The Darkness of Los Angeles by Christina Czybik


LA Noir: Downtown Los Angeles at Night

Dark and almost pessimistic with low key lights, strange to social problems situations and elements of Hollywood in the bigger picture.

Hollywood Boulevard is the perfect spot to find the bright smile of glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry shining through the night with having the darkness of failure, misery and distress as extras in the picture. Hopes and dreams, disappointment and reality go hand in hand in Hollywood.

Walking around Hollywood, setting one foot after another on the Stars of the industry, reading their names embedded in the concrete, you realize that some dreams can come reality. A reality that is getting more stained with gum, leftovers, excrements, drinks or sometimes even blood the further you go away from the shiny area between Kodak Theatre and the intersection of Hollywood and Highland.

LA Noir - Streets of Downtown

Most people morph into something in virtuality, where everyone can be whatever they want to be. Mostly disappearing in meaninglessness in the vast world of social media and virtual reality. But here we have people living in the open on the streets of Hollywood. They celebrate freedom of speech and freedom of expression. They can be whatever they want to be. It is an attraction pole for all the weirdness, for all the craziness. A cry for attention, a hellhole that became a desirable place to be, to hope for dreams becoming true and ultimately having a better life.

If you are standing atop Griffith Park with the view down on the basin of Los Angeles while the sun sets and the a sea of lights go on one by one, you realize that from up here your problems and the stress of daily life seem to be far away, almost vanishing in the vast area and under the haze. One can feel overwhelmed looking down on the melting pot of cultures, coming from all over the world to chase their dreams. And if you are flying over the city, being even closer to the sky, everything seems so small and you know that you are part of that human habitat that’s called Los Angeles.

LA Noir: Downtown Los Angeles at Night - Orpheum Marquee on Broadway and Eastern Building
Orpheum Marquee on Broadway and Eastern Building

And then there is Downtown. Darkness. Homelessness between faded glory and neon lights. Marquees as last remains of Broadway’s more glamorous times. Abandonment and adherence of the old world of cinema. This district once had the highest concentration of movie theaters in the world. Downtown Los Angeles has changed in the last couple of years. The city cleaned up the streets even more, they put Urban Outfitters in an old theatre on Broadway. Doormen stand guard at the doors to newly renovated apartment buildings around the Historic Theatre District and the Commercial District.

Broadway Bar Neon Sign
Broadway Bar Neon Sign

You can clean up the streets but you still feel the vibe from years ago when there was the dirt, the smell, the noise. The chatter of people living on the streets, screaming at each other or talking to themselves. Now the streets are almost empty as soon as the night falls. These streets probably carried more glamour in the old days than any other street in Hollywood shows off today. And the degeneration and atrophy of glitz and glamour reflect the real world behind the shining marquees: the show is over, the lights are off and darkness falls on the pavement. This city holds most likely the darkest secrets one can image hidden somewhere between the shining city lights. [Official website]

LA Noir - Streets of Downtown

I love this city, with all my heart.

 

Arcade Marquee on Broadway
Arcade Marquee on Broadway

LA Noir - Streets of Downtown LA Noir - Streets of Hollywood LA Noir - Streets of Hollywood LA Noir - Streets of Hollywood LA Noir - Streets of Hollywood LA Noir - Streets of Hollywood

Hollywood Boulevard at Night
Hollywood Boulevard at Night
Hollywood Boulevard at Night
Hollywood Boulevard at Night
Hollywood Boulevard at Night - Roosevelt Hotel
Hollywood Boulevard at Night – Roosevelt Hotel

LA Noir - Streets of Hollywood Los Angeles Griffith Observatory Los Angeles Areal ViewsLA Noir - Streets of Hollywood

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