(coming soon!)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

In the end though, it is worth reading the Los Angeles Times architectural critic, Christopher Hawthorne for his comparison of our parade events - the Rock to LACMA and the Shuttle to the Science Center - to Rome.

Something to think about and, without even knowing about the article, echoed by many today.


Let us hope that these two events, to which I add the spectacle of light, planning and engineering of the Mulholland Bridge takedown, will inspire a new generation to be the creative element that sparks all the rest.

Gridlock, Bridges & Shuttles, oh my... PartTwo

Yesterday, with a friend who had to get somewhere in the evening, we waited until the last moment but the Shuttle never came.  A tire breakdown, a tree to be cut.  I didn't understand how much this could delay until this morning when I parked on Gramercy, a few blocks west of Western and a few blocks north of Martin Luther King.

Although it was just 7:45 am when I arrived, people were already there or walking toward MLK, watching the overhead helicopters to position themselves to see it.

A tremendous behemoth was ensconsed on our paltry boulevards, shifting right then left, almost never straight ahead to avoid the trees, especially on Martin Luther King Boulevard where the pines were planted in the Reverend's memory and could not be cut down.   The light was extremely direct and the photos contrasty, trying to catch detail in the large white space of the shuttle while at the same time trying to preserve the fascinating tiles of so much of its surface.  All one could think about was the engineering, of this object itself - and a clearer understanding of the Challenger tragedy when the tiles fell off - and then today, of just getting this down the street.


Great to be there, but also love watching this timelapse video of Endeavor's LA journey on the LA Times site:  http://framework.latimes.com/2012/10/15/time-lapse-video-space-shuttle-endeavours-trek-across-l-a/

Gridlock, Bridges & Shuttles, oh my... PartOne

So much of our Los Angeles streets have been laid bare, literally and figuratively, this past month in Los Angeles.  From Carmageddon II to the magnificent entrance of the Space Shuttle Endeavor, when people stopped on the freeways to see its last flyby, and today, its final journey, earthbound at two miles per hour, to the Space Center where it will be forever housed.

Whether the concerns of incredibly awful traffic -the condition in which I have been photographing all these many years while stuck in it, in my car, on my shift and out my window - to the absence thereof leading up to the closing of the 405 to demolish the old Mulholland Bridge to amazing plans and works from municipal, electrical, aeronautic and other agencies to put together this last final parade of this beloved of space shuttles, Los Angeles has drawn together as one community these days.  It is exhilarating.

I walked the streets yesterday and today - Crenshaw and Martin Luther King - streets that radiated neighborliness, talking to people from within and without, all entranced by the shuttle's passage.  Adults brought their mothers and fathers.  Parents brought their children.  Cameras and mobiles recorded pics and through it all, the space shuttle moved ever so slightly, to the right, to the left, to avoid a tree branch here, an electric light pole there.

I heard talk of the history of what we now call "South LA" and could see vestiges of that even as I walked: the old Jewish temple now a baptist ministry.   The reminder that what was once called "West" in the early days of the city, a place filled with magnificent homes - many still beautifully preserved and others now being revived - and orderly communities - was name-changed to South Central after the Watts riots of 65.  Now changed further to South LA.   The shuttle passed Leimart Park, a gathering of intellectuals and jazz clubs in the 20th century, started out African American but appealing to smart people all over the city.  A fought for new Metro stop brings us there again.

I met those who had worked at some of our fabled rocket plants - Hughes, Rocketdyne, Lockheed...

For now - perhaps more later - some pics from yesterday on Crenshaw below Martin Luther King Bouldvard, people waiting for the shuttle and today, starting at 8:30 am, there it was...

below:  a somewhat chronological order and this first set, people watching...