senoritafish: (Dia de Los Muertos)
[personal profile] senoritafish
Wow. From oppressive heat to pouring down rain; weather is bouncing like a rubber band...*

Well, I had been putting up [livejournal.com profile] mylife_onceaday photos that I'd posted to the community here, but then I got sidetracked by the scavenger hunts they started doing, and Sackboy Travels and other things. I still carry my camera around everywhere, but I guess I haven't been inspired to use it all that often, unless something really special or different happens. I feel like I seldom go anywhere new, and I'm constantly taking pictures of the same things, maybe just a different sky or another angle.

Anyway, the last non-themed thing I posted (here and in the community) was this, so I thought maybe I'd start catching up from there. And in a timely enough fashion, the next chronological photos are apropos for the month (and show I'm almost exactly a year behind - typical)...

http://www.ladayofthedead.com/

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Doug had been telling me for a couple of years about the Dia De Los Muertos event at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This is kind of a historical cemetery where a lot of Silver Screen era actors and directors are buried (Douglas Fairbanks and Rupolph Valentino) and not a few more recent interments (Johnny Ramone, Mel Blanc, and Estelle Getty). Every October for last 10 years they have a Dia de Los Muertos event (not on the actual day, but the nearest Saturday) and invite people to set up altars celebrating loved ones, or anyone really. Later in the evening there's a concert, usually by a Latin group in keeping with the origin of the holiday. Last October, we went for the first time.

The nearest parking I could find was about a mile away, so we had quite a hike before (and after) the event, then a wait for about twenty minutes in line for tickets.

Signs at the entrance, for the event and the featured performer, Lila Downs - who I'm actually familiar with. Morning Becomes Eclectic on KCRW plays her fairly often. She sings in a combination of English and Spanish.

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

One of the first altars we stopped at. I was still trying to figure out how not to use the flash and everything I took without it is really blurry. With it, the figures are clear and colorful but the lit-from-within luminescence is gone.

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Avalon was actually a teeny bit creeped out about being in a cemetery at night, even though everything was very festive and brightly colored.

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Below is the same figure as above without the flash, so you can sort of see the effect. A little too bright, but I kind of like it anyway. And this is why if you page through my Flickr account (or any photo album of mine), you'll see all the imperfect pictures there as well as the good ones. Sometimes the off ones remind me more of what things actually looked like.

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Memorial to an accountant?

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

This one had signage declaring it Cantina Calaveras...

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Our Lady of all abandoned and relinqushed pets...

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Many altars had a sense of humor or joy about them; others were smaller and more somber...

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Lila Downs performing; she seems to have a few songs about food. Avalon liked a funny song in Spanish about chickens (with accompanying video projected on a nearby blank wall), and another I've heard before which I think is a recipe for making mole'.

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Taking a break near the Douglas Fairbanks (Sr. and Jr.) tomb - that's my brother on the right...

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

There's a small pond on the grounds with an island containing a large family mausoleum - one of the footbridges leading to it...

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Lots of photo shoots...there were several women whose long formal dresses appeared to be made out of trash bags - but they looked fantastic.

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

There were several alters featuring marriage as a theme. This one had a couple in an old 50's era pick-up...

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

...and then this couple wandered by in front of it, and obligingly let me take their picture.

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

The really large mausoleum (with several wings and niches for columbaria) held an art show...

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

...and since Woolsey was effectively the Lady in Black for the evening, we made our way to legendary silent film actor Rudolf Valentino's crypt to pay respects. It was either very steamy in there from all the people, or a ghost was haunting my camera, because a number of pictures from inside the mausoleum were slightly fogged like this, and others weren't.

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Lots of vendors with topical tchotchkes and geegaws (and food!)

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Sleepy little skeleton girl...

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Altar to surfers who found that ultimate curl...

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Duke has a statue down near the pier in HB and I remember when Mark Foo rode too big of a wave in Central CA...

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

One of the last altars before the exit. The frame in the back holds a real person, although most people didn't realize at first. Until she blinked.

2009 Dia de Los Muertos

Fantastic show. Great fun, the music was great and all the creations wonderful. I'm agnostic leaning toward atheistic, but if there is an afterlife, this is the way to celebrate it.

By the way, today is my mom's birthday. I think she might have liked this.


Link to all photos in this set. This year's Dia de Los Muertos at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is on October 30. You might see another post like this after that date.

___________________________
*this damn post started on 10/5 when the weather was being really record-breakingly weird. Need to get 'puters fixed...

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