Down the Narrow Hallway

A few years back I saw a Tennessee Williams parody¬†at the second stage of the Hayworth Theater in Los Angeles. It was a few rooms opened up and converted in the office section of a historic building, complete with the old-style lighting, molding, wooden floors and carpet that you see here. The “lobby” was the entry level for the back stairway, where they’d somehow managed to cram in a bar and a couple of tables. Then you’d walk up the stairs, around a corner, and down this long narrow hallway until you reached the right door.

The building dates to the 1920s, when offices had character and weren’t just boxes. The theater seems to be gone now, as it’s since been turned back into offices. Because apparently that’s something Los Angeles doesn’t have enough of?

Raven and Poe: Partners for (n)evermore

Last September I visited Boston to attend a friend’s wedding. While there I took a guided walking tour of the Freedom Trail, and also wandered the city a bit on my own. I stumbled on this statue with a pair of unconventional partners: Edgar Allen Poe and a raven.

I particularly like how they’ve balanced it so that the raven appears to be flying out of the briefcase as the writer’s papers burst out. My photo album on Flickr has another angle of this statue, plus another 15-odd sightseeing shots.

If it’s not a door, what is it?

This Is Not A Door

Yeah, I know, it’s not quite what the prompt was going for, but sometimes a photo fits the name of the prompt so perfectly that you just have to use it.

This photo inspired a lot of discussion back in the day when someone grabbed it from my website and submitted it to one of the Cheezburger sites without my permission. Sadly, it was dominated by people who were convinced the photo had to have been faked, and cited a terrible misunderstanding of how JPEGs work as their “proof.” Even after I showed up to point to the original, high-res source, they were arguing that the compression artifacts in the small version were somehow proof that it had been manipulated.

Yes, compression artifacts. In the small version. *facepalm*

From that, I learned that people are cynical, but don’t actually know how to detect real fakery.

Alas, the sign’s been painted over with plain brown, so this paradox is now a thing of the past.

Carpet of Yellow Flowers

Blanket of yellow flowers

There are a lot of jacaranda trees near where I work, lining the walkways through the business and hotel parks and lining the sidewalks along the street. There are also a lot of these trees, which look so similar that I assumed they were more jacarandas until the first spring I was here, when they bloomed bright yellow instead of light purple. From what I can tell, they’re Tipuana trees, also known as Pride of Bolivia trees, and despite the similarities, they aren’t closely related.

The flowers act the same, though, dropping in thick blankets as spring turns to summer.

This particular tree, sadly, is no longer there. It was ripped out this fall, as part of a massive landscaping project to convert one of the office buildings into a hotel.

USS Epinephrine

USS Epinephrine

I have food allergies that require me to carry an Epi-Pen in case of accidental ingestion (which happened to me during Comic-Con this year), and I also carry an asthma inhaler. I got the idea in my head that the Epi-Pen two-pack looked like a pair of warp nacelles, and the inhaler made for a good engineering section, and went looking around for a thematic saucer section…until I hit on the idea of just using a saucer.

I put the image together last fall, and added a shortcut URL to a fundraising walk I participate in each year: the FARE Walk for Food Allergy. This year’s walk in Los Angeles is coming up next weekend. Donations go toward food allergy research, education, and advocacy.

Food allergies aren’t just preferences, and they aren’t like hay fever. They’re a severe, sometimes life-threatening condition that affects millions of people. Please consider making a donation to the cause.

Chasing the Golden Hour

 Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time looking for a good spot to take photos during the golden hour late Saturday afternoon. There was an open space with electrical towers nearby that I thought would make for some interesting pictures. But the clouds rolled in as I drove down the street, and I spent the next hour racing inland, trying to stay ahead of the marine layer.

The best shot I got of the bunch, with clouds intermittently covering and revealing the sun, was this one. It’s the historic Pacific Electric Railway Bridge in Torrance, California, which I stumbled across a few years back completely on accident. What makes it an even better choice is that when I first found it, I shot it in broad daylight. You can really see the difference that lighting makes!

Railroad Bridge

At this point, I started heading into the hills, figuring I’d focus on the clouds instead of the lighting, though on the way I spotted this view of a hilltop lit up by the sun. I could see it from halfway across town, and wasn’t sure I’d make it before the sun dipped too low or the clouds rolled in to block the light.

Hilltop Lit by Sunset

The park I’d planned to go to for views above the cloud layer turned out to be in the cloud layer. The fog was hitting the west face of the hills, moving over, and just barely pouring over the summit ridges. I took my first Instagram video, of low clouds racing across the sky before dissipating.

I finally went to another park on the inland side of the hills, and found myself in a clear space surrounded by a wall of clouds to the west and south. This is the view to the west, with the fog backlit by the sun.

Backlit Fog Creeping Over the Hills

This particular park is a great place to get away from it all for a while, so I stuck around for a few minutes to just relax before heading home for the evening.