by Stan Paul
My journey to work begins in the dark. I am out the door at 4:30 a.m. on a UCLA van rambling down Highway 60 to Los Angeles.
The trip home to Riverside is where my photography begins.
When the van approaches downtown, the shining towers on Bunker Hill, where John Fante’s characters holed up in old hotels, come into view. South of the freeway I can catch a glimpse—or, depending on traffic, study for several minutes—a 1911 apartment building, still boasting “fireproof” on its sign, just to the left of the old Grand Olympic Auditorium, and used over the years for everything from athletics to wrestling to roller derby. Painted a bright yellow, the building is now a church.
Next, City Hall can be seen in the background, and then the huge art deco Sears Roebuck department store that Charles Bukowski referred to as “Mears-Starbuck.” Farther out of town, under crimson-tinged clouds, sheep are grazing along the 60, and we pass by a forest of electrical towers.
Finally, we cross over the Santa Ana River into Riverside. We are sometimes rewarded with amazing sunsets, if I can only capture them while the sky glows orange or blue-gray with red clouds for a few moments, looking back toward the west where the trip home began.