Fun in Downtown L.A. Then and Now

Family Vacation, 32 years ago. American Airlines 747 from NYC’s Kennedy Airport to LAX. After the image below, is the story of  “Early A.M. in L.A.  on 11/10/87”   

Above: Downtown L.A. – as seen from Griffith Observatory, 11/11/87.   L.A. City Hall to left – 5.6 miles (9 km) distant.
Above, the iconic L.A. City Hall, known at the time as “The Dragnet Building.”

Twelve hours after landing, I would be exploring Los Angeles by foot before the morning’s rush hour, while the family slept off jet-lag in the Holiday Inn about a mile away. An awesome two hour adventure into an “architectually diverse” downtown, with parks and plazas, and… WHAT??? – a Giant Swiss Army Knife???   Yes indeed!  

And, not far away, Swinging Cars!

Years later, and of course living 3000 miles away, I wondered exactly where these two photos were taken. I searched maps, and photos where I could, without success – until now. Thanks to the remarkable 3D satellite image and orientation tools available on most any smart phone and/or computer, I “flew” between the buildings and first found the cars: W. Fourth street, and S. Grand Ave.  See it below?

The Swiss Army knife was a lot harder. In fact, it’s not there anymore. BUT, by looking at the photo I took in 1987, and specifically for the glass pyramid in its background,  I zoomed way in on the “Tom Tom” 3D map, and searched until noticing the glass pyramid structure. Below is from today’s mapping app, zoomed in showing that same glass pyramid. A “new” contempoary display is in the exact place where the knife was 32 years ago. 

Above: The Plaza at The Museum of Contemporary Art, on S. Grand Street, L.A. (From Tom Tom Maps,  Apple I-Pad) 

Below, another photo of downtown Los Angeles on that beautiful morning.

Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome, and zoom in for a closer look. M 🙂

Bear Mountain – Forty Miles From “One World Trade Center”

This past week I drove up to Harriman State Park, NY, on the Hudson River. From the top of Bear Mountain, New York City, 30 to 40 miles to the south, is visible on clear days.

The top image is from just below the Bear Mountain Tower, and shows the vista to the south.  The next image is from the same capture, enlarged and enhanced. In it, NYC’s skyline is clearly seen, with the George Washington Bridge at far left, …and “One World Trade Center” at far right. The iconic and once dominent Empire State Building is seen right of “Central Park Tower” the newest and now tallest building in the city …EXCEPT for the tower on One World Trade Center. (click the link below to see my previous post showing the very top of that tower.)

A view from the eastern side of the mountain,  Bear Mountain Bridge crosses the Hudson River 

Thanks for viewing, zoom in for a closer look and comments are always welcome. M 🙂

Rebirth in Great Smoky Mts. – Serenely Beautiful

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A wonderful five mile one-way roadway just east of Gatlinsburg, Tennessee, in the foothills of Mount LeConte, the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains, at 6,923′ (2010 m.) The turn-outs allow access to old growth forest, streams, waterfalls, wildlife and more. Recently, Sandy Paws and I found unexpected tranquility in the resurgence of forest life, ten months after devastating fires scorched the region. 

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A short walk from one of the turn-outs, leads to a small summit, elevation 2,900 feet (884 m) as shown photographically in the last picture above, and located on the topo renditions here.

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Thanks as usual for viewing, and click on for a closer look. Comments are always welcomed. M 🙂

Wildflower – 7/20/17

Late afternoon on the 48th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, peace and tranquility abound along the local Rail Trail in Forked River, N.J.

 “Tranquility Base here… the Eagle has landed!”

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, find some spider webs, and ponder that this was taken with an i-phone! Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

 

The Hudson River, Presidents, and Ghosts

A while back I pondered the source of the Hudson River, coursing 315 miles from the slopes of Mt. Marcy, (the highest peak in the Adirondacks of New York State,) to the southern tip of Manhattan. So I went there!

At 5,348 ft (1,629m) Mt. Marcy and other mountains of the High Peaks Region shed snow melt and rainwater via thousands of trickling rivulets, forming creeks and streams that feed Henderson Lake, 7.5 miles (12 km) ESE of Marcy’s summit.
ABOVE: A portion of pristine Henderson Lake, of which its out-flow is considered the named start of the Hudson River. Folklore cites a small glacial pond, “Tear of the Clouds” (about 7 miles to the ENE, and higher up on the southern slopes of Mt. Marcy,) as the source of the river, spurring a debate based on “longest length,” vs. “highest elevation” as relevent to proper naming.
 Immediately coming out of Henderson Lake, this stream is officially the first water known as the “Hudson River,” seen from the first bridge. A hiking trail to the High Peaks starts here. 
Just south, the Mac Naughton Cottage, is one of a dozen or so abandoned buildings on the west bank of the “Hudson River.”

In 1827, a mining operation was begun here. Although certainly not a concern at the time, it arguably affected the downstream quality of the river.  (Subsequent pollution sources, such as PCB’s far out-weighed the environmental impact in later years but nonetheless, this operation was large, and spewed mountains of slag and tailings which are still prominent today.)  The initial venture closed in 1857 due to transportation costs and….mysterious impurities in the iron ore. Many years later, MacIntyre Mine as it became known, was obtained by NL Industries, and before closing permanentaly in 1982 produced over 40 million tons of titanium  …the strange impurity in the iron ore.  See here for more information. 1982 would mark the end of mining activity leaving behind the Tahawus Ghost Town .

Slightly over 300 miles to the south, the George Washington Bridge is the last span over the Hudson River, as seen in the header image. 

An interesting side note from this area is depicted on the nearby signage shown below. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was vacationing at the above cottage in 1901. He was advised while hiking on Mt. Marcy, that the current President, William McKinley, had taken a turn for the worst after an assassination attempt the week before in Buffalo, several hundred miles away. Determined to get to the President’s bedside as soon as possible, Roosevelt and a driver risked treacherous and frightening overnight conditions on a horse drawn buckboard to the nearest railroad connection in North Creek six or seven hours away.  During this time, at 2:15 AM, President William McKinley succumbed, as Roosevelt was still negotiating the dark, back country terrain. Contrary to the wording on the sign and elsewhere, he would be sworn in as the 26th President of the United States later that day in Buffalo. 

Note: At the time of my visit I shot these photographs on film.  Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M :-