the standard lacks in usability, it makes up for in package design. everything from the sticker on the toilet paper to the box of condoms, to the fire extinguisher signage, breaths “70’s key bowl party decadence” meets “90’s hipster snark with ironic mustaches”. if the standard didn’t have a world class roof deck bar, i don’t think i would ever set foot in it again. as a place to visit? it’s awesome. as a place to lay your head for four days, it sucks. check it for yourself in the pics above. i tried to connect the dots with all of the standard’s glory which include a couple of photos from the roof, a shot of the random organ in the lobby, all of their cool design signage, to the free pool table, and the weird sparse rooms. what a headache. but an enjoyable headache to boot.

don’t get me wrong, the hotel is eye candy as are all of the components that make it up. but the rooms are pretty dreadful as far as comfort and quality. roof deck bar with pool? awesome. hotel room without a coffee maker and kleenex? bogus.

ALSO: worst WiFi ever. 15 minutes to send a 1MB email. FAIL!!!!

the music:
war paint is a random band from LA that we (a couple of coworkers and i) ran into on the roof deck bar at the standard. about 3 minutes into their set, i finally realized that there was an actual live band playing in the corner and not that the DJ was ripping some serious grooves. i was slack jawed and happy to see that an LA band was ripping through some psych groove rock and we hadn’t paid a dollar to see it happen before our eyes. so good. so cool. and it turns out that shannyn sossamon was the original drummer. who knew?