St. John’s Gallery

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.

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Stock Lumber

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Stock Lumber, Los Angeles. November 2014

I love lumber yards and hardware stores. As an inveterate tool user, they are storehouses of the most wonderful inventions. Vice grips. Zip ties. Socket sets. Power tools. Bins full of nuts and bolts and screws and washers. The smell of a lumber yard, that resin-y pine-y aroma of freshly cut plywood, always makes me want to build something. Long ago, I was a woodworker, and the sight of a clear Douglas fir 1 x 12, or a nice piece of oak molding, brings back mostly fond memories.

I usually find myself in a hardware store about once a month, lumber yards less frequently now. Any home improvement project I undertake, be it a simple faucet repair, replacing a screen door roller, or anything more ambitious, always starts with a trip to Lincoln Hardware, Stock Lumber or the dreaded Home Depot. Most projects aren’t complete without at least three trips. One before and two during to secure a forgotten tool, part, or the correct size of whatever. It’s just one of those immutable laws of life.

I took a few pictures of this waiting line before the gentleman in the background pulled his pickup into the doorway. He is waiting for one of the yard rats to bring his purchase around. I was there shopping for windows, and I think I bought some small tool or other just because I can’t resist. I probably have 6 of those 4-way screwdrivers, one for every tool box I own. Can’t have too many tools. I didn’t buy any windows.

 

4 Chairs in Good Light

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Barber Shop, San Juan Capistrano. August 2013

I have captioned this Barber Shop, San Juan Capistrano, but the truth is, I don’t really know where it is. It might have something to do with Jake, some place we took him, or maybe not. It is a blank. The date stamp on the photo is September 4, 2013 11:55 AM. It is definitely Southern California, note the palm trees outside. There is a Keurig machine on the table, and a magazine, so wherever this is, expect to wait long enough to have a cup of coffee and read a bit. The window is south-east facing as this is late morning sunlight. I particularly like the glowy quality of light behind the chairs, and the graphics of the image. Maybe I’ll remember and update. For now, it is just a nice image.

Houston’s, Pasadena

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Houston’s Restaurant, Pasadena. July 2013

For a brief while, Jake was staying in Pasadena where we would visit him from time to time. Things weren’t going particularly smoothly for any of us at that point, and after one stressful visit, we stopped at Houston’s on our way home for martinis and dinner. They make an excellent martini, and their steaks and burgers are delicious. I have co-opted one of their signature appetizers, the grilled artichokes, and make it frequently at home. Steamed, cut in half, basted with olive oil and fresh garlic, and grilled over mesquite charcoal for a few minutes. This was my first night-time, outdoor photo, and the walkway seemed to beckon to us and welcome us in. That’s the front door on the left with the glowing square of light. I guess we really needed those martinis. After cocktails, artichokes and dinner, we felt much better and made the trip home without event.

 

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.

 

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.