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Welcome to the online blog for traveler/writer/photographer Steven Barber. Come in. Relax. Take off your shoes and socks -- or any other article of clothing, this is the internet. Have a look around. I hope to intrigue, amuse, entertain, and maybe provoke you just a little. I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

Monday, May 1, 2017


Over the weekend we watched the terrific film La La Land

It's a beautifully shot, well acted, well written love letter to the City of Angels, as has been noted so many times before. I have lived and worked in the Los Angeles metro area for some 38 years at this point, starting in 1979 when I moved to LA from San Diego to study film and broadcasting at the University of Southern California.

The city has changed a lot since then, growing from what some writers* once called a bunch of suburbs in search of a city, to a strong and vibrant community of neighborhoods gathered around the central core and a handful of alternate downtowns**.

I actually live in the equally attractive Long Beach, a large city twenty three miles south of downtown LA. Our own metropolitan area, Long Beach and the South Bay form one of the several hubs which surround greater LA. Others include Orange County, The Inland Empire, and The San Fernando Valley (aka "The Valley").

It's a city I love and am proud to consider my greater metropolitan home.


And since some of the film's more iconic moments happen at the Griffith Park Observatory, here are two samples from my archives of this beloved structure.

* - The comparison has been attributed to Aldous Huxley, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and others.

** - LA proper has three: True downtown, Hollywood, and Century City. Surrounding cities Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, Beverly Hills and other also have strong downtown cores. Perhaps the quote ought to be modified to be "multiple downtowns in search of a hub".

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