Southern California is diametrically opposite of Manhattan, in New York City. Southern Californians live in their cars, New Yorkers live on their streets. The real estate is more spread out in Southern California compared to Manhattan and in terms of street photography, New York photographers live right in the Mother Lode. Compelling street images are an order of magnitude harder to come by in the L.A. area, then the streets of New York, but I believe it is still worth the effort, so with some inspiration from Mark Garbowski, I have become a little more aggressive with my street photography.
The scene above is the east end of Mercantile Place in Old Town, Pasadena, California. Mercantile Place or more like a wide alley way that extends one block from Raymond Avenue (seen in the background) west to Fair Oaks Avenue. Old Town is the revitalized old commercial district in Pasadena, and is now home to various boutique type retailers, restaurants, bars and a multi-screened cinema. When we visit the area we like to use a parking structure that is adjacent to Mercantile Place (you can see it as the monolithic wall in the background of this image), so Mercantile Place is always on our route to or from the car. I like the way the canopy of trees frame this shot, the structure on the immediate left in this image is the patio for Lucky Baldwin’s pub, the structure on the right is a side entrance, trying to entice gullible passers by in to the local Scientology center (note the “open house” sign). I think we can surmise from the image that this couple has neither booze nor crackpot cultism on their minds.