Francesca Le vs. Tanya - PANTYHOSE CATFIGHT!
Tanya's viewpoint: Several months ago I checked into a hotel in Los Angeles to minimize my commute into the San Fernando Valley for work. I had numerous shoots scheduled over a 4-day period and did not want to deal with hours of driving on each of those days. I selected the historic Mayfair Hotel which sits in a gritty section near downtown. Downtown L.A. is equidistant from the San Fernando Valley and the city in which I live. My friend Raul came to meet me for dinner on the first night I was there. He did not bother to hide his disgust for the surroundings. The squalor really bugged him. I was enjoying our walk amidst the debauchery and kept stopping to ogle at many of the decrepit, historic properties that are still standing in the vicinity. After a while Raul briefly attempted to exhibit some enthusiasm while we strolled around town. He seemed to be reluctant to leave me on my own and I had already told him I had no intention of departing. At some point he nodded his head at a boarded-up old brick building looming in front of us on 7th Street and commented that it looked like an interesting place. I glanced over at it. Wow. There really was something about the structure that was compelling. An old sign affixed to its facade read "Holland Hotel." Clearly the place had not been open for business in many years. We kept on walking and saw lots of thought-provoking stuff. A few days later I remembered to do a search for "Holland Hotel" on the Yahoo search engine. It did not surprise me that the crumbling place may have some dubious significance in Los Angeles history. As it turns out it has a speculative connection to aspiring starlet Elizabeth Short. You may have heard of Elizabeth Short AKA the "Black Dahlia." Her brutal murder rocked Los Angeles in 1947 and has captured the prurient interest of countless individuals over these subsequent decades. Lots of people love a good mystery. Elizabeth's killing remains officially unsolved although there are many who believe a degenerate individual named Arnold Smith was responsible for her death. These folks buy into the theory that Arnold lured or forced Elizabeth into his bathtub, tortured her for several days until she died, severed her body at its midsection and then drained all her blood into the aforementioned tub. A housewife walking with her infant in a stroller encountered the remains of Elizabeth discarded behind some bushes in the housewife's pleasant, middle-class neighborhood. The bisected corpse was bloodless and washed clean. One of the policemen investigating the murder felt very strongly that Arnold Smith was the perpetrator of this horrendous crime. Unfortunately, or perhaps not, Arnold died the night before this cop was scheduled to interview him. Supposedly Arnold had checked into the Holland Hotel on the evening prior to this imminent meeting and then burned to death, possibly because he fell asleep with a lit cigarette in his bed. Many answers may have burned along with him. Perhaps all the conjecture about both Arnold and Elizabeth's grim bond is indeed accurate. There is just something about the rotting structure of the Holland Hotel, Arnold's second-to-last resting place, that makes you ready to believe that spirits inside its abandoned walls are keepers of those secrets. Francesca doesn't want to believe anything. She is far more pragmatic than I and always tries to forcibly shut my mouth when I speak of random, mystery-laden subjects. I do happen to have a habit of chatting away about irrelevant stuff when I'm shooting. During our last shoot I had commented that Francesca looked a bit like the photos taken of pretty,raven-haired Elizabeth Short before her sickening death. She really does. The pale, pearl-colored pantyhose Francesca was wearing underneath her red skirt contributed to the resemblance, at least in my mind. Francesca didn't want to hear anything about my morbid ruminations and she reacted violently when I would not let the subject rest..