Analogue Girl About Town: The Truth About LA


There are a few things I do not like about my city, but despite its glaring imperfections, it’s a city where people continue to create and where dreams come true.

I confess that there are a few things I, myself, do not like about my city. Hollywood, for example, with its gaudy streets full of overpriced souvenir shops, and its hordes of tourists that stampede about just to celebrate what could possibly be one of the most pointless attractions in the world (a.k.a. The Hollywood Walk of Fame), is definitely a part of Los Angeles that I rarely venture into these days.

The intersection on Hollywood and Highland, one of the most famous attractions in LA and one of its busiest intersections

I do agree that the elegance factor in many parts of this city has gone down a notch or two. In fact, it has recently come to my attention that in some night clubs here, dirty old men would literally throw money in the air, and hot leggy girls in skimpy outfits, in turn, would get on their hands and knees to grab as much cash on the floor as they could possibly stuff in their cleavages.

LA is not a perfect city. It has its share of 30-somethings who dress and party like they haven’t quite moved on from their frat boy/sorority girl days; overly confident aspiring “artists” who just cannot accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, they might be better off doing something else; and people in the entertainment/music industry who fake their way to fame and fortune.

Here’s the truth about LA: almost all of us transients, so naturally and inevitably, we have more than our share of unpleasant characters.

But here’s another truth about LA: many of us here are bounded by one single very important thing – to pursue our dreams. Everyday, people brave Los Angeles to reinvent themselves, to become who they’ve always wanted to be, to make their dreams come true.

Angelenos at the Red Lion Tavern, a German-themed bar and restaurant in Silverlake

People tend to forget the good parts about this city. They forget what it had meant and what it continues to mean to those who, in a world of harsh reality, still dare to dream.

They forget that it’s where a suburban kid turned his fascination for the bizarre and macabre into million-dollar movies (Tim Burton); where an ordinary postal worker was inspired to write amazing stories and become one of the best writers of our time (Bukowski); and where Marlon Brandos become Marlon Brandos and brothers from an unremarkable town become the Beach Boys.

It’s the city where Marilyn Monroe became a silver screen siren…

Formerly the Kodak Theater, the Dolby Theatre is home to the Academy Awards

…where the brilliant Elliott Smith created the hauntingly beautiful Figure 8…

The famous Elliott Smith Figure 8 wall in Silverlake

…where Charlie Chaplin dedicated a lot of his time to make his movies…

Formerly the Charlie Chaplin Studios, the Jim Henson Studios is now the official home of the Muppets

…where Frank Zappa, The Doors, and The Byrds made names for themselves…

Whiskey-A-Gogo and the Sunset Strip, both significant to the 70s music scene in Los Angeles

…where Nirvana shaped Nevermind and Fleetwood Mac molded Rumours

Sound City in Van Nuys, where many of the most important albums of our time – including Rumours and Nevermind – were recorded and produced

…and where many of the movies we enjoy and love are filmed, edited, and produced.

Los Angeles is a city where people have courage to create these amazing things. Yes, I admit that it’s not a perfect city. It certainly isn’t the best city in the world. But, despite its glaring imperfections, it’s a place where dreams really do come true — not to everybody, not everyday, but all the time to people who know exactly what they want, chase after it, and persevere.

And that makes it a freaking great city.

All photographs by Michelle Rae. She lives, breathes, and haunts in the City of Angeles.

written by blueskyandhardrock on 2013-02-05 in #lifestyle #hollywood #hollywood-walk-of-fame #rumours #elliott-smith-figure-8-wall #the-beach-boys #elliott-smith #tim-burton #charlie-chaplin #lomography #analogue-girl-about-town #frank-zappa #fleetwood-mac #los-angeles #city #marlon-brando #figure-8 #sound-city #bukowski #sunset-strip #the-doors #the-byrds #nirvana #nevermind #regular-contributors #marilyn-monroe #analogue-lifestyle


  1. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Hollywood is where one my friends little, blond 17 year old plumbetrix daughter fiercely turned down a date with Julio Iglesias at a sound studio on Gower St. about 1984. She said he was just a MUCH too dirty old man, and, anyway his manager said he was married and a total hound. She was fixing a broken hot water pipe in the shower, there, and was holding a 12 inch pipe wrench. Another unproven Hollywood story for you.

  2. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·

    @herbert-4 that sounds like hollywood... haha thanks for sharing that story!

  3. kibs
    kibs ·

    Great article about a fearlessly and creative city!

  4. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Nice article! I have been to L.A. four times and feel I have barely seen any of the massive city. Some people tell me they love it, others hate it, I think it is too big to judge without spending a considerable length of time exploring it.

  5. emilios
    emilios ·

    Loved your article. However , not that I want to be dismissive about L.A's good things, but I only lasted 4 months and then went back to NYC where i lived for 5 years. Maybe the bad things overpowered the good. Dont know what it was.

More Interesting Articles

  • The Analogue Quiz: What B&W Film are you?

    written by andie_sollmer on 2014-10-20 in #news
    The Analogue Quiz: What B&W Film are you?

    Did you ever think about the myth that we actually dream in Black & White? No colors, maybe no truth behind it anyways. But we know for a fact that you can create the most dreamy photographs with an analogue camera. And for that you need the right film. Scroll down and find out which B&W film is the film of your dreams!

