City at Night

The City at Night

The city at night brings me peace. Night photography, especially in Downtown Los Angeles is preferable. I’ve always been a night owl and feel more comfortable shooting at night. Night photography is definitely a focus of my attention.

I especially enjoy the view of Downtown Los Angeles from East LA. Specifically Boyle Heights. Boyle Heights is east and south-east of Downtown Los Angeles and geographically has a nice elevation for viewing. The altitude gain helps to see the L.A. River, as well as creates a greater sense of space visually. From Boyle Heights, viewing the city at night you can see more rooftops, more buildings, and more freeways.

"People who go to bed early always complain that the night is too short, but for those of us who stay up all night, it can feel as long as a lifetime." - Banana Yoshimoto

Boyle Heights, the name lays claim to all the highlands of the 9th ward, including Brooklyn Heights and Euclid Heights. Los Angeles will always be here. The LaBrea Tar Pits hold fossil records dating back 38,000 B.C. There is also evidence of Chumash Indians having settled the Los Angeles Basin 8000 years B.C. Around 500 A.D. the Tongva Indians descend upon the Chumash and by the 16th century had displaced all but a few.

Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola settles the area in 1769 in hopes of opening new trade routes. His settlers name the local river, “Rio de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula” (River of Our Lady Queen of the Angels of Porciuncula). 12 years later, Felipe de Neve named their settlement “El Pueblo Sobre el Rio de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula.” But let’s be honest, that’s not going to fit on any freeway signs. A census in 1841 shows a population of 141.

Porciuncula is named after a small church in Italy. Its name means “small portion of land.” So, “El Pueblo Sobre el Rio de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula” translates to “The Town on the River of Our Lady the Queen of Angels River of the small portion of land.”

In modern times, I’d take that to be, “The small town, on the small piece of land, on the Lady Queen of the Angels River.” Either way, that town name, is soon after shortened to “Los Angeles.” The church in which she’s named after is in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, or Saint Mary of the Angels. So there has always been a strong link to Angels with the name.