Opinion
Join The Times' book club. This month's selection: "Cadillac Desert"
Opinion Op-Ed

Seen around L.A.: Demoted and there for the taking

Once they had a place in the kitchen or the dining room, modest chairs, perhaps all that the family could afford. Now they are demoted to the outdoors. Some are strategically placed, to reserve a parking space (chair dibs), to make a sale, to catch the view. They are lawn furniture, although there usually isn't grass in the places these chairs land. In the Los Angeles neighborhoods where these photos were made, chairs appear and disappear regularly in alleys, at curbs and fronting painted walls. Sometimes they signify the pleasures of patio and porch; more often, at the end of their domestic existence, they can barely stand. They're there for the taking -- as in taking a rest, taking for free or taking to the dump. Camilo José Vergara's book, "Harlem: The Unmaking of a Ghetto," culled from 43 years of photographing in New York City, was published in December. camilojosevergara.com Photographs and text by Camilo Jose Vergara
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