Sinister Gaps

Walking in downtown Los Angeles, I came upon a troubling view. The multi-story granite facade on a fancy new building had a hole smashed between two of the slabs. The gap was as wide as my hand could span, and about two fingers high. What kind of forces could take such a small yet through-going chunk out of this wall? Is the building flimsy or were the forces powerful?

Not an everyday flaw.

Not an everyday flaw.

Looking more closely, I sensed something inside the facade. Had I put my ear closer, I would have expected to hear breathing. Or moaning.

Entry to the world behind.

A hint of the world behind the facade.

Instead, I hurried down the block, aware that the nearby homeless guys were wondering what the heck I was photographing. As I strode away, I imagined one of them coming to investigate and getting sucked through, into that world behind. The other homeless guys would describe what happened, but no one would believe them because they’re just homeless guys.

A couple blocks later, this empty freeway onramp had a similar vibe, offering a trip to parts unknown – or unknowable.

On ramp? Or entry to a parallel freeway?

Would a car on this onramp ever reach that freeway?

At the time, I believed I was creeping myself out in preparation to write the second volume of Frames, which opens with an attack from other dimensions. But as I look at the photos now, I’m less sure.

(A recent WP Photo Challenge wanted to see Between.)


The View From High and Far

I can stare at a city view for hours, studying the structure, sensing the underlying chaos, sensing the history and the stories, hearing faint distant sirens and that lowgrade perpetual hum that comes from so many people in one locale. Below are shots of

  • Chicago adjoining Lake Michigan,
  • Boston at sunset across the Commons,
  • midtown Manhattan,
  • the East River and Queens as seen from the Empire State Building on a very clear day, and
  • downtown Los Angeles as seen from the hiking trails at Griffith Park at dawn.

I will leave it to you to figure out which is which.






This post responds to this Weekly Photo Challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting – But the City Remains

My favorite hike takes me through the chaparral-covered hills of Griffith Park but maintains a view (smog allowing) of downtown Los Angeles in the valley below. The weather and the seasons change but from this distance the city looks constant.


A fall afternoon.


Moonset at sunrise.


Early spring wildflowers.

(Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.)