Los Angeles | A Continuous Lean.

Los Angeles

Mar 23rd, 2010 | Categories: Americana, Books, Los Angeles, Photography | by Michael Williams

The Taschen New York store is directly across the street from my office and sometimes when I need to clear my head I’ll trot over there to flip through some of their beautiful books and drift off into another world. After I posted the old Kodachromes of L.A., a few people pointed me in the direction of Los Angeles, Portrait of a City and I was immediately sucked in to the amazing photography of an amazing city.

That cover image is especially great. To think that that was real is nothing short of mind blowing. All of these old pictures have me watching L.A. Confidential and Chinatown, loving the long gone City of Angels.

Simon’s drive-in, Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax; Photo by Dick Whittington.

The intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, and Doheny Drive in West Hollywood, captured through the wind shield of actor Dennis Hopper’s car, 1961; Photo by Dennis Hopper.

Little Tokyo, First Street, 1953. The Japanese community recovered its presence near downtown Los Angeles after World War II. Photo by Frank J. Thomas.

Spectators join police at the aftermath of a shootout, 1953.

Rita Aarons, wife of the photographer, swimming in a pool festooned with floating baubles and a decorated Christmas tree, ca 1955. Photo by Slim Aarons.

Opening of the Warner Theater, later the Wiltern, Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue, October 7, 1931.

President Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, then governor, confer at the Century Plaza Hotel, 1974. Photo by David Hume Kennerly.

Mickey Cohen sitting amid the front pages of newspapers that helped make him the city’s most infamous citizen, 1953. Photo by Ed Clark.

Cover image by Frank Thomas from The Frank J. Thomas Archives. Second photo to bottom: Jim Heimann Collection, Jim Heimann Collection, Dennis Hopper, The Frank J. Thomas Archives, University of Southern California/Regional History Center, Getty Images, Jim Heimann Collection, Getty Images, Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images.
Comments: 17

17 Comments to “Los Angeles”

  1. unitedstyle
    on Mar 23rd, 2010
    @ 11:53 PM

    Those are some great pictures. As someone who lives in the suburbs of LA, I don’t have the patience to navigate the city of today. I do enjoy viewing the history of the city.

    Every so often, KCET, the local PBS affiliate will air a program from the early 90s called “Things That Aren’t Here Anymore” which focuses on vanished places of LA. This book reminded me of that program.

  2. Eric
    on Mar 24th, 2010
    @ 12:22 AM

    I got this book as a thank you gift for a photographer I art directed recently. He is from LA and had never seen the book. He absolutely loved the amazing collection of images. Taschen has created some truly magical books over the years. Though there is no store in SF, I stop by the Beverly Hills shop every time I am down south.

  3. Razvan
    on Mar 24th, 2010
    @ 5:55 AM

    thank you for posting these things…they are like a breath of fresh air that remind me of the times when the world was a lot more elegant and not so casual…I only wish the stores you are presenting had overseas delivery :)

  4. ashley
    on Mar 24th, 2010
    @ 7:45 AM

    this book looks pretty awesome. thanks for sharing.

  5. Frank
    on Mar 24th, 2010
    @ 8:42 AM

    I didn’t know LA had a little tokyo area! great pics..thanks for sharing! Greetings from Umbria!

  6. Joe
    on Mar 24th, 2010
    @ 9:28 AM

    It’s too bad that girl in the first picture has about two seconds to live.

  7. Thornproof
    on Mar 24th, 2010
    @ 9:37 AM

    Great photos but even better outfits in them!

  8. Brian Miller
    on Mar 24th, 2010
    @ 5:13 PM

    Got the book for Christmas and it’s the only thing on our coffee table now. Fantastic.

  9. W.Free
    on Mar 25th, 2010
    @ 12:10 PM

    Good post. I love taschen books, I have spent hours in their stores.

  10. Jon Taylor
    on Mar 25th, 2010
    @ 5:44 PM

    Great post. This guy Jim Heimann who put this book together is a genius. He does all the pop culture books for TASCHEN. New Roadside America book he’s doing looks great as well. They are coming out with New York book like this in the Fall I think.

  11. Caroline, No.
    on Mar 25th, 2010
    @ 6:02 PM

    God, I need that book! LA is my favourite city in the world. Need to watch Chinatown again too. Love that baubles in the pool picture!

  12. Karen
    on Mar 25th, 2010
    @ 8:05 PM

    That Slim Aarons photo is awesome

  13. Bucasporum
    on Mar 26th, 2010
    @ 12:16 PM

    Good post, I lovelos angeles

  14. jake
    on Mar 28th, 2010
    @ 12:59 PM

    LA before it went third world. Looks nice.

  15. Aron
    on Mar 29th, 2010
    @ 9:33 AM

    Its raining and windy in New York, and your making me miss LA. That’s not nice.
    ;)

  16. Johnny
    on Apr 1st, 2010
    @ 8:49 AM

    Excellent post. This is the L.A.of my dreams! Mickey Cohen looks one serious wise guy. . .

  17. kelly
    on Apr 17th, 2010
    @ 5:02 PM

    Sooo glad to see so many Los Angeles lovers (and not haters) !