Saturday, March 25, 2017

LA City Council Votes to Tear Down Parker Center

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to have former L.A.P.D. headquarters, Parker Center, torn down and replaced with new development. The city council also voted against naming the building a historic or cultural landmark due to the police department's past ties to racial discrimination.

Photo by Ted Soqui © 2016
LAPD Chief Beck closing down Parker Center.

The thin blue line at Parker Center 4/29/1992.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

California Poppy Bloom

The Golden Poppy, California's State Flower, begins to bloom.
The California State Park, Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, is at around 75% of peak blooming. Late winter rains didn't help this year's poppy bloom much, which is considered moderate, because they usually need a November rain event to properly germinate. The upside is that there will be a significant wild flower bloom at the State Park and generally all over the Southern California deserts. Those blooms will start arriving next week and last in to late April. Lots of little creatures at the parks to check out as well.

Photos by Ted Soqui © 2017
Road side poppies.

This things are popping up too.

Golden cups of California.

The hills are alive, literally.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Tijuana's Little Haiti

Tijuana, Mexico has a new community of refugees from Haiti.

Most have travelled from Haiti to Brazil where they worked building and servicing the venues of the Olympic Games. From Brazil they made their way up working in Colombia, Central America, and finally through Mexico up to Tijuana.

For many of the Haitians, it has been a two year journey. Some had children on their way, others have met with serious peril and trauma.
They hoped to finally immigrate to the US for work. Rumors spread through the traveling community that President Obama would allow them to immigrate, as long as they made it to the U.S. before Trump was to take office. It was not true as they found out once they made it to Tijuana en masse. Some tried to enter illegally in to the US with little success, others tried hiring coyotes who charged as much as $20,000 per person for passage in to the U.S. 
Most couldn't afford it, and those who did found themselves quickly deported back to Tijuana.

Immigration relief centers, originally made for Mexican deportees from the U.S. are now filled to capacity with Haitian refugees. Many sleep side by side on wooden shipping pallets covered with donated blankets in a recently converted parking area. Several centers are concerned that if the U.S. ships more deportees back to Mexico via Tijuana, there won't be any room for them and it will create a humanitarian disaster.

A small group of evangelical Haitians have decided to stay in Tijuana for now on a church site located in Canon del Alacran (Scorpion Canyon). The giant church now serves at capacity as a dormitory for the Haitians. Donated food and clothing arrives daily.
The pastor of the church has started to build small shacks near the church for the Haitians, and the locals have dubbed the area "Little Haiti." 
Some Haitians have tried to find work in Tijuana, jobs are scarce and the wages they get paid are so low they barely break even after a days hard work. 
On their journey the Haitians developed an amazing hybrid language of French-Creole-Spanish-Portuegese, often making it difficult to communicate with the locals. Many of the locals are fascinated by the tall and slender refugees.

No one is sure where the Haitians will end up. For now they will remain in Tijuana, or as some of the locals now call it "Haitijuana."

Photos by Ted Soqui © 2017
Son and mother in a TJ immigration center.

The Haitijuanans.

Mexican immigration paper for a Haitian man.

Local church pastor helping to build housing for the Haitians.

A young Haitian girl walking down the Canon Del Alacran.

Young Haitian woman with broken bones from her perilous trip.

One crowded room of the giant church which is now a dormitory.

Wash day in the canyon.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Eric Garcetti Re-Elected as Los Angeles Mayor

The people of Los Angeles re-elected Eric Garcetti as mayor of Los Angeles.
He won 80% of the vote in the field of ten challengers.

Photo by Ted Soqui © 2017
LA Mayor Garcetti and his daughter Maya at the voting booth

No Justice No Peace 2017

A photo I took back during the Los Angeles riots of 1992 now hangs on a banner fairly close to the place I snapped the image.
The image is of a young kid standing in front of a burned down building on W. Adams Blvd. in South Los Angeles. The banner is for an exhibit at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles titled "No Justice No Peace LA 1992."
I have some images featured in the exhibition.

Drop by the museum and check it out. It will run until August.

Photos by Ted Soqui © 1992 2017
La Brea Ave and Rodeo Rd.

The banner detail.
The photo at CAAM.

The image from 1992.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Twenty Years Ago in Noho

Twenty years ago today, two heavily armed gunman with fully automatic assault weapons and wearing full body armor battled LAPD officers for 44 minutes in streets of North Hollywood. The gunman had just robbed a Bank of America branch and were attempting to make a get away.
Several officers and civilians were injured during the battle, the gunman died.
The event was televised live.
Below are images of a LAPD cruiser with bullet holes from the assailants.

