Down “the Hill” and to “the Beach”

MOSTLY it was work, but I snuck in some walking and photography when interview and deadline was through.

Here’s just a few visual impressions of the “Infinite City”

Day One — Full-on storm on Nob Hill. . . But then this:

By day two, I was off the hill and into North Beach.
A postcard day:

Moon over Tosca:

Post-lunch service @ Laffite SF, (former L.A.-Chef Russell Jackson’s fetching-Bayside digs at the Golden Hour:

Early-morning North Beach, before the tourists converge on Jack Kerouac Alley;

(all photos copyright lynell george)


Lost Angeles

JUST BACK from San Francisco, where the job was to talk about Los Angeles — a Los Angeles that only lives in memory now. Reading these Los Angeles stories brought back the feeling of looking at old photographs. Not just the people in them, but their environment. These L.A. stories capture what’s hinted at in those old photographs. Not just the event — the sparsely decorated Christmas tree, the circus of the first birthday, the paid-in-cash new car — but the mood of rooms and what the fine details that they hold, the gardens and the toys; the bikes resting in the driveway, the tools on the lawn, the food on the kitchen counter, the vast openness of a city street still yet-to-be re-imagined, crowded, gentrified.

It’s all about atmosphere and sense of place as only a musician with a keen ear for such delicate matters could figure out how to evoke on a page.

“Indian Summer”

ALL OF a sudden it’s been up to the 90s in town. I have vague memories of trying to trick-or-treat in unbreathable synthetics — sweating — so I know that this last, heavy breath of heat isn’t aberrant, just a mini-season of its own. But how it makes me really long for a proper Fall to kick in. The light in the morning and at late afternoon says otherwise. It’s golden-hued and deep with shadows. Contemplative.

Welcome to the native’s L.A.

“At the tone, the time will be . . .”


EAR TO the ground, if it were a train, you would have felt it coming months ago. Pacific Standard Time celebrates the birth of the Los Angeles Arts scene — from 1945 to 1980. This extensive, much anticipated collaborative multidisciplinary (whew!) look at Los Angeles and the arts, jumps off this weekend with several opening-weekend events stretching across Southern California

Among the museum/gallery shows opening is “Under the Big Black Sun” at the Geffen Contemporary (still known among die-hard, long-timer Angelenos simply as “The Temporary”), which features work by more than 100 artists, including Ed Ruscha.

Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974 – 1981

Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981 will constitute the most comprehensive survey exhibition to date to examine the exceptional fertility and diversity of art practice in California during the mid- to late 1970s; a period bracketed by Richard Nixon’s ignominious resignation and retreat to Southern California in 1974, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, and the landslide election of California Governor Ronald Reagan and his ascent to the American Presidency in 1981. Organized by MOCA Chief Curator Paul Schimmel, Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981 will feature works by approximately 125 artists working in a wide array of mediums and styles. The exhibition seeks to demonstrate how collective loss of faith in government and other institutionalized forms of authority yielded a pluralistic spirit of freedom and experimentation that reached its artistic apex in California, already a fertile ground for creativity and non-conformity.

Several of the museums and galleries that are participating in the collaborative show are offering free museum admission today, Sunday.

I’m really looking forward to several months of visual art, music, discussions that will not just braid the city together in a different sort of way but also help to flesh out its depth and contours.

For more info click here for a full calendar of events.

And here is a pretty extensive and well-reported account from KPCC (89.3 FM) about the show’s scope and intentions:

(image Standard Station (Red), by Ed Ruscha via UBS Art Collection)