Saturday, August 4, 2007

A hold-up in a McDonalds.

Cruising Los Angeles with assistant Henry.
Looking for opportunities to photograph the traffic on highways.
And to make cityscapes from vistas.

As was found in the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.
A marvellous view of Los Angeles.
The great thing of the activity was that to reach the vista point it needed a serious hike up a high hill.
Very remarkable to be in the very centre of Los Angeles and doing hiking in nature as if one was in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Another fabulous vista was found from the Griffith Park Observatory.
It is not allowed anymore to drive up to the Observatory but shuttle buses bring visitors leaving from the Los Angeles Zoo.
Of course a photographer doesn’t want to be dependent of the scheduled coming and going of shuttle buses and with assistant Henry another hike was made.
Now from the parking lot of the Greek Theatre all the way up the mountain where the Griffith Observatory is located.
A marvellous building constructed in 1935 and renovated in 2006.

To find proper locations to photograph highways is not an easy task.
Most bridges from where one can look down on a highway are not accessible for pedestrians.
And in case they are accessible, high fences obstruct the view.
Assistant Henry, being an expert on Los Angeles, knew where to look and some adequate spots were found.
Documenting a slow moving traffic jam underneath while the sun was setting, drivers were rolling down their windows and shouting happy words at the photographer.

In the afternoon it was decided to have a tea.
The only place available was a McDonalds.
Located in what is considered a “bad neighbourhood”.
Quite an experience.

Assistant Henry and the photographer, two Caucasians, among impressive African-Americans.
Some of them huge and obese but ordering extra large Coca Colas and milkshakes anyway.
Some of them decorated with gold chains and diamond watches and walking as if having comfortable air cushions in their shoes.
And all of them were watching wondering what those two white guys were doing in their McDonalds.

An older African-American sat down opposite the two tea drinkers.
He studied them and after a while he opened his bag, called and showed what he had.
Pornographic DVD’s.
He offered them for sale.

“My girlfriend doesn’t allow me to watch those”, the photographer thought it was funny to tell this to the older African-American.
And a way to make clear there was no interest in his merchandise.
The older African-American looked away expressing on his face disgust.
Eventually he turned back and said: “You must be the boss”.

Suddenly two mean looking guys entered the restaurant.
Each one had in his hand a large, silver revolver.
One moved to a corner of the restaurant and observed intently the customers.
He was ready to shoot and kill whenever he thought appropriate.
The other guy moved quickly behind the counter and disappeared.

Assistant Henry said: “Relax”.
Which was a good advice.
Makes no sense to get upset during a hold-up and possibly make a wrong move to have a bullet pumped in the beautiful body.

But soon it became clear they were employees of Brinks collecting the McDonalds money to transport it to the bank.

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