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Los Angeles 2011

In April 2011, my employer moved me from the east coast to the west coast of America. I can’t say I was thrilled by the idea. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but I absolutely hate the heat. I come from the Midlands in England. It’s dull, it’s dreary, and it’s usually cold. And I like it that way! So being uprooted to the Golden State for a four- to six-months project wasn’t at all appealing. However, I also appreciated it was an opportunity to see the “Entertainment Capital of the World” in person, and even spend some time in Hollywood. Particularly as my professional role at the time was tangentially linked to movie production.

NBC Studios

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

No, I wasn’t on The Tonight Show. I didn’t even get to meet Jay Leno. I did, however, get interviewed live on local TV – wearing an exceptionally ill-fitting suit – and it happened to be in the same building as the famous comedian’s late night programme.

Jay Leno's Packard

That gleaming beauty is a Packard. I don’t know which model. But it belongs to the legendary Mr. Jay Leno. He’s got an amazing, truly massive, collection of classic cars and he drives a different one to work everyday. And you can see his selection for the day parked up at NBC studios in Burbank, California, should you be visiting.


Jay Leno's Packard

Downtown Los Angeles

I was living near South Central LA, not far from Exposition Park, close to the University of Southern California, and literally 15 minutes walk from the famous Staples Center. Never got to enjoy a game there, but I did spend a lot of time wandering the area just exploring. (But not taking many photos…)

Venice Beach

Situated on the Pacific coast, Venice Beach is only 30 minutes away from where I was living (if traffic isn’t bad) and as I had a hire car, it made sense to head over and see it. A huge amount of movies, TV shows and music videos have been shot there, and the area is intrinsically linked to modern popular culture. It’s also home to “Muscle Beach” – the area where all the bodybuilders hang out, pumping iron.

I wasn’t there more than 10 minutes before someone offered me weed. Not directly, though. What they were actually offering was to introduce me to a “Doctor” who would prescribe cannabis to me for some very tenuous – probably fake illness – justification. Dope is legal in LA, but only if it’s for medicinal use. Leading to a thriving entrepreneurial industry that makes sure the product is available to anyone who wants it.

Long Beach, California

The city of Long Beach is about an hour’s drive south of downtown LA, and was hosting an Islamic conference at the time I was living on the west coast. So I went over for a couple of days, ostensibly for the purpose of community networking. However, in truth, I was far more interested in doing some sightseeing…

Hyatt, Long Beach, California
Long Beach, California. This was the view from my hotel.
Ferris Wheel, Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California. I never saw ANYONE get on that Ferris wheel. It seemed to be constantly running empty. That weird wavy metal structure in the background isn’t a roller coaster, by the way.
Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Lighthouse, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Lighthouse, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Lighthouse, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Lighthouse, Long Beach, California.
Grand Romance Riverboat.
Grand Romance Riverboat. Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California.
Grand Romance Riverboat.
Grand Romance Riverboat.
At the marina, Long Beach, California.
At the marina, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California.
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California.
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California.
Marina, Long Beach, California.
Marina, Long Beach, California.
Marina, Long Beach, California.
Dolphin sculpture, Marina, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California.
At Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California. This is the boat that took me on a Sea Lion cruise. (I did consider Whale Watching, but that was a loooooong trip into the Pacific so I passed.)
Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California.
Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California.
"Melodrama Theater" in Long Beach, California.
“Melodrama Theater” in Long Beach, California. Is there any other kind???
RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California.
RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California.
RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California.
RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California.
RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California.
RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California
Cruise Terminal, Long Beach, California
RMS Queen Mary Cruise Terminal.
RMS Queen Mary and next to it the Cruise Terminal.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Wildlife at Long Beach, California.
Wildlife at Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California. It really *is* a long beach!
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California. The most important industry here is oil. This island is basically a HUGE oil rig. The blue and white towers conceal the equipment used to pump the oil out from under the sea bed.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California. The most important industry here is oil. This island is basically a HUGE oil rig. The blue and white towers conceal the equipment used to pump the oil out from under the sea bed.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Catalina Island, California.
In the distance you can just about make out Catalina Island.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California. Lots of oil tankers are always moored here. Even though Long Beach produces thousands of barrels of oil every day, it NEVER exports any of it, due to massive local demand. It is also one of the busiest ports in the world, with ships arriving from and leaving for China all the time.
Sea lions, Long Beach, California.
Sea Lion watching off the coast of Long Beach, California.
Sea lions, Long Beach, California.
Sea lions, Long Beach, California.
Sea Lion watching off the coast of Long Beach, California.
Sea lions, Long Beach, California.
Sea Lion watching off the coast of Long Beach, California.
Sea lions, Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach wildlife.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Long Beach, California.
Fishermen, Long Beach Marina.
Fisherman patiently fishing off the Long Beach marina.
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