Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Video of train ride in Los Angeles

I shot this nine-minute long video out the window of a train southbound between Glendale and Union Station in Los Angeles. Excuse the smudge marks on the window, please. People like this train because it offers views of the ocean as it makes its way to San Diego, but this stretch of industrial landscape is far more fascinating to my eyes.

You'll see abandoned massive warehouses, vibrant graffiti, trains at rest, lone uniformed workers conducting unknown business in the middle of dirt lots, unusual factory vehicles, the LA river, an inventory of large electrical insulators standing ready for duty, firetrucks performing maneuvers, desolate streets flanked by silent and unmarked red buildings, 1960s public housing with much evidence of occupation but with nary a person to be seen, and the nearly deserted Union Station with its mid-century Disneyland-esque platform structures showing decades of neglect. All of it against a backdrop of palm trees and green hills. Watching this video gives me the same feeling I get when I read Raymond Chandler or John Fante's Ask the Dust. It's why I'll never leave Los Angeles, at least not if I can help it.