Photos by Ted Soqui © 2017
Bullet hole in the windshield of a LAPD cruiser.

Front view of a LAPD cruiser raked by automatic gunfire.

"to protect and to serve"

The Thin Blue Line.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Final Touches at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple

Finishing touches going on at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire Blvd.
The Guess Brothers, Maurice and Paul Marciano, are converting the temple in to a giant private art museum. It will house the Marciano art collection and feature local area artist.
The historic temple was designed by Millard Sheets.

Photos by Ted Soqui © 2017
Egyptian architect Imhotep getting a new pedestal.

A row of ancients getting cleaned up.

George Washington.

Albert Pike relief.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Late Winter's Day in La La Land

The last part of LA's long beautiful winter.

Photo by Ted Soqui © 2017
Click image to see in its full glory.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Rain Damage in Los Angeles

Rain damage in Los Angeles after heavy rain fell over the southland. A giant 30 foot sinkhole swallowed two vehicles in Studio City.

Photo and video by Ted Soqui © 2017
Studio City sink hole.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Storm Clouds Gather

Storm clouds gather over Los Angeles. Up to 5 inches of rain is expected to fall in the downtown area over the next couple of days.

Photo by Ted Soqui © 2017
View from East Los.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Pro-Trump Demonstration at LAX

30-40 pro-Trump supporters from the Southern California area demonstrated at LAX International Terminal.
They protested in support of Trump's travel ban against the seven Muslim countries in the Middle east, the ban has been temporarily overturned and is not in affect.
A counter demonstration of 300 set up inside the international terminal keeping the pro-Trumpers out and on the other side of the street. LAX Airport police kept the two demonstrations apart from each other.

Photos by Ted Soqui © 2017
Trumpers posing for pictures.

"Trump is Love."

Trumpers in action.

LAX PD keeping the peace.

Trumpers in protest mode.

Friday, February 3, 2017

LAX Reunion

Ali Vayeghan greeted by his family and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as he arrives to LAX. Vayeghan, who had a valid travel visa, was not allowed to enter the US last Friday due to a travel ban signed in to law by the President. 
Ali will join his family who live in Indiana.

Photo by Ted Soqui © 2017
Back in the USA.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Anti-Muslim Travel Ban Demonstrations at LAX

Two days of demonstrations followed after President Trump's travel ban executive order was signed in to place. Muslims from countries on the ban where detained at airports all over the US.
Protesters numbering in the thousands swarmed the international terminal at LAX calling for the release of all of the detainees. Traffic was shut down to the terminal for most of Sunday night.

Photos by Ted Soqui © 2017


Who's streets?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Muslim Ban Protest LAX

Hundreds of people demonstrated against the recent Muslim travel ban, signed in to law by President Trump, at LAX international airport. The ban was temporarily overturned by a federal judge.

Photos by Ted Soqui © 2017

Marching inside the Bradley Terminal.

Rallying outside the Bradley Terminal.

Candle light vigil.

Bradley International Terminal.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Latest Post Card From La La Land

Snow in the local mountains behind downtown Los Angeles after a week of storms.
One of my favorite views.

Photo by Ted Soqui © 2017
La La Land.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Inauguration Day Los Angeles

Inauguration day in Los Angeles.
Several marches met up in front of LA City Hall to protest against Donald Trump becoming the new President of the United States.

Photo byTed Soqui © 2017
Inauguration day.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Women's March LA

Thousands of people took to the downtown streets of Los Angeles to take part in the Women's March.

Photos and video by Ted Soqui © 2017



Thursday, January 19, 2017

Farewell Mr. President

Thank you for your service to our country, Mr. President.
It's been a great 8 years.

Photo by Ted Soqui © 2008
The President of the United States.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Beverly Hills by the Sea

The residents of Venice and Oakwood back in 1993 during the first wave of gentrification. 
Now the area is called "Beverly Hills by the Sea" and is quickly becoming the most expensive place to live in the LA County. Read about it in this week's LA Weekly.

Photos by Ted Soqui © 1993
The residents of Venice and Oakwood '93.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Falcon 9 Stage One

Stage one of a Falcon 9 Space X rocket now rest on the docks of the Los Angeles Harbor. The rocket flew in to space earlier last week, and successfully landed back on a special Space X drone ship named, "Just Read the Instructions," in the Pacific Ocean. Space X hopes to clean-up and re-use the rockets to make more frequent trips in to outer space.

Photos by Ted Soqui © 2017
Bolting the rocket down.

Loading stage one on to the docks.

Clamping the rocket down.

Detail of the nozzles.

Been to space.