An otherwise fantastic day in Los Angeles…


Two weeks ago today we started out down Pico Blvd., oblivious, enjoying our afternoon taking pictures. President Obama was in town and in the Santa Monica area so all the helicopters made perfect sense. So did the police barricades far down Pico near Santa Monica College. People milled about as if the President were likely to come right past them.

Well, that’s what we thought anyway. Had I known that there was a shooting rampage near the campus resulting in multiple fatalities, a sadly common occurrence in the United States at this particular time, I would have come away with an entirely different set of images, I think. But incredibly, even after seeing up close the disruption caused by the actions of a madman, we went about our day continuing to believe that, once again, the president had caused a major interruption to the already crowded Westside.

It was only much later in the afternoon that we found out what had really happened. So here are some random shots from that afternoon. Some capture the tense scenes around SMC, some reflect the degree to which we were completely unaware that this was unlike every other day in LA.

As so often is the case, in retrospect things look much different.







  1. Thank you, Smithie. The only hint we had that this might not have been all about President Obama’s visit was the vibe… which was exactly as you describe it. Edgy edgy edgy. I have other shots as we came down Pico Blvd and we both commented that there was a really crazy edgy vibe in the air. Again, we thought it was all the usual frustrations over the tie-ups caused by a presidential visit. But we were questioning each other as to what else might be going on. But we were enjoying Bernadette’s day off and just chatting up everything else so much that we didn’t even bother turning on the car radio… something we often do.

    But that’s not all. We found out at our favorite Thai restaurant (not because of the food, I’m sorry to say) … they had a TV and we also learned from the staff that one of the waitresses there, sister of a great friend of ours, yet another waitress there, was IN THE LIBRARY when the gunman entered it. So… everyone there was just giddy that she’d gotten out unharmed. So it hit very close to home. Plus, we spent much of our 30s taking evening classes on every subject under the sun at Santa Monica College. That IS home for us. Many fantastic memories there going back to the early 1990s.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting.


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