Introducing Archival Recordings, an add-on to my Los Angeles Recordings newsletter that focuses on one photograph a week from my archive. I decided to start things off with this photograph I took in May of 2007 when L.A. Live was under construction. This was taken around the time I began to take photography seriously and I had just saved up and purchased my first DSLR, a 6 mp Nikon D50. At the time, I was living on my own in Koreatown and working my way through school by working in a computer lab at another school called FIDM, located on the corner of Flower and Olympic. I brought my camera with me to work everyday and I would shoot before I started (I opened the lab so this was often before sunrise), on my lunch break, and after work. After everyday I would go home and edit everything then repeat the routine the next day. It was a crazy workflow but it was also when I was the most excited about photography.
It was a good time to photograph Downtown Los Angeles. The redevelopment boom that consumed the city in the following years had just begun and I had the chance to document it. This picture of L.A. Live is a great example of the gradual transformation that took place. It didn't seem like a lot in the moment but it's amazing that this corner and skyline no longer exist. There are so many nooks and spaces in DTLA that just disappeared, replaced by the landmark attractions that the city is known for today. At times it is easy to forget that there is a Los Angeles that predates our current version that was around a little over a decade ago.
Thanks for reading the first edition of Archival Recordings. I hope that you enjoyed it and I look forward to sharing more of my archive of over 30,000 (not a typo) photographs of Los Angeles I've taken over the years. The impact of gentrification and redevelopment is etched into the physical structure of the city and I have the receipts. See y'all next week.
-Kwasi (Nonstndrd Creative).