A Walk Through Silver Lake

Anne and I walked in Silver Lake today. Our destination was Forage, a hip, new cafe. Along the way I snapped some photographs and got some strange flack.

I guess I should have asked the hand made jewelry vendor before pointing the camera and clicking. I didn’t think. I was in the moment, as they say. But, it wasn’t a picture that meant anything to me. I didn’t have a specific motive. It was just a photograph. He was afraid I was going to replicate his stuff and sell it on the internet.

I deleted the photograph and apologized.

A little ways down I noticed a scraggly dog lying in the middle of the sidewalk. I leaned down and took a quick photograph. Again it was a meaningless photograph. I looked up and at a nearby table a man said “that’s a SAG dog.” What? What is a SAG dog? Is that a movie star dog?

I am no paparazzi. I am just a guy taking some photographs for fun and if I was a paparazzi I wouldn’t be taking photographs of that scraggly dog.

I was confused. It felt like twilight zone. Is there a full moon? Did I wake up on the wrong side of the bed or is it just a weird coincidence that I ran into these two guys who were so worried about me taking photographs. One of some jewelry and the other of Movie Star Doggie.

I guess it’s just Los Angeles. Where else would you find Movie Star Doggie? Not in Pasadena or Monrovia.

13 thoughts on “A Walk Through Silver Lake

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  1. i know what you mean about pulling out your camera and snapping away without thinking. it is so easy to get lost in the moment. i have to be so careful when i go in little shops. jewelers can be very protective of their creations.

    have a great day.

    xo Alison

  2. Silverlake. Not a place to expect homespun friendliness, for sure. But a SAG dog? Dear God, whas he carrying his SAG card at least?

  3. I have a movie star dog too but you can take pictures of her anytime. I recently moved out of silverlake. I begining to realize why. Just keep shooting!!

  4. I’m an amateur photographer who shares your frustrations. I’ve been yelled at for taking pictures of the most innocuous things, i.e., fish in fish tanks, a dog wearing a sombrero, a food stall at Grand Central Market. I understand their rights and needs for privacy, but also struggle with it. And I may be willing to suffer an insult or two if it means I can get that great shot! Best of luck in your future outings!!

  5. As someone who grew up in Silverlake, I am both humored and horrified by the influx of unfriendly, consumerist residents that may or may not belong to the ever expanding entertainment industry over the course of the last 15 years or so. Please keep snapping away and do so without abandon….keep the irreverent punk spirit that existed throughout the 70s, 80s and most of the 90s alive and well!

  6. No need to ask before taking a picture in a public place. By law, simply being in a public place is automatic consent.

  7. Whatever happened to good manners? It’s always polite to ask first then click. The exception is if you are photographing public property, or are in prearranged setting like a planned approved photo group, or in a studio. Yes, there are many freedoms that we enjoy as a people, but why offend? Hold on to civilization with both hands.

  8. Laura, too many times there has been a lack of civility in people incorrectly prohibiting the taking of pictures in public places. Where is your reprimand of them?

    Your call for manners is appreciated, to me so is Carol’s accurate assessment.

  9. This reminds me of the time a friend (who carries her tiny camera with her everywhere) and I were riding the Manhattan subway, and these two absolutely astonishing-looking, elaborately ethnically dressed black women entered the car together and sat down. I don’t know what language they were speaking, but my friend and I tried (without success) not to stare at them and whisper; they were gorgeous, and SO unlike anyone or anything we’d ever seen … even in a city where you see everything every day!

    My friend wanted to take their picture but was afraid to ask (partly because she wasn’t sure they’d understand her request). So she had me stand up in the subway car aisle, and she pretended to take MY picture (as the tourists are always doing). We thought we’d managed to pull it off successfully, with only a glance or two from the women … but on their way out of the car a few stops later, they asked my friend in heavily accented English whether she had taken their picture. Quite taken aback, my friend reassured them that she hadn’t; she had actually taken mine, as we were “visiting city.” The woman continued with something about photographs being against their religion (not mentioning what religion it was) … and then reverted to her native language, exiting the car with a forceful stream of whatever-it-was that was directed at my friend and clearly intended to be some kind of curse.

    My friend was so badly shaken that she deleted the photo when she got home, feeling like she was courting some kind of damnation even to look at it, let alone keep it!

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