Photo: Van Stein

L.A. Painting: Sky High Over Skidrow! June 17, 2011

I'm always searching for a first time experience.

After skillfully detaching ourselves from the guttural dregs of Skidrow below, we ascended to get an, "above-it-all" perspective; and a
'birds eye view,' so to speak.

We had lofty ideas...

This photo shows one roof-top view from the Security building, where Erdy lives.

Erdy, (fresh out of Cal Arts), gained us access to the rooftop in order to paint a Nocturne overlooking downtown Los Angeles.
It was extraordinary; like something Edward Hopper might like to paint. Some of the rough heating and air conditioning apparatus, and solar cells would have been a perfect motif for the famed 20th Century photographer/artist, Charles Sheeler.

These Hotels/Apartments; situated in a cluster around Spring Street and 5th, were built over 1oo years ago. They were quite grand in their day. Now, they are slightly decrepit; looking forlorn, with missing globes, and bulbs on the edges of their terracotta cornices. No mind though, this is the 21st Century, and we were there to use them merely as viewing platforms, (and I don't mean as voyeurs). I felt like I was in the press box at the game of life, getting a view of the playing field.

All around us the constant sounds of city life echoing up between the buildings; sirens screaming, horns honking, clamoring and clanking construction work fractured any sound of silence.

It was just noisy.

We came; mindful to paint the Moonrise somewhere over in the gritty distance. Night time was falling, but not soon enough.

The Corpse Flower, Hotel Jerome; Rm 210 March 31 2011

Hunting Hunter Thompson's Spirit in Aspen this weekend for our Surreal Bouncers T.V. show, we stayed in the Victorian era Jerome Hotel. Asking for the most haunted room in the house, the Hotel Management put me in Room 210. This is the room at the end of the hall, seen in the photo. I didn't need to stay in the room, but Eringer insisted. He wouldn't do it, (I thought to myself). Who knows, he said, "something might happen!"

Down the hall outside the door, there was a faint, wafting smell; like something had died. Now for someone like me who has an active imagination, every creaking sound or bump in the night, made me wish that I had at least brought some ear plugs. That smell greeted me every time I walked up to the door.

Settling in to Aspen and 210, I took a bath. Just when I began to relax and unwind in the tub of steamy Rocky Mountain High soft water, there came a knock at the door and muffled voice along with it. Efforting to get out of the tub and find a robe, trying not to slip and fall on my ass, and yelling, "Hold on, I'm coming!" I finally get to the door, and asked, Who is it? Peeping through the fish eye view peep hole, I saw nothing there. I unlatched and opened the door,and same thing, nobody there. I listened for a moment to the sound of silence. Strangely, there was still that faint odor, smelling like decaying flesh.

I don't know, maybe someone had a Corpse flower blooming in their room.Everything was cool with this room, though, (beside the fact that it was freezing). This was O.K. with me. I could bundle up.

Whenever I felt I was being watched, the hairs on the back of my head would stand up, I would talk to that presence, and welcome it. Saying, "I know you are here, and that's cool-- hang out if you want!"But what put me over the edge the most and kept me away from my valuable slumber that night, was when something pulled my hair; (what little I have left), while I was laying in bed with one eye open.

The Room 210 Ghost Story: a hundred years ago the parents of a little boy (all staying together in this room) told him to go for a swim, unsupervised, in the hotel's pool. Unfortunately, he drowned.

Over the years, guests staying in room 210 have reported that this child comes back into the room at night, crying, looking for his parents.

Sad story. Spooky!

I don't know what's scarier, the thought of this little kid,jumping up and down on me in the middle of the night as I lay there, or the ghost of a Nurse that has been seen for years roaming through the corridors of the Hotel Jerome; coming through my door (or wall for that matter) in the middle of the night.

Fortunately during my stay, I didn't see the kid or the nurse, but my camera caught some Orbs hovering above and below my bed.

Enough said.

Hotel Jerome
Aspen Colorado