essays

Definitive Hollywood

Using urban landscape and street photography to document gentrification in Hollywood.


The city of Hollywood is a subject that I keep returning to in my photographic work. As someone with a long history in the area, it’s important for me to continue photographing it’s evolution. The place that I remember growing up in is mostly gone so it’s vital to document the parts that remain. In another decade the foundation will be completely consumed by the facade, eradicating the last traces of the vibrant, working class neighborhoods that once stood.

In the meantime, this part of Los Angeles remains a place in transition. Luxury apartment structures loom over bungalows and duplexes, an ever present reminder of the lack of affordable housing and rising rents. Many long time residents have moved on and those who remain find it harder to simply exist, let alone thrive. It’s a story that is being repeated throughout the city, from Boyle Heights to Leimert Park. Judging by the rent control laws that California has passed recently, the general public clearly acknowledges that there is a problem. Unfortunately both local and state lawmakers have responded with a tangible lack of urgency.

You can still occasionally catch a glimpse of the community that once was but the real Hollywood is just about gone. It’s been reduced to a place transplants who don’t talk to their neighbors claim to be experts on. Life here was never easy but looking back, there was nowhere else quite like it.