Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Was working out at the gym when it hit, nearly dropped the bar on my neck! The parking attendant wouldn't let anyone out of the underground parking lot unless they paid. Most of the drivers trying to leave/evacuate left their wallets and purses in the gym lockers and were made to sign their names and numbers and promise to pay. 

Photos by Ted Soqui c 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

LA River Expedition Final Day

The LA River expedition reached its final destination today where the LA River meets the sea in Long Beach. 

Photo by Ted Soqui c 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

LA River Expedition Day 2

Day two of the LA River expedition. The kayakers made it through the Glendale Narrows in ankle deep water. Some of the kayakers were also a bit salted from all of the walking, but with blessing from the Mud People and some river dancers, they kept on paddling.

photos by Ted Soqui c 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

LA River Expedition Begins

A small contingent of kayakers began their 52 mile 3 day expedition down the LA River. They launched their kayaks and canoes from the loamy banks of the LA River near Lake Balboa.

Photo by Ted Soqui c 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gray To Fade

Watching the Gray Ghost fade away into the sunset.

Photo by Ted Soqui c 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

LA River Expedition To Begin

A contingent of kayakers, the LA River Expedition kayak team, will set upon the headwaters of the LA River this Friday at the overpass at Owensmouth (Canoga Park) and paddle to the sea (Long Beach). The 52 mile kayak trip will take two days to complete and will be done in fresh water kayaks made by Pyranha. The objectives of the expedition are to raise consciousness about the LA River and to prove to the Army Corps of Engineers that the river is fully navigable by boat. The Army Corps of Engineers states the river is not-navigable, and no boats are allowed on the river. Hope they make Lewis and Clark proud.

Photo by Ted Soqui c 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Strange Fruit In LA

The Australian performance art dance troupe, Strange Fruit, held several performances in downtown LA this week. They performed their piece "Swoon" which is a shorter version of their piece "The Field." The Melbourne based group performs their work atop 13 foot tall poles that sway in every direction. They will be in downtown LA Friday and Saturday at 7th and Fig with shows at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. The shows are free to the public and are worth checking out.

Photo by Ted Soqui c 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

No Money And No Pictures!

While shooting outside the Indymac Bank headquarters in Pasadena, I was confronted by an angry security guard. He told me "no pictures allowed!" He was also told, by his boss, to block me if I took any. Indymac Bank was taken over by the Federal government on Monday due to becoming insolvent. The bank's problems began when it lent out subprime mortgage loans to borrowers with bad or no credit history. There were a couple hundred of Indymac customers who lined up all day to withdrawal their monies. There was another line in Pasadena, even longer. It was at the Apple store on Colorado Blvd. with people looking to buy the newest iPhone.

Photos by Ted Soqui c 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Echo Park Lake Lotus Die-Off

The famous Lotus plants of Echo Park Lake failed to bloom this year. Instead most of plants have died. LA City officials speculated up to 13 different reasons may have been the reasons for the massive die-off including bad water quality, plant poaching-they are edible, and pest. This Lotus field has been around since the 1920's when Aimee Semple McPherson, founder of the Angelus Temple across the street from the lake, is said to have planted them from plants she imported from China. There were a few Lotus leaves that pushed their way through the unusually brown murky and foul smelling water this spring, only to quickly brown rot and die. The annual 2008 Lotus Festival held at the lake is two weeks away with no Lotus blooms in sight. The Lotus is a symbol of divine beauty in the Hindu religion and is considered a sacred plant.

Photos by Ted Soqui c 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Douglas Robert Burrows

Douglas Robert Burrows or "Doug" to most was my best friend. He was with me when I bought my first camera a Nikon FE-2 at Pan Pacific Camera many years ago. We also shot hundreds of assignments together back in the day. He was more than a friend, he was a guide possibly a saint. Doug would give the shirt off his back or his last penny to help someone in need with no hesitation. He was also a wonderful photographer, on his way to becoming a great one. His life was cut short days before his 30th birthday on a downtown LA street in 1993. Doug was a victim of a hit and run collision. A speeding 18 wheeler truck ran a red light crashing in his red Toyota Celica. Doug was knocked unconscious by the impact and soon flames began to engulf his car. The truck's driver, Rogelio Pereira, looked into Doug's car rendering no help at all fled on foot leaving Doug to die in the flames. Pereira would soon flee to Mexico and hide there as a fugitive for 14 years. The very hard work of Doug's family, the LAPD, US Marshals Office, and the Mexican Police finally brought Pereira to justice. Pereira was caught by Mexican Police and expelled as an "undesirable person" because he was a US citizen and had no legal standing in Mexico. Pereira stood trial this month for the 1993 collision and pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter before jury selection was complete. His murder plea was dismissed because he pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter according to Deputy District Attorney Catherine Chon. LA Superior Court Judge Drew Edwards sentenced Pereira to 11 years and 8 months in State prison. Pereira who was a fugitive for 14 years, and was previously wanted for drug charges in Arizona, will serve less time than he was in hiding. I remember Doug for not being a vindictive person or harboring any hate at all, but I am and do. The light sentence that Periera received is a huge slap in the face to his family, law enforcement, justice, and to me. I wonder if the same sentence would be rendered if the victim was a LA Superior Court Judge, or a Deputy District Attorney, or a member of law enforcement. Maybe Doug's final legacy to me is to forgive. It will be a long road and huge challenge to get there, but in memory of Doug I will try.