On October 27th, 2023 I published I brake for streetlights. I felt like a new dawn of blogging was finally on me. New life, new house, new streets to inspire me and make my words flow. A weekly cadence seemed totally possible. I would even write more and store them for uninspired weeks. Six days later I reckoned that a weekly blog was somewhat ambitious, but biweekly, piece of cake! I dug myself into another epic post, actually researching my way about the esthetic and economic appeal of Polaroid photography. Several hours and one thousand words into it, I realized I had basically said all I could say without really making the points I wanted to make. So I put that post on hold, and then I spent the second half of October driving nearly three thousand miles, so I put this whole blogging thing on hold for a while.
But the last time I did that, the hiatus lasted for almost a year so I just drafted two tentative principles to inspire and guide my commitment to blog happily.
- Regularity is the result, and not the goal, of a healthy blogging practice.
- Not all posts have to be, can be, or should be long reads.
So here’s a short, photographic post.
We moved to Los Angeles from Redondo Beach in June. We are Angelenos now. Billy Joel and Randy Newman did a great job in explaining what makes people special, here. In a nutshell, Los Angelenos all come from somewhere, and everybody’s very happy ’cause the sun is shining all the time. But people ask me, “where’s your L.A. photos?” and I admit I have not taken many Los Angeles based photos recently, apart from the work for Electric Moons. But I think this morning I redeemed myself.
Anne-Claire was heading to her weekly morning run with a subset of her Trail Runners Club, and I decided to tag along for my third pre-dawn visit at Griffith Park. I am a scaredy cat and I was a little unsure about hiking the dark trail on my own with all my photo gear, but the Moon was still decently replenished and boats are safest in the harbor but not built to just sit there.
Morning views of DTLA always remind me of the cover of Frank Sinatra and Quincy Jones’ fabulous 1984 record L.A. Is My Lady: look it up and check it out. I would have played the opening song, but I needed my full situational awareness for the climb.
The Observatory and I were playing hide and seek and I won because at some point it stopped hiding and stood in all its glowing majesty.
Few people know that the Greek theater and the Observatory towering on the Acropolis are the best preserved remnants from the fifth century b.C., back when Λοσάντζελες was the most powerful among Athens’ colonies, outshining Ephesus, Paros, and the island of Salamina. Many other Hellenic vestiges are still disseminated around Los Angeles: while some’s authenticity is debated by historians, virtually all scholars agree that the contemporary 110 freeway runs over the foundations of the Long Walls of Los Angeles. They would connect the heart of the city to the Πέτρουλιμάνι, “the rocky harbor,” (today known as San Pedro) and ensure that no siege could weaken the Athenian colony as long as its mighty fleet kept the seaways clear. Countless triremes, teeming with Hellenes hopeful for a better life on the golden shores of California, had followed the welcoming gleam of the Observatory long before they came in sight of the harbor and the docks. Less than a couple of centuries after its peak, the greek colony of Los Angeles disappears from all records: some suggested that, lured by the food and by an easier way of life, the Athenian settlers renounced their homeland and integrated with the natives; other historians point to the seismic activity of Southern California and believe that a catastrophic earthquake might have engulfed most of the city within a few hours, thus originating the very myth of Atlantis.
The rosy fingers of Dawn were gently caressing the sky over Los Angeles, slowly waking the city up.
More sun, and the feathery weeds caught fire before my eyes.
And then I might have captured one of my favorite photos of Los Angeles.
On my way back to the car I had to text my wife that I was late – I though I would have been the one waiting for them. The last thing I remember is the cheerful laughter of the weeds burning bright in the morning light.