Monthly Archives: March 2017

Portrait of Kerry

Kerry was Chinese but had never been in China; her mother was from Hong Kong and her father was from Canton. Kerry was born in Fresh Meadows, Queens, New York, New York, USA, but raised in the Dominican Republic. It’s no wonder Kerry spoke fluent Spanish, Cantonese and English.

Kerry was studying industrial design at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, California, USA. Her roommate was a film major and they were in Los Angeles for spring break, making a film of their travels in Little Tokyo.

Kerry wanted to Design Furniture or Hardware. She wanted to first design for offices and then move into designing for home.

Kerry loved LA, and when I met her, it was her third time there.

Kerry’s Instagram is @kerryanneng16

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Cindy-2

Cindy was originally from Kent, Washington, USA, studying mechanical engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA, but I met her in Los Angeles, California, USA where she was spending her spring break, visiting her sister.  Her sister, a Los Angeles attorney, on the other hand, had studied liberal arts at the University of Washington in Seattle. They were generally dissimilar, except that both loved dogs and Los Angeles, and of course, each other.

Ideally, Cindy would have aspired to become a structural designer for rocket engines, and was willing to try anything that had to do with rockets. During the summer, just after the time of this posting, Cindy had planned to perform a rocket propulsion internship for Boeing. She also wanted to move up to Mojave, California, USA to work for either SpaceX or Spaceship One.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Jose-2

Jose was originally from the state of  Michoacán in Mexico, from the city Zamora, and also from the street named Zamora. Michoacán was known for produce. They produced more avocados than any other state in Mexico and Jose noted that strawberries were a big crop. Now, the state will also be famous for the Mariachi “Professor” of music and Mariachi musician, Jose.

Jose taught mariachi  violin, bass, guitar, guitarron, vihuela, and trumpet. He also played violin in the Mariachi Los Creyentes band. Jose and his friends hung out at the Mariachi Plaza in Los Angeles waiting for customers to come and hire them for events such as weddings, funerals, six sweet sixteens, Quinceaneras and anything else..

Mexican families who had been in America for multiple generations did not necessarily celebrate the Quinceanera, they might have celebrated the sweet-sixteen because, being, Americanized, that was what their girl-friends celebrated. Furthermore, there were many different Latino subcultures, so Mexicans lived with, for example, Puerto Ricans. Their cultures assimilated by virtue of proximity. Therefore, two layers of assimilation existed. One global assimilation with the USA and another within the Latino community subculture.

As for the picture, I explained the whole concept of East Los Angles street art in m Portrait of Jasson. Please feel free to click on that link to learn more.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Atsuko

What brought me to meet Atsuko, was a line (see below). I had just parked my car in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California, USA, and several people were standing by the storefront adjacent to where my car was parked. I asked them if they worked in the store, and they said no. I asked what they were doing there and one of the gentlemen said they were holding the building up.

More people joined this group, and then still more. Finally the first three guys explained that this was restaurant was shortly opening up for lunch; all these people were waiting to get in.

I figured this must be some restaurant because people spent their lunch time on a long line, rather than walking around, meditating, going to the bank, or doing relaxing activities or chores.

I went back about an hour later, and there was still a line, along with people sitting in the waiting area. I stayed and was seated by Atsuko.

Atsuko was originally from Kamazawa, Japan. She lived in the United States for twelve years. She was a waitress and a hostess and the restaurant manager at 大黒家 DAIKOKUYA Ramen original Noodle and Rice Bowl restaurant for 8 years. There were five restaurant branches in the Los Angeles area, and I bet they were all crowded all the time.

Atsuko, before coming to United States, was involved in hotel management, and local theater. Then she came to the United States to study acting in Hollywood. Her friend, who owned Daikokuya restaurant, asked her to help manage one of the five restaurants, since she had experience in the hotel/restaurant management field and was familiar with Japanese language and culture.

I very much appreciated that in the middle of this busy lunch throng, Atsuko let me make her portrait and answered a few questions about herself.


Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Victor-1

Victor was a model (see below) for both photography and figure art. California State Northridge, USC, Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles Art College and many more institutions of this nature.

Los Angeles Art College but he preferred modeling over construction because he liked “feeling free” with his body. He was doing construction for about 20 years. Victor liked all the people that he interacted with in the art world because they were very friendly.

Victor was originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He came to the Los Angeles area many years please to this. He graduated from California State Northridge.

