We went to the Griffith Observatory today – our first time – only to realize that though the weather was nice, the view from the observatory wasn’t ideal. For one…we went during the day, so our chances of seeing any stars besides the sun was pretty much slim to none. Second, beautiful LA smog. As we were looking over the side and I was being facetious about the smog, someone equally curmodgeonly (is that a word?) as me blurted out something along the lines of – if you can’t see the air you breathe, you can’t trust it. What a wise-ass that guy. He overhead me saying that the smog was so thick that you can cut it with a knife, and he had to go and make an even more snarky comment.
I was surprised that the Hollywood Sign was so close to the Griffith Observatory. I’ve really only seen the Hollywood sign when driving along the 101 freeway, which, personally, is not very often for me since I’m never in the area. Living here in Socal, I just don’t have any inclination to visit these places.
In any case, I do like the surrounding neighborhood around Griffith Park – there are a lot of great hiking trails with some challenging elevation gain, so if were so inclined (yes, the pun is intended), I’d love to hike here or do some trail running. Hmmm. Also, I do really like architecture, but unfortunately, the kids and Shannon just aren’t as interested as me.
Speaking of which, in the main rotunda of the Observatory – above the pendulum – there is a great fresco. I don’t know if that’s Atlas holding up the world, and I can’t tell if that god is Zeus or Jupiter (I don’t see a lightning bolt and I can’t tell if he had previously been a swan), but, since I’m an assman – I’d have to admit that the muses with very toned backsides definitely captured my attention.
The other thing that captured my attention was all of the PDA – and we’re not talking Palm Pilot. So many young couples out at the observatory for what looked like a date. I never would have thought of taking a date to the observatory (I didn’t know these kids were so interested in astronomy and the celestial heavens)…but I think the better date would be the hiking trail. That’s just me though.
Anyway, yet another adventure in LA. After driving here, as much as I like the culture and the sights – I’m still glad I live in Irvine.
The Griffith Observatory itself is quite neat and is the epitome of Art Deco. The drive up the hill and the parking however, were a nightmare – even more so when attempting to parallel-park a minivan downhill on a two-lane mountain road. Funny story – there were probably two very small cars parked where one Honda Odyssey could park (yes, I took that spot). I’m sure we weren’t too popular – I should probably check the van tomorrow to see if it got keyed. Interestingly, when we were leaving, the car in front of our van was gone and there was a brand new Mercedes with what appeared to be a young new driver (Asian, female, three friends, equally Asian and female, with her in the beautiful white C-class coupe, therefore indicating that she was probably well-off) was trying to parallel park IN FRONT of my van in a space that was obviously smaller than her car. So, I RAN to tell her that there was no way she was going to fit, but a park ranger beat me to it and told her to move on. But as she drove away, she left behind her friend who was unsuccessfully trying to help her front-end my van. We left quickly afterwards (and two cars took our spot) and down the hill we went – and yes, the new Mercedes pulled a U-turn on the downhill mountain road to try and get a spot.