LA Story 5 – Thursday 29 March – Watch The Skies

At dusk we went up to the Griffith Park Observatory, recently refurbished with money donated by Mr. And Mrs. Nimoy. It’s up in the hills in Griffith Park, overlooking the city, the Hollywood sign, etc. So after riding the shuttle up to the observatory through the twisting hill roads we had a look at the small museum describing how the tides work, why the moon changes shape, and how a camera obscura works. Most impressive was the full size Tesla Coil – standing 8ft tall in its Faraday Cage. A curator described how it worked and how it would be safe to stand in the coiling white plasma as it leapt 5ft from the ball on the top to the bars inside the cage. I wasn’t going to test his knowledge, but it was completely spectacular.

Not as spectacular however as the view we got from the veranda – as the sun sank, the sky lit up with all the delicious particulates and smog, a bright fiery red – the sort of color that if you painted, no one would believe. And then slowly, as it got darker, the city of Los Angeles lit up in a shimmering network, and you could see why it was the location for Blade Runner, and so many other movies. I wouldn’t be surprised if the makers of Tron hadn’t been inspired by it – a grid of glittering pixels suggesting a surreal cyberworld.

It was quite a sight, and I felt very happy to be witnessing it for the first time with Cassie standing next to me.

~ Appended with more scribbles from the notebook ~

After the magical views of the city, and a fantastic close-up view of the Moon through a telescope, we had dinner at Casita Del Campo, a very nice Mexican restaurant with a tree in it, where we had a couple too many margaritas. Very atmospheric, margaritas.