I have a soft spot for vintage photographs of people I don't know. In fact, I refer to them as my 'instant ancestors.' While I may not have their names or any biographical information about them, I buy or 'adopt' ones that strike an emotional chord.
As if most images of L.A. weren't weird enough, now there's a whole new crop of photos that shed light on a gritty Los Angeles. They're rare snapshots of a (mostly) mid-century L.A., documenting a zeitgeist that no longer exists.
There is no doubt that a look back permits us to view the future more clearly, and today the ability to "think back" regularly is available to us via the web, courtesy of two journalists who built a business with photos and posters from America's past.