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.