Where: Los Angeles, CA
Our son had an audition recently to attend the renowned classical guitar program at the USC Thornton School of Music. While we live in Upstate New York, as a native Valley Boy I was thrilled that he may be headed back to my home town.
As we were planning the trip to USC, I carved out time in our schedule to show him my favorite places in LA from Venice Beach to the Original Tommy’s. But he told me he really wanted to spend as much time as possible at USC and anything related to it’s music program.
I was kinda disappointed. I wanted to brag a bit about LA and take him to places few in LA even know of, but quickly realized this was a very good sign. For those who move to LA from the East Coast it can be tempting to ease into a more relaxed lifestyle, lose focus and chill-out a bit too much. I knew at that moment that our son was dedicated to the instrument he loves and would not be looking for every chance to sneak out and hit Zuma.
Fortunately during our visit there would be an opportunity to attend a concert by a USC Orchestra at Disney Hall. Well at least I could show him Disney Hall!
It was mid-day when we arrived at the Hall and in LA that often means bright and sunny. While all were reaching for sunglasses due to the reflections off that amazing building, I remembered this photograph I made right before the Hall opened. It was 2003 and I had a free hour before one of those classic meetings. I remember driving around my old hangouts like Angels Flight and the Triforium when I saw Disney Hall for the first time. I was stunned by the way it stood out from the Downtown LA I knew as a kid.
While walking around the structure looking for the best angles I remember being hit up by two panhandlers and a hooker. This was par for the Downtown LA I knew as a teenager. I also remember my retina feeling a bit burned-in because the metal was intensely reflective.
A few years after the Hall opened, it was decided that the metal was indeed too reflective and the high gloss was buffed out. While there are many images of Disney Hall, it’s no longer possible to experience what I captured because the exterior has a different reflective nature. And as Downtown LA itself has a different nature with a rejuvenated sense of place, there were no encounters with the before-mentioned, usual suspects.
The pressure is now on as we just learned that our son will be attending USC this Fall. So since the school is not far from Disney Hall, I have to reflect on how to make a better, but less reflective picture.