This photo appeared on my friend W’s Facebook page a few weeks ago. He is an accomplished photographer as you can see from the dynamic composition and critical framing. Knowing my penchant for waiting room photos, he tagged me in the post. I think it is a great shot, and in fact, it gave me inspiration to begin photographing myself in the waiting room situations. Stay tuned for some of these selfeets, coming soon.
All these images are from the St. John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica. Most of them were taken during a visit there in January of 2015. As previously noted, hospitals are rife with waiting areas of all sizes and comfort levels, and varying degrees of aesthetic value. I think the top left is my favorite. It perfectly encapsulates the essence of what is it to wait.
Doesn’t this look like a lovely living room? All that’s missing is a fireplace and some floor lamps. Well, it’s a primary waiting room in a hospital. Look at all the reading material, the TV, the comfy couches and chairs. There is even free wi-fi. Yep, you’re going to be here a while.
We were there for a minor medical issue, and I had the chance to prowl around looking for waiting areas to photograph. We were there at night, so the usually bustling hospital had the lonely deserted air most do when the crowds of people leave. Hospitals have been some of the most productive places in this project because of the abundance of waiting spaces, large, medium, and small. As previously noted, there is a lot of waiting surrounding the medical profession. Too many sick people and not enough doctors.
Through no desire of our own, we are home to three cats. A mother and two sons. One December afternoon, five years ago, the mother, a small black cat, showed up on our back deck meowing ferociously. We lasted three days before capitulating and letting her in. Somehow, she had chosen us as her new family. We named her Lola. The night before we were going to take her to be spayed, she disappeared and returned three days later pregnant. Two months later, she gave birth to a litter of 4 kittens in our bedroom closet.
We were able to find homes for two of them, but as they grew out of kittenhood, and couldn’t find anyone who wanted an adolescent cat, we discovered we had created a cat family, mother and two sons. The Katzes. From zero to three in just under five months.
This is our vet, Dr. Dean’s waiting room. We were there getting regular shots for two of the three Katzes. T met him through her orchid society. She grows the most beautiful cymbidiums, cattleya, and dendrobium orchids in our back yard. For a time, she went to regular meetings where she met Dr. Dean. He is a caring and knowledgeable vet, and he takes care of our Katzes with compassion and skill. If you need a good vet in Culver City, let me know and I’ll pass on his info.
Here are two photos sent by M.M. I don’t have any info other that to infer the was at the doctor’s. While not technically a ‘waiting room’, it is clear that he was waiting for his health care professional and needed something to do while he was waiting. Thank you, M.
Keep those guest photos coming. If you have a photograph you would like to share, please use the Contact the Project form, and I’ll send you my email address so you can send me your picture. This project belongs to everyone.
As you might have gathered by now, we engage in food quests of one form or another. One of the objects of such a quest has been the definitive pastrami, (or corned beef) sandwich. The gold standard, in my opinion, is Katz’s in New York City. In Los Angeles, there are scores nay, hundreds of variations on this deli icon. However, there are only a few that remotely approach my ideal of the perfect sandwich.
Food writers routinely compile lists of the ‘best New York style pastrami’ sandwich and the two that make this list consistently are Langer’s and Brent’s. Not often mentioned is Nate N’ Al’s in Beverly Hills, for years our go-to stop. Factor’s Deli used to be very good but has declined in years. Canter’s on Fairfax also makes these lists with regularity, but they are not my favorite. A new player in the LA pastrami scene is Wexler’s in the Grand Central Market. They cure their own meat and lox, and the sandwich is pretty darn good.
A couple of years ago, on our way out to Desert Hot Springs for a much-needed escape, we stopped at Langer’s for the first time. Fortunately, we arrived after the crowds that normally fill the waiting line outside had dissipated. Its reputation is well deserved. Aside from the smoky goodness of the meat, their speciality is the twice-baked rye bread with a fabulous crunchy crust. The old-school deli ambience only adds to the experience and the french fries are delicious too. We have eaten there several times since and it never disappoints.
The following year, we stopped at Brent’s just because they have been so lauded, and were sorely disappointed. The meat was rubbery and indistinctly flavored, and the bread so soft, the sandwich disintegrated halfway through. It has been suggested we try again, but once was enough. On our food quests, one strike and you’re out.
Sherman’s is our local framing shop. We have been getting art framed there for more than 20 years. As Jake progressed through his art education, we had a number of his early works framed there, through his photographic career, right up to the last picture he created a few months before his death.
I took this photo while we waited for our guy, Andy to help us with that last piece of Jake’s, a beautiful pastel he made while he was in Palm Springs. It is a large work, and we floated it inside a magnificent black Italian wood frame, like in a shadow box. As usual, Sherman’s did a spectacular job matching the texture of the matte inside and perfectly displaying this wonderful picture.
Our most recent trip was to get a portrait of Jake framed. Taken by my Mom’s friend Penny years ago, it is a fabulous picture of Jake with his camera at my Dad’s studio. Look at it closely; it perfectly captures who Jake was, his authentic self. We found a gorgeous hand-made Italian frame and they did a masterful job with the matting and framing. It hangs in our hallway next to Jake’s last pastel.