Anodyne
Friday, February 24, 2012
 
All their lives they had slaved at some kind of dull, heavy labor, behind desks and counters, in the fields and at tedious machines of all sorts, saving their pennies and dreaming of the leisure that would be theirs when they had enough. Finally that day came. They could draw a weekly income of ten or fifteen dollars. Where else should they go but California, the land of sunshine and oranges?

Once there, they discover that sunshine isn't enough. They get tired of oranges, even of avocado pears and passion fruit. Nothing happens. They don't know what to do with their time. They haven't the mental equipment for leisure, the money nor the physical equipment for pleasure. Did they slave so long just to go to an occasional Iowa picnic? What else is there? They watch the waves come in at Venice. There wasn't any ocean where most of them came from, but after you've seen one wave, you've seen them all. The same is true of the airplanes at Glendale. If only a plane would crash once in a while so that they could watch the passengers being consumed in a "holocaust of flame," as the newspapers put it. But the planes never crash.

Their boredom becomes more and more terrible. They realize that they've been tricked and burn with resentment. Every day of their lives they read the newspapers and went to the movies. Both fed them on lynchings, murder, sex crimes, explosions, wrecks, love nests, fires, miracles, revolutions, war. This daily diet made sophisticates of them. The sun is a joke. Oranges can't titillate their jaded palates. Nothing can ever be violent enough to make taut their slack minds and bodies. They have been cheated and betrayed. They have slaved and saved for nothing.

(Nathaniel West, The Day of the Locust)
 
"I went to LA. I love the space and light and architecture and vegetation there." (Stephen Shore in conversation with the author, 2006)
Thursday, February 23, 2012
 

"A survey was made of BROADWAY between Fourth and Seventh Streets, to determine building use, occupancy, and square footage utilized. The long plan represents not the familiar building footprint, but rather the compression of BROADWAY buildings against the street. The solid black line indicates a vacant building. The most obvious example of this is between Fourth and Fifth Street on the west side of BROADWAY where a few buildings in the center of the block are bracketed by the empty Broadway Department Store and the recently closed Newberry’s. A perpetual clearance sale forced all products down to the ground level, escalators were boarded up sealing off the upper floors, and finally the metal gate closed, leaving only the inlaid terrazzo sign “Newberry’s” in the sidewalk floor. Instantly these buildings become voids in the city, the modern ruins of BROADWAY."
 

Metropolitan (50), 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
 

Metropolitan (48), 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
 

Metropolitan (47), 2012

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