urban landscape

Night and Day

When I was a kid, my favorite color was red. Because children have favorite colors. Now I’m 60 and, true to form, or age, reverting backwards and all that, I once again find I have a favorite color. I wasn’t really thinking about it. It just kind of happened. But my favorite color is no longer red. It’s orange. Man do I loves me some orange. It just does something to me inside. Fills a hole I used to cover over with booze, or weed, or, later in life, salted caramel ice cream. Now I just look upon the color orange and I’m good. Totally fixed and made whole as a person. But I have to admit that these two otherwise nothingburger shots here cause my wandering eye to drift back and recall ever fondly that first love you never quite forget. Bloody fucking red. Oops, there it is!

That Montana Thing – Title Explained!

So yes, I can pop off some fairly bizarre sounding post titles, especially in the middle of the night, when I put together most of my posts here on 50lux.com. So let me explain this last one.

I’d been in LA for many years. Many. Probably a dozen. And I was working somewhere and a co-worker and I were having an interaction about some product we routinely received from a local vendor. There was some kind of problem. And I asked her what was going on and she gave me a brief explanation that sort of made sense.

And then she summed it all up by saying, “It’s that whole Montana thing.”

Which made absolutely no sense to me.

I mean. I’m pretty good at basic geography. Well, maybe not that good. But I kind of knew nevertheless that Montana was still a long way off. But, at least at that point in my life here in LA, I was still in the necessary mode of not easily giving up the fact that I was basically a hick from the foothills of Appalachia. So I just just knowingly nodded and said, “Oh.” That whole Montana thing.

So after being here for like a dozen years, I thought I knew Santa Monica fairly well. Geographically speaking. It’s pretty much defined by two long east-west boulevards, Wilshire, which is essentially the main street of Los Angeles, and Santa Monica, duh, both of which run from downtown LA all the way to the ocean.

But, it turns out, there was something I had missed. Montana Avenue. It runs parallel to Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards, but about eight or so blocks north. Really off the beaten path. You could live here for, like a dozen years or more and not know about the place. And it is a place. Montana is pretty much a perfect replica of an American small town Main Street, only one in a really nice, tres chic, foo-foo, small town. You know. That whole Montana thing. Movie stars, industry executives’ wives’ vanity boutique clothing stores, sidewalk cafes, etc.

None of this is peculiar at all in LA, mind you. A big secret about this place is that there are endless streets here in Los Angeles that look and act very much like the classic American small town Main Street with tailors, luggage stores, men’s shops, shoe stores, hardware stores, etc. So while a good part of the rest of America has lost all of that to Walmarts and dollar stores, LA is the place to go if you want to live that life we all used to enjoy around the rest of the country.

But Montana is nevertheless very special. Probably the most exclusive words that can be applied to a residential address in the state of California are, North of Montana. It’s a special place and just being there means that, you, too, are living a special life. Even if you’re just driving through.

But for me, discovering the very existence of this place, and that its very existence had completely eluded me for so long, was a real moment of self-discovery. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal. But it is because of my own cluelessness that a place that’s so significantly on the cultural radar here had been so completely off my own radar for so long… well, that part of it, that gap in my knowledge of this place, is why that statement by my co-worker stuck in my head. So there it is.

Oh. The again part.  That’s because I don’t think this is the first time I’ve used this for a title.

Thanks for understanding. 😉


A Birthday Card to My Self


I snapped this scene about 500 feet from my front door last year at this time. It captures the cool late-afternoon shade provided by the massive buildings in Century City and, here and there, an actual tree or two.

I’m 60 years old today. For a person from where I’m from — anyone, I would think, but certainly me — how far I have come to get where I am today is something that is never far from my mind. So, for me, this image is a representation and reminder of that as well.

Anyway, have a great day everyone and I will now continue trying to forget how old I am and go on with the happy illusion that I’m 30 years younger. 😉