Monday, August 14, 2006


So I have been trying to cram some last minute summer vacation outings in these last few weeks. I am on Jury Duty call in this week and so can't plan any trips now. Last week I visited Universal Studios, the Los Angeles Library for a tour and The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Photographs were not allow at the Fashion Institute due to copy rights. They have a display right now of costumes from TV shows. It was a really good display. Here is a link to their site

This display runs until September 9th.

After seeing this display I took the DASH bus up to the library. They have daily docent tours and even though I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have been to this library many times I thought I could learn some things from a tour.

This library was built in 1927. Over the years some of the old art deco designs were lost behind paneling and fluorescent lights. In 1987 someone deliberately set two fires. The library was closed for several years while it underwent serious repairs and an addition was put on the East side of the library. During this time it was decided to bring the library back to its former 1927 glory and many ceilings and paintings were restored. Also original lights such as the globe below were put back. Many lighting fixtures were reproduced. I have used the descriptions from the library web site on some of the photos I took.

The chandelier was designed by Goodhue Associates, modeled by Lee Lawrie and manufactured by the Thomas Day Company of Los Angeles. In the 1980s, Historical Arts and Casting of Salt Lake City restored the Globe Chandelier. Composed of cast bronze, it weights one ton and is 9 feet in diameter. Its' original cost was $40,000.

The Chandelier is part of a model of the solar system. A translucent blue-glass globe with hand-painted continents hangs in the middle. Planets and a crescent moon can be found in the chains that suspend the globe and the sunburst on the ceiling directly above the globe mirrors the sunburst on the pyramid top of the Library outside. Signs of the zodiac ring the globe along with 48 lights around the rim, which represent the 48 United States in 1926 when the building opened.

This is one of the rooms in the "old" part of the library. The lighting and the paintings on the wall are very beautiful.

The new part of the library is on four levels. Two above ground and two below. This shot was taken from the bottom level looking up. This new wing is called The Bradley Wing named after a former major of Los Angeles.

In 1987, when workmen began restoration of the tiled pyramid atop the Library, they discovered the original finial - a golden hand, entwined by the Serpent of Knowledge, holding the Torch of Learning - was weakened with age. So a exact copy is now on top of the building. Sculpted by Lee Lawrie of terra cotta. It is an illustration of Bertram Goodhue's theme of Central Library - “The Light of Learning.”

This was taken outside looking up at the top of the library and the stone figures on the side of the building.

A close up of the top shows the copy of the hand of knowledge as noted above.

Now, on to Universal Studios. This trip happened earlier in the week. I went on several rides and also the Studio Tour. There were a number of TV shows in production.

This is a shot of the famous Psycho House from Alfred Hitchcock's movie of the same name.

They have the set of War Of The Worlds up and it is very elaborate. A plane has crashed in the middle of a neighborhood and broken in half.

Normally the tram would turn left here and travel up and around to view a cabin and a wide area that can be flooded to form a lake. A television show was filming at the cabin and so we could not go this way.

This is a view of one of the streets with some kleig lights off to the side.

And finally a view of the courthouse used in a current TV show (sorry, can't remember the name, think it is Crossing Jordan). But what this area is really famous for Is Back To The Future. Just think of a clock tower and the broken clock.

So now I sit and wait to see if I report for Jury Duty and also start to get ready for school to being in September.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


The Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Carribean movies is docked in San Pedro. It has been there since the middle of July and I understand it will be leaving the end of next week (though that is not a firm fact). The area where it is docked is under very high security. You can not get anywhere near it. You can see the masts from the boat area nearby. But one can go to Cabrillo Beach and see it across the bay. That is what my brother and I did today. We drove to San Pedro and parked in the Ports 'O Call parking lot and took the Red Line Trolley down to the Marina 22nd Street stop. From there a shuttle bus is provided to Cabrillo Beach. We walked on to the beach and I shot some movies and still pictures. The lighting was not good and some of my close ups blurred. But it was still fun to see. From there we went to have lunch at a little beach type lunch/bar place and then walked around Ports 'O Call. That is really run down and not how we remembered it from years ago. After we left there we went over to a Fire Department Museum. It was really interesting. We had a good time and it was nice and cool down there.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


This past Saturday a group of us went into Hollywood to the El Capitan theatre to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2. What fun. I went down about an hour earlier than the rest of the group and met my brother at the theatre and purchased the tickets. That way we were assured of getting them in case it sold out. And it did, sell out that is. So Bruce and I went and got a bite to eat at McDonalds and then came back and started the line. When Jennifer and her friends arrived we had the tickets and a place in line for them.

Above left is the marquee all decorated for Pirates. Below is the organist. They have a pipe organ that is played for twenty minutes before the start of the show. This guy is awesome and for this engagement is dressed in pirate clothing. He plays all Disney music. For the last number he and the organ go down into the stage. It is really something.
Afterward you can walk around the lobby area and see props used in the movie. They also have props and costumes in the lower level. In the lobby they have a Captain Jack Sparrow look-a-like and of course Jennifer had to have her picture taken with him. I also took a picture of all the girls with him but unfortunately it blurred.

Outside while waiting in line they have some pirate performers come by to keep you amused while you wait. This lady was on slits. Her ship is made from balloons as are the swords. Here she is with Bruce.

My next adventure was this past Tuesday. I went into Los Angeles on the Blue Line Metro Rail and then caught a shuttle bus (call DASH) over to Exposition Park where the Museum of Natural History is located. The first Tuesday of every month the admission is free. They had an exhibit on the Bog People that I wanted to see. Without going into a long explanation, here is a link to what this is all about:

After viewing this and walking around the museum a little bit I went over to the Science Center and looked around and then over to The Rose Garden. This garden has been there since the early 1900's. There is a beautiful fountain in the middle of the garden.

This is a view looking toward the West from the middle of the garden toward the old section of the Natural History Museum. This part was built in 1910, the same year my parents were born. As a matter of fact, Exposition Park was where my parents hung out as teenagers and played baseball. My Mom and Dad met in this park.

This is my artistic shot from under the arches of the old part of the building.

Also going on is a butterfly exhibit. For a couple of dollars you could go into this outdoor mesh building and watch the butterflies fly all over. It is very neat to just stand or sit and watch them flutter all over. Sometimes they will land on you.

So there you have it. An update, finally. My next adventure will be to go to San Pedro where the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean is docked while undergoing changes for more filming for part 3 of the movie. They say you can see it very clearly from a nearby beach. I will, of course, take pictures.


I decided after seeing other peoples templates for their blogs that I would switch to this one. The only problem is that my colored text did not show up. I have attempted to change the color to black on the ones on the front page. In doing this I accidentily lost most of post under the Revlon Run Walk blog. From now on I will just post in black or as it turns out automatically, white.

I keep forgetting to take my camera to events I have been to. I did go to Exposition Park in Los Angeles yesterday and took some pictures which I will try to post about. I have to do that on my other computer, though, as that is where the pictures are (long boring story, so I won't bore you :)

Also I am hoping to go see The Black Pearl sometime soon and take pictures. It is the sailing ship belong to Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Carribbean movies. It is docked in San Pedro and clearly visible from Cabrillo Beach. They are doing work on it before more filming is done for the third installment of the movie.

Speaking of Pirates I did go see this movie last Saturday with my brother, my daughter and five of her friends. We went into Hollywood to the El Capitan theater. They did a wonderful job of dressing the set and there was even an actor there dressed as Captain Jack. I have a good picture of Jennifer with him. She will probably kill me when I post it, but tough cookies :)