IMG_4729.JPG

Here I am above splitting the gridlocked lanes northbound on Vermont approaching 7th Street. The rest of my impromptu “20-Picture Project” is here on Flickr (including a WTF photo of the remains of a relatively large snake found on Jefferson).

But earlier I found what may be my new favorite crosstown street for my commute… at least coming home: Washington Boulevard. I pick it up in Culver City and first pass the old Selznick Studios (now Culver Studios) then roll through the somewhat eclectic Culver City Art District before hitting the Helms District. Across La Cienega it gets a bit less loverly but its wider dimensions mean the curb lane is pretty much unencumbered by vehiculars.

An interesting thing happened when I stopped near Gramercy Place to grab a couple snaps of a unique mural I found called “California Dreaming.” A couple young skateboarders were across the street on the northside of Washington and as I was checking out the art they crossed and came up to where I was standing and started talking about the mural and telling me they were here when the artists put it up.

“Man, it is gorgeous isn’t it?” I said, and they nodded perhaps a little bit in surprise that some old white dude on a bike could appreciate such stuff.

“Have the taggers been leaving it alone?”

“Pretty much,” the bigger one said, “except over there at the right end.” I looked over and high up indeed was some bastard’s illegible scrawl.

“That’s bullshit !” I said.

“Yeah, disrespect,” he said.

About that time two other kids appeared crossing Gramercy and the bigger one walked over to talk to them, leaving the smaller of the duo standing next to me.

“So it was more than one artist that did this?”

“Oh yeah,” the kid said, and preceded to point out each section and the name of the artist who did it. Then he asked me somewhat incongruously, “You a writer?”

I don’t know what that had to do with anything so I just said something about liking to document the street art around town before it gets messed up.

“Oh,” he said. “You a filmmaker?”

“Nah. I’m just a dude. On a bike.”

“Oh. Cool. Well, take it easy then.”

And he stuck his hand out and I shook it and then we bumped fists and I rolled out telling him to be good and he said “Yeah.”

Cool