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SECOND THOUGHTS SAN PEDRO BY TIM MAXEINER

PUBLISHED BY CORNELIUS PROJECTS


SECOND THOUGHTS SAN PEDRO PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE SAN PEDRO BAY HISTORICAL SOCIETY COMPLEMENTED WITH CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHS & VIDEOS BY TIM MAXEINER

JANUARY 11–MARCH 15, 2014 CORNELIUS PROJECTS 1417 SOUTH PACIFIC AVENUE SAN PEDRO, CALIFORNIA 90731 www.corneliusprojects.com

edited and designed by Tim Maxeiner Laurie Steelink published by Cornelius Projects


German photographer Tim Maxeiner spent months unearthing photographic treasures from the San Pedro Bay Historical Society’s archives. He hangs them on the walls at Cornelius alongside shots taken during the last few years he has spent in the area, seeing the iconography of this American life with the fresh eyes of an outsider. A vintage black-and-white image of the entrance to the now-defunct auto ferry stands next to a recent color shot of a pedestrian bridge arching over the Harbor Freeway on-ramp. Cabrillo Beach then is dotted with tents and umbrellas; now it’s dotted with roaring bonfires. Maxeiner’s urban landscapes are serendipitous and strange, not quite noir but not sunny, either. After all, as recently as August, this very newspaper named Pedro Los Angeles’ surliest hood. Since its early rough port days, the city has been known for brawling and boozing. The dive bars open early; men with neck tattoos roll down Pacific in tricked-out rides. Provincial Pedrans still enforce the surfer slogan “Locals Only” on the city’s beaches and breaks. “Come back to San Pedro” Gaffey Street Overpass, 2011

Evelyn McDonnell From Cannery Row: San Pedro is a Different Kind of Burgeoning Art Scene, LA WEEKLY, Thursday, January 9, 2014


Jump Archive File – Club & Organisations - 30 year club / Club Members had to live in San Pedro for at least 30 years / No date / Photographer: Herb Phillips Inflatable Castle, 2012


Landscape Waterfront construction, looking up the hill from the south end of Miner Street, 2013 Archive File – Palos Verdes Peninsula / Looking towards San Pedro from the West, 1930s / Photographer: Everett G. Hager


Kids Kids playing on Pacific Avenue, 2011 Archive File – Business: Restaurants, Cafes, Saloons / Kids playing / Bridge House (today Gaffey Diner) in background / No date / Photographer: Unidentified


Construction Archive File - / Beacon Street redevelopment / Demolition of the Fox Cabrillo Theatre / City Hall is to the right / No date / Photographer: Unidentified Cleaned up at Pacific Inn, 2013


Box Box-House on 8th Street, 2012 Archive File – Port of LA Waterfront – Older Photos / between 1930s – 1940s / Photographer: Unidentified


Bug Two generations of yellow Beatles on Stephen White Drive, 2011 Archive File – Port of LA – Shipping / biggest shipment of cars (1857 pieces) ever to enter the Port of Los Angeles, 1968 / Photographer: Unidentified


PICTURE DAYS 01/07/2010 Went for a walk with my camera, down somewhere close to 10th and Gaffey I believe. I took a few shots of an old Chevy pickup truck. With the green color peeling off and the rust coming through in some areas it was just a nice still-life in the morning sun. I wonder if I will ever take all these old “rides” on the streets for granted. The owner’s head popped up above the fence. “Why are you taking a picture of my truck?” I tell him that I’m from Germany and simply like old American cars. An answer that is honest but also a good reply when I don’t wanna explain much. A lot of times I shoot instinctively without really thinking much. The name of the man behind the fence is Jim. “The truck is for sale, 2500 bucks and it’s yours”. Too bad, I just bought a car. 11/10/2011 Sacred Grounds is empty. Only the dude with the cowboy head is there as usual. It’s a gray day and I’m standing outside on 6th. Charles comes around the corner, maneuvering his wheelchair down the sidewalk. He’s got a little trailer in tow. An American flag is swirling in the wind above the vehicle. Charles greets me as he rolls on towards the garbage can. “Just making some extra money”, he says. Met him first at Grand and 5th, I think. Need to give him the picture I took of him and his truck. 11/15/2011 Checked out the Paseo del Mar landslide in the morning. The cops wouldn’t let me go close. I walked out to the cliff along the ege of the baseball-field, but can’t really see much of the slide. Took a couple of shots anyway. Five massive pieces of a concrete pipe are laying in the water down below. I wonder if these pipes will stay down there forever? Another guy with a camera around his neck comes walking over. He introduces himself. He shoots for the LA Times. We chat a bit. 05/08/12, Easter Sunday I went for an early walk from my house on 7th over to Averill Park. There’s already plenty of action. I sit down on the grass in the middle of the park. Two hispanic men with big video cameras film a young couple in their wedding clothes. The men give a lot of directions with one hand, while filming with the other. I watch the creation of the movie. The bride starts walking on one side of the artificial pond and stops in a sunny spot. Then the groom starts walking on the other side of the water. One camera man is trying to get a close up of the ducks swimming between the couple, while the other camera is filming the young couple looking at each other


