from the series, “the love train” and assorted street sessions. the bulk are from new years eve 2013, but some from as early as 12.14.12 through early 2014. this series is constantly growing and changing from every moment on the street with a camera. this is the third edit for some of these, while others get added or dropped.
street photography is beat poetry written while swimming in the current. it is a flip chart of time and a record of a city or space for a decade or an era, that is if it survives the day after… this series of street photographs explores the la metro. style, culture and aesthetics constantly change, but people do not. we are afraid, we are voyeurs and exhibitionists, we are together on the train or bus and we do human things. we come and go worrying about things and forgetting more than we worry about. the human race is to the finish line of death. with that eventuality comes all the fears and joys of being human. this series of images on the metro explore how we use this constructed space or our city hive to fulfill our own needs of comfort and dreams.
in the beginning my early street images were distant from what i was searching for. on the road to making these images i found the guilt and pity of street photography. we peer into the intimacy of other’s lives seeking the beauty of being. that i am human and sometimes lapse in the pursuit is my fault. i forget they are gifts given to me by the subjects and not something to be taken. this time we spend running and in transit between moments of connection and contemplation trying to get to the next one, and the next one. the rich strut through the subway, the lovers embrace, the homeless find refuge while the poor are trying to get home. the train, the car, the bus is our solace as it is our window to the world.
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07.04.13. york boulevard runs through the northern section of highland park as the primary east-west artery of the community. it disappears at the arroyo seco bridge where the street turns into pasadena avenue. after a brief turn on pasadena avenue it becomes mission street which is also the east-west artery for south pasadena. before the goldline this road ran seamlessly between these two photographs and these two neighbourhoods.
the socio-economic differences between the two subjects is evident. to further illustrate the dichotomy of south pasadena and highland park when these images were taken, homes in south pasadena were a solid $500-$600k, while highland park’s were barely reaching $300k and rents ranged from $700-$850 per month. as of this day rent for a one-bedroom apartment in highland park has doubled to more than $1500 dollars, homes are listing in the $700k range, while south pasadena remains stable and has inched up incrementally. the problem is not the land values, but the unequal consequences for long time residents and people living on the margins of society. highland park has a 38% poverty rate and starting around 2014 homelessness, evictions and rent increases exploded.
these images and text are part of a series that explores gentrification in highland park. the multi-year study is part if the sin turistas archive and collective.
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these few images are from the sin turistas workshop project that i organise and instruct. the student works can be found on our facebook page, but these are some of mine that were shot during various sessions.
highland park is an old neighbourhood of los angeles that is rapidly changing. it appears to be facing a similar fate as in brooklyn, new york. the residents in highland park were primarily 70% latino in the mid 2000s. their environment is rapidly being replaced by a hip, young, urban and middle class white environment. while the latino population has fallen a small amount, the white population has exploded leaving latinos at 53% of the population. the changing landscape has raised nieghbourhood’s property values and shifted the business services. these rising values have started to displace the most vulnerable.
this set of images goes back and forth from both groups, just as the arguments go back and forth between economic development versus displacing the existing economies. this topic is a personal project. i grew up in northeast los angeles of which highland park is the northern most area. i have been watching this change since i was a boy from one immigrant group to another.
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published, an assignment about retail on montana avenue.
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rodeo drive, beverly hills, california.
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out takes on assignment. city of vernon has a population of about 112 people and is five miles outside of downtown los angeles. during business hours there are about 50,000 workers in the factories, warehouses and meatpacking buildings of vernon.
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i am a stranger in a strange land here. shooting for LA commons at the watts tower jazz festival 9.25.11. i asked this black panther girl promoting a press conference at the county jail facility if i could take her photo, but i cropped her face. i don’t know why. she was very young and honest in her convictions. she read from her script like a telemarketer without taking a breath. she didn’t have to try, i was ready to listen. i want to believe that everybody likes jazz.
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more out takes from the my sixth street assignment for the california apparel news. i think these brought me back to the beginning of my wandering downtown as a kid. i think it was the wheels, the walking and so many windows. back then it was big cars that would glide through the street, they have been replaced by scooters and bikes.
rocco espinoza owner of round2 one of the new hipster stores on sixth street. i went to high school with his sister, that was a strange revelation. it was the first person in thirty years that i have come across from that era. rocco is the window.
stanton james is a high end boutique on the ground floor of the old chubb insurance building. the windows are nothing like the old windows of the downtown department stores of the 60s. big stories and big visuals dancing behind glass. men in crisply steamed suits and women in skirts and camel hair coats bustling about.
the next time i see this guy i have to meet him. otherwise, the fantasy in my head of him as a skid row lawyer will become reality and will never be able to erase that memory.
the last frame of the assignment. on the bus, riding back to the newspaper.