When you think of subways and metro stations, Los Angeles may not be the first or fifteenth city that comes to mind. Legendary public transit of cities like New York or Tokyo is what many people think of first. In nearing a decade of being a resident here, I still haven’t really spent more than a few dozen rides in the sprawling (and rapidly growing) Los Angeles Metro.
A few years ago, on a whim with a friend, we decided to hop on the Red Line that in Hollywood and take it to Downtown Los Angeles. At the very next stop, Hollywood and Vine, we decided to hop out and poke around a bit. As we started looking for interesting lines to take photos of, our train, not waiting for anyone so it can go pick up everyone, took off without us. It didn’t matter as this station, like most of them, was something that so few people in this mega-metro of nearly 20 million ever see.
What followed were many hours of documenting so many of the lines, angles, shadows, and anything else we could point a camera at. One focus was the fact that every Metro station here is decked out in its own theme not seen in any of the others such as the Hollywood and Vine’s film reel ceiling. Some of the other stations have a cold, almost THX-1138 feel and some are floor-to-ceiling aluminum plating. We concluded the day, now turned well into night, at the bustling Grand Central Station, an art deco-lined hub filled with bus and train passengers coming and going from all over Southern California.
These photos are some selects from 2016 as well as a few new edits made for this gallery. Far from perfect, these are photos I’ve thought about reshooting many times but the character resulting from the spontaneity of the day keeps that in check.