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Untitled (Chinatown Art Gardens)

May 15, 2011

Working in downtown Los Angeles has its perks, one of them being my workplace’s close proximity to La Placita Olvera, Little Tokyo and Chinatown. To add steps to my day, I’ll sometimes take a long-way-round trip through one of these areas. This past Wednesday, Chinatown was my reverse shortcut. It was early, barely 7:30, when I reached Chinatown from Union Station and I was not the only one moving at a brisk pace through its streets … neighborhood dwellers strode swiftly toward bus stops, while impatient buses disgorged others; workers with jobs in Chinatown’s shops and restaurants. As I approach the live poultry store I up my pace to a run; the goal being to bypass its distinct fragrance of chicken poo, feathers and water … this propels me northward, toward the Chinatown arts district, and specifically the short gallery row on Chung King Road. Part of the downtown arts scene, Chung King Road’s mix of tourist-y gift stores, trinket and import shops and hip art galleries is pretty lively, just not this early in the day. I could count on one hand the number of people I saw moving past me as I took these pictures. It was cool, very quiet and I almost felt like I was trespassing, since I know people actually live above some of the galleries and shops. During my last visit I had seen succulent plantings in containers; here’s a hipstamatic gallery of them, as well as other sights. Let’s begin with the above:

Untitled (Variegated End of the Road; Tricycle)


Untitled (Cactus with Accordian Security Grates, Burglar Bars, Patio Set and Boxed Electric Coffeepots)


Untitled (Commingled: Attraction of Opposite Foliage)


Untitled (Slow-Speed Bench)


Untitled (The Early Arrivals: Succulent Pupils)


Untitled (Chain Gang with Spider Plants)


Untitled (Fong’s White Sock; or Ambivalence on Life’s Inevitable Journey)


Untitled (The Banality of Conformity)




Untitled (Cursive Chinatown)


Click here for a recent New York Times story on LA’s Chinatown arts scene; Click here for an LATimes photo gallery and story on an architect couple living on Chung King Road. Click here for a downloadable pdf-format map of Chinatown, including Chung King Road.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. small things photography permalink
    May 15, 2011 4:19 am

    i love the nostalgic feel of these photos. wonderful work : )

    • reubix1 permalink*
      May 15, 2011 4:20 am

      Thank you, and thanks for commenting

  2. May 15, 2011 4:19 am


  3. Guida Quon permalink
    May 15, 2011 11:32 am

    Really Fabulous! A beautiful study. Thank you.

  4. May 16, 2011 3:15 pm

    Awesome shots, Reubin! You are so creative in every beautiful thing you do! It must be hard to be you…working, walking, seeing, doing lots! Do you ever sleep?

    • reubix1 permalink*
      May 16, 2011 3:46 pm

      Ha! Thanks, Ginny and yes, it is a burden to be me: those six hours-a-night of sleep really cut into my day … But then you have a restless, creative mind, too… so you know how it is!

  5. Judith nelson permalink
    May 17, 2011 6:23 pm

    I love exploring the back corners and textured spaces of Chinatown!! Thanks for bringing out quirky and unusual areas and writing genuinely creative captions! Have you explored the zen gardens of Little Tokyo? Another place rich in photographic possibilities!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      May 17, 2011 6:28 pm

      Thanks, Judith… I’ve looked for that Little Tokyo back alley but haven’t found it yet … the hunt continues .. thanks for commenting!

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