Saturday, February 14, 2015

Stop and Go: Documenting in a Traffic Jam Part 2

Wilshire Blvd.

I decided to brave another round of rush hour traffic across town, this time down the Miracle and Park Mile, through the Robert F. Kennedy Parkway, through Koreatown and Mid-Wilshire, cutting straight through MacArthur Park and ending up in downtown LA on the street otherwise known as Wilshire Boulevard.

This main artery that stretches across seven cities, from downtown Los Angeles to the beach in Santa Monica, has been a boulevard in flux since its inception in Victorian times. Wilshire is a facinating collection of old and new Los Angeles. Major development and construction made the drive very bumpy indeed, even when crawling its broad streets in a traffic jam. Metal covers overlaped open street construction and upgrades to the median were underway. This boulevard is getting a face lift!

Wilshire reminds me that Los Angeles really is a metropolis. You can forget that while you meander from city to city.  It reminds me of the streets of Manhattan, with their towering skyscrapers. But flashes of that old Hollywood glamour can still be seen in the apartment building facads of the Los Altos, The Talmadge (originally owned by Norma), the Wilshire Royal and The Gaylord - appropriately named after the millionaire socialist Henry Gaylord Wilshire who donated the land which is now the road.

Once again, my self imposed restrictions limited me to shooting with my iPhone out my window every time I had to stop in traffic. Starting at Fairfax and ending on Hope, I did not travel the entire length of this 15.8 mile street but the variations were distinct throughout each individual neighborhood.

My ego kept trying to get me to stop and shoot what I visually found interesting but I had to release it and shoot what ever was out my window when the traffic stopped. Chance came into play. It is such a wonderful tool to explore and it created images I wouldn't normally take. In the editing process, it was difficult for me to not straighten the horizontal when my iPhone photography out the window wasn't exactly perfect, but I wanted this to be raw and real.

The following series of photographs are what was captured that day. Funnily enough, it doesn't appear to be crowded at all but that is perhaps a result of the stop lights holding traffic back every time I stopped.

Next time I'll take Santa Monica Boulevard!

Julie Green
February 14, 2014

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