Friday, June 17, 2011

Valley Dude in the Second City

I was in Chicago on business, and on my last day there I was scheduled to be on a late flight (like 8:15 p.m.) to L.A.  Well turned out I didn't need to leave that late and could have left hours earlier, except American Airlines now has a NO STANDBY policy for non-elite flyers (meaning any change costs at least $150, even if you want to try to stand by - and that's before the fare change).  BOOOO.  So I had some time to spend after my last meeting, and took a walk through Millennium Park and visited the Art Institute of Chicago.  I was blown away by the stunningly beautiful architecture surrounding the Park and the pre-eminence of the Art Institute.  I had also experienced sheer awe at being on a rooftop next to Wrigley Field earlier in the week.  I guess I can't be all that mad at American Airlines now :-) The pictures of the buildings and art don't do either justice, in fact some of the pix of the art downright suck (except maybe the ones of Seurat's Sunday Afternoon).  Still, I can't help but share as they'll give you some teensy little idea of where I was.  Slideshow after the jump.

 Cloud Gate (a/k/a "The Bean")

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mulholland Drive Bridge

On the weekend of July 16-17, half of the Mulholland Drive Bridge (the bridge that spans the I-405 at the Sepulveda Pass) will be demolished and then rebuilt to accommodate plans for a wider freeway.  The other half will be demolished and rebuilt next year.  I thought I would snap a few pictures before the bridge, as I've known it my whole life, goes away.  Unfortunately I couldn't get close to the bridge for a long shot as the embankments above the 405 were fenced off for construction equipment.  A nice little history, along with some pretty cool photos of the bridge when it was brand new are at the Metro's website here.   More photos below the jump.

View of the I-405 looking north towards the Valley, taken from the bridge

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Walk along the L.A. River

Some of you may not know this -- Los Angeles actually has a river.  Many years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers covered most of it in concrete for flood control purposes, but it is still a river.  There are some sections where the river still has an earth bottom, and I walked along one on a bright Sunday afternoon that transported me from the city into a wholly unexpected nature walk, feeling like I had escaped from the city.  This particular stretch of river is in between Balboa and Woodley.  Slideshow below the jump.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Japanese Garden and The Donald C. Tillman Reclamation Plant

One of my favorite places in the Valley by far is the Japanese Garden and Tillman Reclamation Plant area, located in the Sepulveda Basin (the Reclamation Plant treats waste water).  It is an amazingly tranquil and zen place, and my wife and two boys went there today.  I might hazard a guess that it's one of the most incredible dual use places anywhere in the world.  I took so many photos, I just think everything is beautiful.   The whole place speaks for itself in the pictures.  LOTS of pictures in the slideshow after the jump.  And - in the next post, I'm going to post pictures of my stroll along the L.A. River today.  Yes, we have an honest-to-goodness river in Los Angeles, even with its own itsy-bitsy rapids.

Slideshow below the jump