Bellflower, Los Angeles

I’m in LA, so as is standard here – in SoCal – it took me only about 3 hours before stumbling across a load of cars. It would have been sooner, but I’d stopped off for coffee on the way. Being in the throws of European jet lag (in bed by 7pm, up at 5am) and my van-driving companions were in Bellflower by the crack of dawn, the location for all the cars, below. The street had been closed off for the show, which meant no shitty (mostly modern) cars cluttering up photographs of the buildings, my pet hate, giving me the opportunity to take some great street shots too. And this street, in particular, was super-photogenic, being the archetypal mid-century-small-town-America we Brits believe ALL of America to be built from: the barber shop, the ice-cream parlour, the soda fountain and the ‘No Poop Stains’ laundrette. (wait, what?!!) And no crowds either – it still being relatively early. My other pet hate is people getting in the way of the car shot. Me, patiently waiting for slow-moving shufflers to get out of the way, painfully working their way around the whole damn car, usually with their head to one side.

IMG_0948IMG_0947IMG_0894IMG_0955IMG_0954IMG_0964IMG_0956Back in Venice, the cars keep coming… I really do try hard to remember all the stuff people try to patiently teach me about pistons, fuel injectors and other complicated car descriptors. Still, it all seems to be just a bunch of letters and numbers designed to be instantly forgotten. The only thing I can really do is date cars (not romantically, obvs). Don’t ask me about the engine, but I’m usually correct within a year or two at either end of the model’s life span. A 1968 Mercedes caused some considerable fluttering on social media as it looked way earlier, but I can categorically confirm it was definitely a ’68. I’d like to play smart and say I was sure all along but the ‘For Sale’ sign in the back window was a bit of a giveaway, what with it listing the entire specs of the thing. No, arguing there; whoever was selling it knows their own car, right? Should have bought it? Could have sold it again before leaving LA? Who knows. Haven’t driven in 20 years, so I’d probably have dented the damn thing anyway.

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And finally, just a quick question. Who the F’ leaves a DeLorean parked on the side of the road in Venice?! I’m reliably informed you could pick these up ‘all day long’ for only $15k as recently as only a few years ago. I’d go back to London in 1666. Be around for that in-between period between the last-ever British plague outbreak and the Great Fire of London. Would have been interesting, I think. I’m sure others would do way cooler music-based stuff but nah, 17th-century London for me.


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