A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to spend a day with new friends who happen to be missionaries in Jamaica. They were here for a week and while they had lots of errands to do this day we wanted to make sure they got to see something Iconic in LA. So we choose the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Observatory.
Admittedly, I haven't been up here in a long time. And, I fear this post will be photo overload. There are so many details on this building that I had a hard time editing down my photos.
My initial memories of this place are coming up here in my early 20's with my cousin. He'd come to LA and wanted to visit all the top tourist, iconic spots. Being from the Westside, ashamedly I hadn't ventured out to far past Hollywood and Vine to the Palace dance club. I had never seen the footprints at Hollywood's Grauman theater and hadn't been to the Observatory as an adult. So we ventured up at night and stood in line to see the planetarium show. Pink Floyd and lasers, doesn't get much better than that. Though I do remember the chairs being uncomfortable, wood school chairs with iron stands that attached to the chair and concave wood headrests weren't really my idea of comfort. Since that first time the observatory has gone under renovation. Starting in 2002 they remodel the observatory, it's all done now, I will need to make a trip out again and test out the planetarium seats, I'm sure they promise to be more comfortable.
On this day we spent more time outside then inside, it's beautiful and the view on a less smoggy, marine layer day can be sensational.
History of this place includes a Welshman who wanted Los Angeles to have a great park like so many other cities in the world. He donated this land to Los Angeles and said this, "It must be made a place of rest and relaxation for the masses, a resort for the rank and file, for the plain people." I love these intentions, and indeed there are many trails through out Griffith Park and it truly is a place to just hang out and relax.
The Observatory was also part of Mr. Griffith's wishes, when he first peered into a telescope and saw the wonders of the stars up close he knew the rest of us needed that same opportunity.
So many movies have been filmed up here from Rebel Without A Cause, (there is a James Dean statue dedicated to him on the grounds), to Charlies Angels Full Throttle and Transformers. It's truly an Iconic LA place. Also Huell Howser and native from Tennessee who moved to California and TRULY loved California, did a show called California Gold where he featured the Observatory after the renovation. As much as Huell's accent annoyed me, he LOVED California and showed all the great things about this place that the average person would have no idea about had he not shared them with us. If it comes on PBS you'll have to catch it. He loved this place so much when he died this year they had his memorial at the Observatory.
I took most of these pictures with my Nikon D80 but couldn't help but snap a few photos with my iPhone and Hipstamic App.
Arches and view so amazing to see around every corner.
In 2002 they put new copper sheets on the dome, right now they are black or dark brown in a few years they will turn out to be the patina green color we have come to know and love.