Sacred Space: Hollywood, California
*This is the first photoessay I made about growing up in Hollywood back in 2015. For more of my work from the Hollywood area, please see my Personal Hollywood photoessay.
My family moved to California from Brooklyn, NY in 1980. We arrived at Union Station on St. Patrick’s Day, marking the beginning of my relationship with Los Angeles. About a year later when I was 4, we settled in the Hollywood area. I briefly remember a few different apartments in Hollywood but for the most part, we lived in a small 2 bedroom on Hudson Avenue near Romaine Street.
In some ways, the neighborhood that I grew up in hasn’t changed very much. It has remained a lower middle class area with pockets of poverty here and there. It’s one of those places where success is living in one of the nicer apartment buildings and maybe having a car. This working class vibe is contrasted with Hollywood’s reputation (to outsiders) as a place where stars are born. Countless people come to the city with dreams of striking it big and countless more crash and burn trying to make it. Those that are rejected by the entertainment industry are welcomed by the drug world and quickly absorbed into the city’s underbelly. It’s an ever present cycle that can just barely be glimpsed at the edges of the neighborhood’s social structure, yet is impossible to ignore once you notice it’s existence.
This collection of photographs is a visual introduction to this part of this city through the eyes of someone who grew up wandering it’s streets. My objective is to present a portrait of the Hollywood that exists beyond the mainstream perception of life in Los Angeles.