Back Alley Grid Archive File – Small Picture File – Alley / Alley most likely between 3rd and 4th streets before 1973 redevelopment / Photographer: Unidentified Back Alley shots, 2012/2013


across the water. For the final scene the couple meets on the little “fable like” bridge and kisses. Both filmers are hectically running around the bridge to get the perfect shot from all angles. Mexican Hollywood! Not only a vanished neighborhood of San Pedro, also a new movie genre. 04/24/2012 It’s the first morning without fog in a long time. I sit on the little porch in front of the building and put my shoes on. The air is cold and clear. The sun is rising through the fence behind all the tangled wires of the electrical pole down the hill. I’m leaving town towards the west and Catalina Island comes in sight. It looks fantastic! I still haven’t been over there. For now I take a quick picture. 04/27/2012 I’m standing in my new place. I haven’t moved any furnuture in yet, by that I mean my mattress. I have a little kitchen now and the restroom is almost the size of my former room. I look through the two big west facing windows. People are coming home from work and stop by the market across the street. The bell at the entrance rings with every customer. I can see palm trees, a lot of palm trees. I’m still fascinated by them. Up the hill I can see the Korean Bell as a silhouette against the afternoon sun. Right out front is Pacific Avenue. I take pictures of the empty room filled only by this unique California light. 06/24/2012 I go for a walk on Pacific Avenue down by First Street. I notice a father with his young son walking towards me. The father is also carrying a baby in his arms. The late afternoon sun makes the orange wall behind them a great background. I realize there is no time to ask for a picture so I just take it. Through the viewfinder I see the whole family looking at me. While pressing the shutter I say “Thank you, Sir” addressing the father. He simply responds: “Thanks for taking a picture” and keeps walking. How nice! I was ready to get yelled at. People often don’t like their picture taken in these modern times. The shot turned out great. I wish I could get a hold of the people. They made my day. 09/25/2013 Another day at the archives. A couple of weeks ago Anne told me to also check out the small picture file. A lot of the photographs are in color and from recent years. But under “Angels Gate Lighthouse” I find something very old and very strange. The pictures show a group of young well dressed people swinging on a rope off Angel’s

Gate Lighthouse. The formations of “hanging” people vary from picture to picture. Up to five people are on the rope at the same time. There is only ocean in the background which makes these photographs look like a theatre stage. Anne figures that the photographs are from circa 1915. Times are changing. You try to climb up to the Lighthouse today, you will be in trouble very quickly. Also not everyone had a camera back in the day, which makes these shots even more special. Nobody knows who these people are. But they sure live the California spirit! 11/12/2013 There are no cars parked on the north side of the streets down around 10th and Pacific. Street sweeping is the reason. It’s a good time to get clean photos of houses with no distractions in the foreground. Down the street a parking cop gives a last remaining car a ticket. I start walking down the street shooting every single house. Their imperfection (no disrespect) makes them unique and beautiful to me. Some have almost the same design with little variations in windows and doors. Their paint job is washed out most of the time. The front yards vary from rosebeds to junk yards. I try to see all these buildings as amazing architectural structures. Isn’t this what it’s all about? Appreciating all these simple everyday things we are sourounded by. Nobody seems to notice me taking pictures. I keep shooting building by building, simple documentation. Who knows, maybe one day these photos become of interest to somebody. 02/24/2014 I finally found the picture I was looking for. I had taken a quick snapshot with my little digital camera a long time ago, but forgot to write down the original file it was located in. Beginner! The picture is built out of three elements. A ship on a trailer rolling down the street with crew on deck, a blurry car overtaking the ship and before that, in the very foreground, a women smiling towards the camera. So much movement and action going on in one picture. Held together by all the elements in the shot. I looked for 2 1/2 hours last week but simply couldn’t find the picture. Today I continued the search and after just twenty minutes the photo finally fell into my lap. All entries from diaries 2010–2014, San Pedro, California


Crash Archive File – Accidents / Truck crash on Waterfront / No date / Photographer: Unidentified Kid playing in miniature car wreck in alley, 2012


Looking Away Archive File – small Picture File – YMCA – Mens Club / No date / Photographer: Unidentified Bear on Pickup, Gaffey Street, 2012


Church The end of the Road, 2012 Archive File – Churches – Chatholic – Mary Star of the Sea / Mayor Bradly Speech / No date / Photographer: Randy Mudrick/News-Pilot


Tough Guys Archive File – People – Dastarac Family / No date / Photographer: Unidentified Toti in Pancho’s Backyard, 3rd Street, 2011


Pool Channel Street Skate park, 2011 Archive File – Marineland of the Pacific / No date / Photographer: Everett G. Hager


Bird’s Eye Archive File – Maritime Museum / San Pedro Ferry Building / No date / Photographer: Leon Callaway Still life on Pacific Avenue, 2013


Beach Time Archive File – Cabrillo Beach Scenes / late 1930s / Photographer: Unidentified Cabrillo Beach, 4th of July 2012



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