Friday, December 26, 2008

Settings: Part 5

In a new interpretation of Boxing Day, I bring you my favorite boxy South Pas historical building. Once a bank, it's now home to Kaldi, my favorite coffee haunt in the San Gabriel Valley. (I've heard the old 19th Century bank vault is still back behind the counter.) It's a friendly, unassuming local hang-out by day but by night ... okay, actually it's still a friendly, unassuming local hang-out by night, too.

But tell me (those of you who love to put on your secret filmmaker hats and play these little Hollywood games,) if this were a setting in a movie, what would happen here?

(I still seem to have the classic automobile fairy looking out for me: check out the great old cars parked in the shot!)


Jutilda said...

Totally loving that 60's era Chevrolet El Camino followed by an old Ford Fairlane. Terrific repetition of line and light. You always have such a great perspective. Boxing day will take on new meaning here, as I'll be stacking up plenty of them, and putting things away to store in the attic until next year.


Eki Akhwan said...

Merry Christmas, Laurie. I hope you have a wonderful time with loved ones this holiday seasons.


Trish said...

I love the shot, the cars and the fact that it USED to be a photography studio. Back when the El Camino & Dart were a more normal car to have parked there. Back before that One Way sign went up (yes, you used to be able to drive in either direction around the library!).

Yup, you heard me right. In the 80's, Pamela Lockhead had a shop in there. Took photos, taught photographic techniques, including how to develop prints.

How do I know? I was among the lucky few who were able to learn from her. I developed mostly B&W's, but nothing as amazing as the shots you're putting up here. Then again, I was taking photos with my old K1000 and Kodachrome!

btw, to me it looks a bit like the city needs to repaint the crosswalk stripes and fill in a few cracks!

Wayne said...

The scene is going to involve a couple of hipster doofuses cruising in a long black Cadillac ragtop. There is gun play but no one is hit, why?, because they're doffuses of course.

This scene reminded me Jim Jarmusch's Down By Law.

I don't know how you do it LA.

Mister Earl said...

Great shot, Laurie, as always. The radio is playing your song one of my faves: The Night Has A Thousand Eyes!

Trish: I took Pamela Lockhead's black and white print class there, too, probably in the late 80's before I discovered swing dancing. It was a lot of fun. I didn't recall her last name. Is she still around?

Snapper said...

Beautiful photo Laurie. I wonder what's going on in that second floor room with the matching arched window?

Hope you and yours had a nice holiday. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I still have my K1000. I also have three kodak carousals and several lenses that work with the carousals. Not to mention a polaroid camera and a few packs of film. Their in the safe behind the counter.

Anonymous said...

P.S.: Sent you an e-mail, time

dbdubya said...

This is one of my favorite buildings also. I have a painting of it. The point of view is from the park across the street and it captures the dark red walls of the side of the bank.

Trish - The cracked and peeling crosswalks, along with unofficial speed bumps caused by tree roots and cracked, uneven pavement help to make South Pasadena the quaint, unique town that it is. You can find all the smooth streets and freshly painted crosswalks next door in San Marino, a very nice, but boring town.

Laurie - The post-winter-storm weather, with wind swept skies and white puffy clouds must be providing you with some good opportunities for future posts on your blog. Those people who say Los Angeles is boring and ugly have never visited during weather like this.

babooshka said...

We are definitely sitting in the car with Newman's Harper waiting for the leading lady and her cohort to slip out of the joint where we witness an contraflab that we can only summise the details at this distance which is why our protagonist hero will step in. Of cousre he will receive no thanks from the dame for interfering after all she can handle herself and a fat lip from her menacing cohort.

Laurie said...

Hi all,

Wayne, you and I are on the same wavelength because this setting definitely reminds me of Down By Law. (Jarmusch is one of my all time favorite directors, too.)

Trish, I'd love to see some of your old monochrome shots! I learned photography years ago with a Canon 35 mm SLR and about a gazillion rolls of Tri-X. What time I didn't spend in the high school theater I spent in the high school dark room. My old photography teacher gave me a great set of black and white darkroom equipment that I set up in the windowless bathroom of my first apartment. Several film school buddies and I used to develop our shots in that little bathroom -- someone always had to kneel on the toilet seat to reach the trays. I could never have envisioned digital photography way back then.

Pasadenaadjacent -- don't you love old slides? Computer slide shows just aren't the same as the light on the wall from an old carousel projector. I used to buy old random slides at garage sales back in the 80s. I ended up selling them... at a garage sale in the early 90s.

Dbdubya, I love the cracked sidewalks and uneven pavement here, too!

Babooshka, nice plot! I see you share my love of noir...

Thanks for all the kind words, everyone. I hope you are all recovering from Christmas reverie. Until tomorrow...

Trish said...

Mister Earl---LOL---so, perhaps we were in the same circles in the 80's? ;-) Small world! I believe Pam remarried and moved to AZ...but have lost track of her. Went to school with one of her kids, so anything is possible if I search enough.

What I think is funny is this shot reminds me of repurposing buildings. I once worked for a bank. It was turned into a Blockbuster many years ago. Apparently they never removed the vault due to size and weight issues. Would love to go back and say "Can you get Footloose out of the vault for me?".

dbdubya--was an observation of the cracks---actually made the pix of those perspective things. I grew up in SoPas, the quaint-ness is still there, tho some of it has grown up with addition of things like Starbucks. To me, it looks like the crosswalks haven't been painted since I walked them as a child...which, while quaint, is a bit sad to me. I used to ride my bike all over those pretty streets of San Marino---the wide boulevards with plenty of room. Different than SoPas, but both towns were different back then.

Laurie---I believe what was not stolen out of my mother's storage unit in the late 80's, was trashed by an ex of mine slightly later than that. I think somewhere I have a few shots of B&W I took back when---will have to hunt a bit, but am sure they'll be hilarious. I have, shall we say, become less tightly wound in the last 20+ years. Learned a little something about perspective and just the right angle. I too remember standing on my head trying to develop film and prints--made me realize I love the shooting, not so much the processing! I am THRILLED at digital photography. I used to shoot a 36 roll and be "happy" with 2-3 good shots. Now I shoot like a mad woman and am happy when a few out of a few hundred are less than stellar!

Trish said...

mister earl--ask and ye shall receive:

Arguing Guy said...

Hey I'm so old South Pasadena...

I remember when a plumbing contractor ran his small business out of that building. This was 71/72 before my family even moved to So Pas.

While he did whatever he was doing during our visit, me and my young friends burnt off some energy in the library park across the street. We might have been carrying a football with us.

And yep I walked by that building every day on the way to the High School.