Los Angeles

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 on “Los Angeles

    unitedstyle on March 23, 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.

    Eric on March 24, 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.

    Razvan on March 24, 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 :)

    ashley on March 24, 2010 7:45 AM:

    this book looks pretty awesome. thanks for sharing.

    Frank on March 24, 2010 8:42 AM:

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

    Joe on March 24, 2010 9:28 AM:

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

    Thornproof on March 24, 2010 9:37 AM:

    Great photos but even better outfits in them!

    Brian Miller on March 24, 2010 5:13 PM:

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

    W.Free on March 25, 2010 12:10 PM:

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

    Jon Taylor on March 25, 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.

    Caroline, No. on March 25, 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!

    Karen on March 25, 2010 8:05 PM:

    That Slim Aarons photo is awesome

    Bucasporum on March 26, 2010 12:16 PM:

    Good post, I lovelos angeles

    jake on March 28, 2010 12:59 PM:

    LA before it went third world. Looks nice.

    Aron on March 29, 2010 9:33 AM:

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

    Johnny on April 1, 2010 8:49 AM:

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

    kelly on April 17, 2010 5:02 PM:

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

Comments are closed.