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Tag Archives: California

My Cross Street Rocks!

And at all hours!

© Russell Smith, 2011

Every Sunday to Thursday evening, they’re out there, pulling over scofflaws- people who run stop signs, exceed 25 mph in a residential area and drivers under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol (DUI). Hollywood, in case you haven’t heard, is a cesspool of homelessness, drugs, crime and tourists. They’ve opened up so many nightclubs that on the weekends it is DUI heaven up in here. And you can quote me on that. The cops don’t really enforce the law, so much as pick up the pieces of people who need some repairs, whether it’s their bodies, their cars or both. The sound of the ghetto birds cheers the heart all through the weekend, along with its close friend the siren-bird whose lilting dulcet sounds can be heard all over Hollywood every night of the week.

© Russell Smith, 2011


There he is, our propellor-driven friend, keeping the skies and streets of Hollywood safe.

© Russell Smith, 2011

Hooray, hooray, hooray

Who needs hallucinogens when you live in a ‘hood like Hollywood?

© Russell Smith, 2011

There’s always a friendly face to greet you when you de-subway at the Hollywood & Highland stop on the demonic Red Line. It cracks me up that the guy doesn’t even mention MSNBC. This picture would thrill the pants off of Rupert Murdoch, who is busy putting out a big fire in England. Let me tell you. This guy was proud of his sign. Please forgive my unfortunate use of the word crack!

© Russell Smith, 2011

I hate Madame Tussaud’s! Their figures are not wax. They are plastic. Check out the guy getting his jollies looking at the Asian woman’s body, while she is obliviously taking a picture. (You have to click on the images to get a larger view). Busted! I love candid photography.

© Russell Smith, 2011

Hollywood is larger than life. Life is larger than life, so Hollywood is larger than itself. Sometimes I get sick of all the tourists and crackheads but it really is an amazing place to live. Where else can I buy ashtrays with the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the bottom? There’s been a multi-billion dollar renovation of the town. Hundreds of new overpriced apartment units have gone up. It seems as though the character of the place really is changing. I heard a man once say that “In ten years, Hollywood will look just like Manhattan.” The last time I was in Manhattan I saw a lot of Starbucks, GAPs, and all the rest of the homogenizing chains. But I get what he’s saying. Hollywood will be expensive, flashy with restaurants and nightclubs, goody-goody with its overpriced organic food distributors. Über-gentrification might be a good name for the process.

More adventures on L.A.’s subways

This time it’s the Gold Line

The whole thing started when this kid was playing music from his “device” very loudly so that it filled the whole train. I approached him very politely. I said, “Sir,” and he tossed me a baleful glance. “Sir,” I repeated and then I continued with “could you please turn your music down.” I did not react. I got closer to him and said, “I guess you didn’t realize I was talking to you. Could you please turn your music down?” Still he ignored me. I reminded him that playing your music loudly will garner you a $250 fine. He responded with, “What are you? The police?” I told him no, but I was a passenger on the train and his behavior was unacceptable. He ignored me. So then I sat down and recorded his handsome mug to share with the rest of you!

If you listen to people on the train, when the camera is down, he wields his plastic three-wheeled skateboard at me like he is going to hit me with it. You can hear and see some of the people on the train react with horror. “Put that away!” One man cries out in a tone that seems to mean business. I’m not the only one who is getting sick of these obnoxious fellow humans. It’s hard to conceptualize that the adolescent brain is shrinking, cutting synapses that are redundant, under utilized, what have you. Just like I was the first t.v. generation, these kids are the first X-box generation. They’ve been exposed to graphic violence, neglected by their parents, etc. It doesn’t lessen their responsibility for their behavior! I am radically pissed.

Look at this doofus punk. As soon as I turned off the camera, the doors to the train opened. Like a cowardly punk-ass bitch (as we say at our garden tea parties) he hits me with his plastic contraption. I forget that many other people have been raised by wolves. This S.O.B. drew blood when he hit me. That is unacceptable. Well, watch the video and enjoy! Remember the face. Beware. This kid is dangerous and crazy. Do not approach unless you are an officer of the law.

defensive wound

It baffles the mind how unsafe the subway system is. That would never happen in Washington, D.C. where I come from. Why? Because … I don’t know why, honestly. Part of the issue is me. I try to stamp out ASSHOLE-ISM where ever it may be. I’m not afraid of people younger than me, or older than me, or of any race or gender. Asshole-ism crosses every strata of society. I know I have an anger management problem, but it irks me that people sit silently and put up with the asshole-ism of the few. If decent folk stick together, then these arrogant, mean, stupid people won’t have the clout that their rotten behavior affords them.

Panic in Hollywood

First there was the cult

I don’t know who these morons are. They were standing on the sidewalk (as you can see from the photos) but they objected when I took a picture of a couple of their signs. The second photo shows their leader trying to stop me from filming. They grew very agitated and couldn’t understand that because they were on the sidewalk with signs, then reason dictates that they wanted attention. I wished I’d been running my video camera, but alas. They were videotaping me, so perhaps the whole thing will be captured on YouTube for posterity anyway. Their low-budget frocks are almost endearing. They seemed very earnest and I would have been glad to hear what they think, but I’m Whitie, the blue-eyed Devil. Why can’t we all just get along?

