USC in Beverly Hills

This is the waiting room of the doctor who performed the spinal injections for Jake. The actual procedure happened at the downtown hospital, but we went to visit the doc here in the fashionable USC medical building on Wilshire in Beverly Hills. Or rather on the edge of Los Angeles that abuts Beverly Hills. Two views of the same office, one looking east one looking west. The left-hand photo is the east view, with the large window on the right. It was part of the group of the first photos as I was finding my way with the concept. I particularly liked the light and the ‘living room’ feel of this area. The frosted glass door in the right-hand west view photo led into the offices proper. What was unusual is that every time we visited there was never anyone else in the waiting room.

 

Back to UCLA

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UCLA Medical Office, Santa Monica. May 2013

This is the waiting room at the UCLA Santa Monica medical center pictured in the 12 Chairs post. This room was so large, it had 4 or 5 different areas with different decors and furnishings in the same room. There was something about the shapes and arrangement of these chairs that inspired me to shoot a second photo of the same room two months apart. There was an area with a coffee and tea maker, microwave oven, and a soda machine; I guess the powers that be at UCLA knew you might have to camp out for a while when they set up the  room. At other times when we visited, there were families with children picnicking at the tables, people working on computers, doing their homework, a regular mecca of activity. This was in the “empty room” phase so I had to work to get a picture without people. We would visit a few more times before Jake decided to abandon the UCLA system in favor of USC. As a former Bruin UES elementary student, I was aghast, but he preferred the doctor.

USC Downtown

This is where Jake received treatments for his back. The USC Spine Center east of Downtown LA. We were there for his first treatment early in the morning of April 15. There wasn’t a soul in the huge waiting room. It was kinda eerie. While he was getting treated with an injection to his spine, I took these photos and several more. There are dozens of little waiting areas scattered throughout hospital along with larger rooms. When you go to USC, plan to wait for a while, wherever you are. If you look closely at the TV on the wall,  notice it is reporting on the Boston Marathon bombing that had happened just hours earlier. Odd how one can capture a bit of history inadvertently. We went back several times for more treatments, but the waiting area was always teeming with people. In these photos, the space waits expectantly for the rush of people that will fill it in just a few moments.

12 Chairs

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UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. March 2013

Waiting with Jake again. He had been complaining about back pain for some time, and had received a diagnosis of a herniated disc. We were at the UCLA medical office in Santa Monica seeking a second opinion at the suggestion of a dear family friend. The idea was to create an integrated care plan through the UCLA system to address the damage to his spine, create an intelligent pain management program, and help with strengthening his core muscles and overall physical condition. As it turned out, he would seek treatment elsewhere, but we visited this waiting room more than once. There are a few photos of this place, it was at the very beginning of what would become the Waiting Room Project, and had a variety of different looks. On other occasions the room would be filled with people, but today, we were the only ones there for our early appointment.

The First Photograph

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UCLA Medical Center, Westwood Village. March 2013

This is the very first photo I took for what would develop into a mild obsession and a multi-year endeavor. I was at the UCLA medical center on Thursday, March 28, 2013, waiting for Jake to finish with a doctor’s appointment, when this chair caught my eye. There was something about the symmetry, the late afternoon light streaming in the window, the angle of the magazine on the table that screamed, “Photograph me!” I had my iPhone  and was exploring the Hipstamatic app I had recently installed. This was in native black and white, as would be all of the succeeding photographs. I didn’t think anything of it when I snapped the picture, had no idea of what it would lead to. I just liked the image. It seemed tranquil in an odd way, like a place in which you wouldn’t mind waiting.