“Oldies” from Barton Avenue

Over on Twitter lately I’ve been occasionally posting some “oldies” with pictures that were removed from the site several years ago. Looking at them again I was really struck by how bad my photography was back then! But in some of them I think there’s a raw “kidnappey” quality that I think still works pretty well. I really would like to go back and find some of the original pictures and re-edit them at a larger size sometime and make them look better in Photoshop – something else I can do in my copious spare time ;-)

All these pictures were shot sometime back in the early to mid “Aughts” in the little bungalow where I lived for several years when I first moved to L.A. I never talked about it much at the time because the place kind of embarrassed me but it was actually in Hollywood, right by Paramount Studios. In fact I could walk to the corner and see the studio where the Dr. Phil show continues to be videotaped.

People often think that Hollywood is glamorous but the reality is that much of it is a dump. A lot of the neighborhoods are rough and worn out and this one was no different. I was actually kind of scared when I first moved there in 2001 and the first years were tough. I missed my ol’ regular life back in Colorado and many times wondered if I’d made a big mistake moving to this city. I could have moved back once the lease went to month to month but I stayed on, I think mainly because I knew if I were back in Colorado I’d probably stop working on this website that I wanted to make. I just knew I’d have a harder time meeting people and getting it off the ground back at home. So I stayed. I don’t miss the old bungalow at all, and tend to avoid Hollywood in general now, but at the same time it is where I started the website and shot and edited a ridiculous number of pictures there, in those tiny rooms, and the landlord never had any idea about any of it. Later when I finally moved out in early 2010 my good friend Paul (Chainguy) and I took a drawer out of the kitchen and with a sharpie wrote “Barton Avenue Studios” in the space under the counter and then replaced it.

So it is a walk down memory lane seeing these. I’d like to think my photography has improved since then though I sometimes wonder if I’ve lost some of the edginess that the early shots might have had. I don’t know, maybe. In any case there were some fun times there, especially with Delilah and with my friend Kim (who doesn’t appear on the site), and, sadly, with some friends who are no longer with us (like Paul) or who have drifted apart. The only thing I wish I’d done is shoot even more pictures there than I did…and figure out my camera settings better! I hope you enjoy :-)