So proud of their signage! ©Russell Smith, 2011

Note the fringe on their frocks! ©Russell Smith, 2011

Then there was the spitter

I saw the man spit at a woman. The woman said he was hitting on her underage daughter and she was trying to make him go away. His unfortunate manner of retaliating against the cock-blocking mother was inappropriate to say the least. He nearly got his ass kicked by the whole neighborhood. What follows are entertaining footage and photographs of the event.

First the videos

Then come the photographs

Figure 1. Restraint

"I have been base." Mercedes, The Count of Monte Cristo, by Dumas

"Run, Rabbit, Run!" John Updike


All we need is rope and a shovel.

The Power of Images

Shall I begin with some gossip?

I saw Andy D. on my own lowbrow street about a month ago in the company of a petite young man with a pretty face. Andy and I locked eyes, and he was so, “Where do I know you from?” He’s a funny man, but deeply troubled. He’s always getting into trouble. I believe he wants to be clean and sober, but the temptations of Hollywood hold him back. If I’ve heard the story once, I’ve heard it a thousand times. Good luck, my friend. Or should I say, “Break a leg?” How do I know he was up to no good? Well, the city erected permanent road blocks along my street which is parallel with Hollywood Blvd. Does that answer your question? If you are from L.A. then that should clear everything up.

Russell gets rejected. Tries again.

Well, Beers & Lambert rejected my six submissions, but the images were shabby and poorly edited. Simple things were amiss like cropping. It’s embarrassing when I think about it now. But hey! We learn from our mistakes. I’ll never enter a contest so late. By the time they’ve reached the deadline, they’ve decided which pieces they want, and which pieces they don’t want.
But all is not lost, gentle readers! I just submitted 6 new pieces to a show right here in Los Angeles. To be exact, I submitted six pieces to LACDA; that is, the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art. I am crossing my fingers. No! Don’t wish me luck! That is bad luck. If all else fails, just tell me to “break a leg.” I entered their snap to grid show which is not a competition, but rather a fund raiser. I haven’t even picked up my suitable for framing copy of the jpeg that I sent down the pike. C’mon Russell! Here’s the image, for your aesthetic appreciation. All Rights Reserved!


ENDORSEMENT

Tom LaBonge- another hit?

I would like to endorse Stephen Box over Tom LaBonge in the upcoming city election. Mr. Box has shown a sincere commitment to “greening” Los Angeles. He is a bicycle activist which is not always a good thing, but he’s thinking about the future. Most politicians just think about lining their pockets. Go to Mr. Box’s web page and compare it to Lefty Labonge’s. You should notice that there is a lack of hucksteria on Mr. Box’s pages, while Mr. LaBonge wants to scare everybody into space suits and freeze themselves for a good one hundred years, give or take. I wonder if he includes his daughter in his diabolical scheme? Bwah ha ha ha ha! I’m sick of Tom LaBonge. He’s so in the pocket of the developers that it isn’t even worth discussing at this point, and how much of the tax payers’ money is going into putting out those semi-talented calendars that he sends out to his poor constituents every year. Why not use that money to set up a scholarship fund? That would be a nice gesture, dontcha think?

A man with a stylist!

The before and after pictures of Stephen Box are courtesy of City Hall Insider.

Post-Halloween Report

Well the man brought in the Heat


I fled Hollywood for my resort in Ventura, just 90 mins away. So I am unaware of anything untoward happening in Hollywood.

I’ve noticed that the Times rarely reports on happenings in Hollywood. Does that anything to do with the rejuvenation project that the developers have dumped billions into? hmmmmmm I’m tired of thinking. It makes my head hurt.
I posted this picture on FB already and I don’t want to include it with Beautiful Pictures, even though it is definitely going into Flickr.

Who doesn't love macaroni and cheese?

Don’t forget to vote Democratic across the board today!

Hollywood’s Funniest/Scariest Videos

Here’s our first entry, put it under funny

 


The reason this video is so important is that it brings up the issue of the characters and street performers on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. They work so hard, usually under a bright, hot sun. They take their roles seriously and usually just laugh it off when people rip them off. Rip them off? Yes! Tourists will snap their pictures and then scurry off without leaving the role-player a tip. That is egregious. These people have enough money to take a vacation. They should have enough dough to toss a buck at these men and woman. Sometimes I’ve even seen tourists pose and take snapshots of a street character, and then scurry off saying, “No English! No English!” Well, money is the universal language. Just rubbing your thumb against your fingertips indicates that money is in the equation of their interactions. Reason #1 for hating tourists – They rip-off street characters and street performers.

Here’s our second entry, file it under scary


I’ve made it one of my little causes to publish this video far and wide. The faces of the individuals involved are clear and that’s the whole point. Those two bullies should be locked up for a year or two for what they did. See for yourself. Reason #2 for hating tourists- They never know where they’re going. BUT that doesn’t give you the right to rough them up! The saddest part is that the old woman got out of the car thinking she was going to get directions from those two brutes. What a world. What a world.