Foggy DTLA

Travel, UrbanKarl Orotea | @KARLNIKOLAIComment

Ever since moving to SoCal I've never really felt the need to urban explore as much as I do when I'm back home in the Bay Area. I don't want to seem so ignorantly biased, but LA was never that exciting to me. Obviously, everything is subjective in every way so I say, "to each their own!" But personally, the skyline, the poor urban planning, the traffic (MY GOODNESS, ALL THE DAMN TRAFFIC) and the more-people-than-cars just makes LA county boringly unattractive. Don't get me wrong, I do try to make the most of it and I'm speaking generally. I do admit that LA has its unique, awesome spots. It's just the idea of spot-hitting and one up-ing a photos has become an easy mentality to conform to due to Instagram. I mean it always ends up with me contemplating "how can I make something familiar look unfamiliarly different?" We all talk about how incredible it is how each person can offer a different or creative perspective, but we also have to admit it creates an apathetic audience whom have already seen seen something seemingly like it. Nobody wants to be an imitator either, but it's extremely difficult to be authentically original these days. With that being said, presently, there's a multitude of awe-inspiring, epic, surrealistic, unbelievable, wonderfully remarkable photos to the point the oversaturation has, for me, desensitized my reactions to them. Neither does it help Instagram is a platform that consistently cycles through new photos rapidly. It's come to the point where all these photos have no impact to how I feel because they are all starting to look the same to me. The captions for the photos don't help either; I need more context to understand the complexity behind a photo. I find myself participating in this lack of giving any information out on the Internet. Plenty are so cryptic because they're trying to covet locations like little secrets or have no factorial or historical knowledge to share. There's just a lack of substance with many photos and I'm glad Marvin started this blog because the accompanying longform writing gives some perspective and isn't solely aesthetically driven as many photos that are displayed on Instagram. Nevertheless, there's no doubt a story behind every shot.

I've seen this weird fenced barrier on top of a rooftop next to the Ritz with incredible leading lines pop up on my feed plenty of times. I just had finished my last final and decided last minute to hang out with my friend Benny. I suggested we climb a building for the hell of it since summer officially commenced. He agreed. Breaking into the Apex was surprisingly easy but climbing stairs was always a pain. I'm still confused to why specifically this rooftop houses a helicopter pad surrounded by a barrier.

Anyway, Benny and I spent an hour or two trying to capture and bring something different to the table when it comes to photos. We realized we overstayed our welcome when finally deciding to call it quits. We come face to face with some maintenance workers when I opened the door to the stairwell. Mexican standoff. I'm just blankly staring holding my camera thinking "oh, fuck." The interrogation consisted of your typical questions following up with a come follow us command. We walk down a flight of stairs to the floor below and are told to head towards the elevator. I'm thinking these guys aren't security, what is the most they could do? I didn't realize at this moment I was subconsciously thinking of running. The elevator stops at the 15th floor and a resident walks in immediately looking Benny and I up and down while sensing the awkward tension between us and the workers. We exit the elevator after the resident on a floor above the main lobby which is directly connected to the apartment complex's parking garage. I'm watching the resident head towards the door as the workers stupidly create a large distance between Benny and I. Then boom. Next thing you know I'm booking it out through the door apologizing for cutting off the resident, running down flights of stairs to the ground floor exit on the side of the building trying my best to not get caught. I hear Benny chasing after me with the audacity to speak unnecessary commentary as we pass a barking dog: "Nice Corgi!" 

Out of retrospect, running was completely excessive.