  • Transient Living: Armitage & McMillan in Denver, Colorado

    written by maliha on 2015-01-07 in #world #locations
    Transient Living: Armitage & McMillan in Denver, Colorado

    If you want to know the heart of a person, peek inside his/her wardrobe! And no, nobody famous said that; I only just made it up. But really, don't you think it's true? After all, the way we dress screams our personality; at least for most of us. And that is why, as soon as I land on a new city, one of the things I absolutely must do is find the local boutiques. Sure, I love the fancy chain boutiques as much as the next person, but there's just something else about a local clothing store. It's unique!

  • Film Experiments: In The Dark - The True Analogue Experiment

    written by mikekumagai on 2014-08-05 in #gear #tipster
    Film Experiments: In The Dark - The True Analogue Experiment

    Throwing chemicals, fire, and scratching emulsion are just a few ways of experimenting with film. But there's another process that completely destroys it (or, if you're lucky, creates something amazing), that is as spastic as a drunken man staggering his way home after a night at the pub - literally. And it all comes down to darkness.

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Mini Neo & 10x Fuji Instax Mini Film

    Fuji Instax Mini Neo & 10x Fuji Instax Mini Film

    Save 20% on Fuji Instax Mini Film with this bundle and get 100 sheets for pure Instant fun! Plus, get to choose which Fuji Instax Mini Camera fits your personality!

  • A Weekend of Cosplay Competitions

    written by antoniocastello on 2014-10-21 in #news
    A Weekend of Cosplay Competitions

    There is a weekend in New York where the city streets look like an alternate universe, full of fantastic characters and people who seem to have walked out of a comic book or a movie. This weekend is the NY Comic Con weekend and people from everywhere come to one of the biggest comic convention to be part of one of the biggest Cosplay competitions.

  • Transient Living: The Craft and the Craftsmen of Denver, Colorado

    written by maliha on 2014-12-10 in #world #locations
    Transient Living: The Craft and the Craftsmen of Denver, Colorado

    The people of a city, to me, speak volumes about its culture and sense of community. And that is why I sought out the people who make Denver that much more interesting after the initial period of settling down. My search lead to a few establishments that have contributed to making Denver what it is today. In the second story on Transient Living, I present to you two of such establishments: The Craftsman & Apprentice, and A Small Print Shop.

  • LomoKino: Life in Moving Pictures!

    written by adi_totp on 2014-08-21 in #reviews
    LomoKino: Life in Moving Pictures!

    I bought the LomoKino years ago, and since then I've been having great times with it. I will continue documenting my daily life with the LomoKino, which is Lomography in motion! You can see the movements and facial expressions of people - it’s priceless! Documenting life in moving pictures, the Lomokino can be used as a camera that not only shoots moving pictures but also works like the multi-frame wonder camera, Supersampler!

  • Shop News

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • My Analogue Bucket List: Faster Than a Speeding Cannonball

    written by bloomchen on 2015-01-22 in #lifestyle
    My Analogue Bucket List: Faster Than a Speeding Cannonball

    The new year is still young, but it seems as if it'll be over quickly. My organizer is already filled with entries until June. 2015 will probably be worse than 2014 when it comes to having time off so I could take some analogue shots. Anyway, there are some photography-related things that I really want to get done. It is probably best to set some goals if I only have very limited time.

  • The World According to Herr Willie: The Amazon

    written by wil6ka on 2015-04-09 in #world #locations
    The World According to Herr Willie: The Amazon

    It was the Amazon which I had longed for my whole life. And when it was finally a set deal that I will travel to Brazil with two of my best friends for the Copa do Mundo (World Cup), we really had to start our adventure in the Amazon. I had known about this magical place deep in the rainforest. There was a lodge run by local people of indigenous background, with wooden houses that float on the water and a limited number of visitors. It was eco-tourism as how it should be. To preserve and to celebrate one of the most impressive locations I have seen so far.

  • C.S. Muncy Gets Colorful with the LomoChrome Turquoise

    written by givesmehell on 2015-05-22 in #gear #reviews
    C.S. Muncy Gets Colorful with the LomoChrome Turquoise

    C.S Muncy is a New York City-based freelance photojournalist and a fellow LomoAmigo who tested and reviewed the LomoChrome Turquoise film. The rolls of film were put to good use; the resulting shots were simply stunning.

  • Shop News

    Lubi Scooby Doo! Save 15% on Lomography film in the Bundle with the Lubitel!

    Lubi Scooby Doo! Save 15% on Lomography film in the Bundle with the Lubitel!

    This beautiful camera features such ability to let users choose and switch between 35mm or 120 formats! Shoot more, save more! Get this Lubitel camera and get 15% discounts with Lomography Films!

  • Awesome Albums: Tri-X by Ccwu

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-05-22 in #world #lifestyle
    Awesome Albums: Tri-X by Ccwu

    In this stunning collection, night lights are a form of movement.

  • Felice Beato's Hand-Colored Photographs of Edo Period Japan

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-05-23 in #world #news
    Felice Beato's Hand-Colored Photographs of Edo Period Japan

    These rare images of samurais and courtesans were photographed and hand-colored by Felice Beato in 1865, and will be on view this weekend at The London Photograph Fair.

  • Capturing Faces with the New Petzval Lens

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-05-23 in #gear #lifestyle
    Capturing Faces with the New Petzval Lens

    The New Petzval Lens is no simple portrait lens. This ingenious invention snaps up faces and all the character, emotions, quirks and nuances they carry.