Los Angeles, post 2

Los Angeles has this diffused light and it makes everything up close seem extra sharp, and everything far away extra blurry. Dust, haze, smog, fog- everything that seems to account for weather here produces this effect. Also metaphorically accurate. But will it make for difficult picture taking?

I can really see the appeal of LA, if I don’t think about it too closely. Drive everywhere. Everything’s free, but parking is expensive. Everything seems… like it’s already been done before, yet people are doing new things everywhere. I can definitely see a little bit of this crazy edge, as if LA was a magnet for phenomenological fanatics. Just a hint, here and there. Certainly the demographics are different than northern California. There are lot more influences from the south and a lot more tourism. I think that’s because, big shocker, Los Angeles is a major world city. Somehow it never really has seemed like a real city to me, stuck in some Northern Californian dystopian mindset.

We went to a beautiful yoga class at Rising Lotus this morning, it was hard work but not wearing. And I’m sore now but I never got exhausted. Didn’t sleep too well last night, but it sure felt good to get into the LAPL and get to work! And!! I got another library card. I am a very proud card-holding library member. My collection of library cards now stands at seven: Pleasanton, AClibrary, Berkeley, UC Berkeley, Bellevue, Seattle… and the LAPL! Heh heh… Parking was really expensive, but in 2.5 hours, I managed to figure things out okay. I knew I just had to get started!

So, I’ve chosen to study the time period from 1900-1940 at ten year intervals, to get a representative sample of the organizations active at the time. Today,  I went through LA records for 1920 first, as it was in hard copy. Which I much prefer to microfiche. I was going through with my laptop, retyping the relevant things. I guess I found addresses for 50 halls, with a few repeats. So once I add in 1900 and 1940 the workload shouldn’t make it too bad- maybe I can even try to photograph them all! I would like to have a record. However, I ran into some methodological problems. Do I include what they list as “Chinese Free Masons”? I am answering Yes to everything questionable, at this point anyway. I am having to think very broadly about “ethnic” names… It’s neat. And this is only the first step- I can’t wait to see how many of these halls are still standing!

Using the files on the microfilm was a lot more boring. As most of the years are listed in the online catalogue are indeed there in hard copy, I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can use the books tomorrow. I’m trying to go back and get as far as I can for the rest of Southern California. After today, I have records for LA from 1900 to 1940, but I have some compiling and double checking to do. I should get pretty far tomorrow, which will feel really good. I had fun today.

The sunshine is very warm here. It’s impressive. Otherwise, things are very pleasant. Apparently normal weather is a fog/haze till noon, then bright hot afternoon sun. Then evening sea breezes… perfect for snoozes.

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