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V is for vim and vigor

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Wordless Wednesday

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Jake

I photographed Jake at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, the site of the equestrian events during the 1984 Olympic Games. I loved this place. Being close to Disney Studios and Warner Brothers Studios, successful people of the Los Angeles Area, threw a lot of money to these stables, facility and the care of resident horses. It was enjoyable to watch the grooms care for the horses just as much as it was to watch riding, lessons and events at this facility.

Jake had been jumping for 20 years. He was originally from Seoul, Korea. He studied jumping in Germany, one of the best places to study classical forms of Equestrian Sports.

Jake was riding Chaplin EZ, a Warmblood gelding from Germany. Jake’s wife explained to me that when importing animals, it was much easier to import a gelding than a mare or stallion. Basically, the quarantine was not as long and there wasn’t as much paperwork to have to deal with.

Chaplin EZ was a Warmblood, which were similar to Thoroughbreds, a difference being Thoroughbreds were more popular in the US and Warmbloods were more popular in Europe . Because of their muscle tone, they were both used for activities such as racing and Show Jumping. Both were absolutely magnificent looking, athletic horses.

Jake also had a Welsh Corgi named Orange and at the time of this posting, had been living in Los Angeles, California, USA for four years with his wife, Jennifer.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Full action shot of Jake on Chaplain EZ taking a jump

Portrait of Robert

Robert grew up in New York City, New York, USA in the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. He never lived in Staten Island nor in the Bronx. However, he did have a very fascinating Bonfire of the Vanities moment in the South Bronx. I will not get into it.

That said, Robert had very interesting stories. For example, one time, he met with a few good friends for lunch and one of his friends complained of pain in his mouth. Robert grabbed his friend’s mouth and looked inside. The friend was astounded. When asked what he was doing, Robert calmly told him, “This is what I do everyday. It’s my job.”

At the time of this posting, Robert lived and practiced dentistry in Los Angeles County, California. Robert was a great dentist, in more ways than one. First of all, his technique was impeccable. Secondly, he ran a very large office and managed all his employees in the most outstanding way. He hired excellent dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and various office personnel who worked very well together at Valleywide Dental.

Robert also had good business and good marketing sense. He had various promotional offers for perspective patients and participated during community events in the Antelope Valley by renting booths space. He attracted new clientele on a regular basis such that his chairs were fall during office hours.

Robert’s patients liked and respected him very much. Robert was an amazing person as a dentist, as a businessman and a friend. One of the best and most unique characteristics of Robert, was that he would telephone his patients after they had a more difficult procedure, such as a root canal, to ask how they were doing. This late evening call was reassuring.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Luis

Luis attained his realtor license in January, 2017. Every day, he learned something new about selling houses. At the time of this posting, he had not sold any houses, yet was working very hard at attaining his first sale.

Then, when he had extra time, he drove around Antelope Valley looking for lots that might be on sale. When he started Real Estate sales, he didn’t realize that he would get into selling lots. Once he started learning about selling lots to developers and investors, he officially became interested in both commercial and residential real estate. Furthermore, Luis did not consider himself limited to real estate sales in Antelope Valley.

Luis also did a some repairs, including repairs on his own home.  One of the things he loved most about his new career was meeting and talking to new people anywhere he went.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Luke

I bumped into Luke at Big Lots as he was looking at small shovels. I asked him if he was going to buy one for a child. He proceeded to tell me the purpose shovels hold for him, and I was fascinated.

Luke went from town to town accumulating “a lot of stuff because it was pretty easy to do.” He would often collect too many items for one to posses during travel. He would take the things he could not take with him but wanted to keep, and he would bury them somewhere in the town he was about to leave, “You never knew when you were going to that place again.”

Luke was unemployed at the time I met him. He frequented stores like Big Lots, would research prices of certain items, then go to thrift stores and purchase the items for very cheap. Knowing the retail price, he would sell those items on Craigslist, or other free online venues, for lower than discount store prices, but for a profit relative to what he paid in the thrift store.

Originally from Sacramento, California, USA, he left Sacramento because, “I figured I needed a change in scenery.”

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Also posted on:

Wordless Wednesday
Happy Start of Spring!!

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Cindy-1

Cindy worked for a nonprofit agency, the Child Care Resource Center (CCRC), in Lancaster, California, USA. Cindy was also a graduate student at University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, USA, majoring in public health. Her interest in this field was sparked when her volunteer director at the Antelope Valley Partners for Health (AVPH) explained that with the passion Cindy had for the program, she would benefit having a graduate degree in this field.

Cindy was born in Sylmar, California, USA, and came to the Antelope Valley area in 2001. She was engaged to get married; she and her finance both had graduated from Pete Knight High School. She had one full brother and one half brother, one being 24 years old and the other turning 11 years old.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.