Wednesday, December 17, 2008

After Dark

Day is pretty straightforward in its narrative, but Night always feels like a deep breath of possibility. Sure, it's the stuff of nightmares and fog, unknown footsteps and deserted streets. But it also has all that moonlight and cricket song and those wonderfully dim streetlamps that cast such long, pretty shadows. Plus, no ringing phones or appointments -- and the kids are asleep. (Usually.)

Night is melancholy... but also hopeful. And that's one of my favorite combinations.


Mister Earl said...

What a great shot, Laurie. The lights, the colors, the shadows, the angles. Are you incapable of doing anything ordinary?

Virginia: Check your comments from yesterday.

Laurie: Did Don Pardo ever tell AH what she wins?

Virginia said...

Mister Earl you da man!

Dang, you can make an alley look good. Amazing photo today.

Yakpate said...

You did it again! Golden umber juxtaposed with periwinkle blue!

But best, and most BRILLIANTLY of all... the long, mysterious shadow leading us directly to the dark door. Viewers know, just as the monster knows what we did last summer, that we MUST confront whatever is behind that door! (The deserted alley lets us know it probably isn't a rave.)

In the distance, three stars and shades of olive green and aqua give us hope.

San Diego Farmgirl said...

Love it! Yak's right, those colors are really something.

dbdubya said...

The late night, early morning hours, after businesses are closed and most people have gone to bed, are the best time to be out and explore a city. Your senses are heightened by the lack of stimuli. Most of the people, sound, light, and interference are gone. You can hear and see things you would never notice during the daytime. The smell of a bakery preparing the next day's delicacies; spotting a feral cat seeking its next meal; seeing coyotes from the Arroyo coming out to prowl; and feeling the chill of an early morning breeze that casues a sudden shiver.

You have captured this feeling very well, Laurie. An alley in the middle of the night is a special place to experience those things most people are not aware exist right under their noses. Beautifully done.

babooshka said...

I feel a film script coming on again. Mr Earl said it all. Hats off again. Damned fine image.

dbdubya said...

Great idea about the script, Baboosh. How's this for a start:

It had just stopped raining when Brother Earl stepped out of the shadows of the back doorway to the warehouse. After lighting his 8th cigarette of the long night, Earl reflected on the phone conversation he'd just had with Babooshka. He couldn't decide whether to take her up on the offer to go hiking in Altadena in the morning. As he contemplated his options, Earl was suddenly startled by a large rat that jumped out of the dumpster and nearly ran across his foot. After catching his breath, Brother Earl noticed that a car had turned into the alley off of Mission Street and was slowly coming his way.

Okay, there's a start. Who's going to write the next chapter?

altadenahiker said...

Dubya, I think you could write this all by yourself. Continue. And nice moody shot.

Ken Mac said...

There goes Laurie again, prowling the night while the rest of us snooze...!

dbdubya said...

Thanks, Hiker, but I think it's a much better piece if several contribute. Laurie should conclude with the final chapter tonight.

Trish said...

Laurie---GREAT shot!

I was actually IN this alley last night. Tried to stop and have some dinner...but we couldn't agree, so we ended up down the street instead.

a little freaky that I was just there, but cool.

Jutilda said...

Jackson Brown's song came to mind immediately after reading your narrative.

Between the darkness on the street
And the houses filling up with light
Between the stillness in my heart
And the roar of the approaching night
Somebodys calling after somebody
Somebody turns the corner out of sight
Looking for somebody
Somewhere in the night

Tender is the night
When you hold your baby tight
Tender are the motions, tender is the night

Between a life that we expected
And the way its always been
I cant walk back in again
After the way we fight
When just outside there are people laughing
Living lives we used to lead
Chasing down the love they need
Somewhere in the night

Tender is the night
And the benediction of the neon light
Tender are the hunters, tender is the night

Youre gonna want me tonight
When youre ready to surrender
Forget about whos right
When youre ready to remember
Its another world at night
When youre ready to be tender

Tender, tender tender...

And in the hard light of an angry sun
No one remembers what was said or done
Tender are the words they choose
You win, I win, we lose

Tender is the night
The benediction of the neon light
Tender are the hunters
Tender is the night
When they hold each other tight
Tender are the undercover
The stranger and the secret lover
Tender are the motions
Tender is the night
When you hold your baby tight

Tender, tender tender...

Petrea said...

Sweet lyrics, Jutilda. Thanks for taking the trouble to remind us.

I like gazing down this alley to the brightly-lit garage that's open late. What're they doing in there? It's s\nice to wonder. I'd wander down and peek. Or maybe not.

Mister Earl said...

Trish - You could not have been there. The alley didn't exist until today. Check your coordinates.

USelaine said...

I'm a night owl too, and never have feared the darkness as much as others seem to. What better time to see the beacons in our lives?

Cafe Observer said...

LA, that Allee looks familiar. Has anyone said where it's located.
My guess is she's behind, or just east of Fair Oaks?

Laurie said...

Wow, you guys have really added the narrative to this shot! I love it, dbdubya starts his own what would happen in this scene without me even asking for it. Yippee! (More on that in a minute...)

Thank you all so much for so many nice compliments. I'm always so pleased when you guys like the shots I REALLLLLLY love. (Hint: I really love this shot!) It was taken behind Fair Oaks at Mission, Cafe. The same alley where this happy shot was taken. Lighting makes a world of difference in how we see things. (Just ask any woman who has tried on clothes in a store dressing room with fluorescents. The horror!)

Trish, were you going to Gus's? That little Japanese place?

Jutilda, I had totally forgotten that song. Great choice! You're so good at remembering just the right song for any scene.

Petrea, I wanted to walk down there to see what was up with that light, too. (Trish? Do you know?)

Elaine, I love the way you summed it up.

And now, by request:

It was a 1935 Peugot 402 with one smashed headlamp and a rattling muffler. Brother Earl squinted into the glare. A mischieveous and sultry voice rose above the rough motor.

"Hey man, you know where I can get a good cup of coffee?"

"Petrea," Earl smiled. "You've got to stop hotwiring cars. What will your fellow bloggers think?"

"They'll never catch me!" Petrea laughed, speeding through the alley and narrowly missing San Diego Farmgirl as she walked around the corner.

"Dang," Farmgirl said, "Somebody must have found themselves a gnome."

"Did somebody say bone?" It was Cafe Observer, slowly walking back from Gus's BBQ with a toothpick in his mouth.

"What are you two doing up this late?" Earl asked.

"I'm looking for fruit trees," Farm Girl said. "It's what I do. You?"

"Pondering the infinite." Cafe Observer looked wistful.

Just then, the unmistakable sound of a camera shutter snapped from behind a particularly well sculpted bush.

"Laurie?" Mister Earl looked out and said, "Is that you?"


Til tomorrow, everyone...

Petrea said...

A screaming hoot!


Wayne said...

It's taking me a while to wade through the accumulated posts and usually I don't stop to comment because I can't add anything and there are just so many hours in the day.

I can't add anything here either but I think it's a fabulously moody shot and I want to know what is going on in the lighted garage/shop.