DAY 8 – Meet the stars

Above the City of Angels

May 9 2010

Los Angeles was founded in 1781 by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve as El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Ángeles (The The Village of Queen of the Angels). The new Chathedral of our Lady of the Angels relates by its dedication to these roots of the City. It was completed in 2002 and was replaced (at a different location) former smaller Cathedral of Saint Vibiana which was demolished in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. I went for Sunday Mass to the new Cathedral located in Downtown next to Highway 101. The choir was singing well and the new Dobson Organ has a mighty full sound which fits perfectly into that post-modern impressive building – one of the most beautiful modern churches I have ever seen.

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels: nave looking west towards baptistery.

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels: altar, choir tribune and organ.

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels: movable console of the Dobson Organ.

In the afternoon I first visited a friend from my hometown Villmar (Germany) who is now a sound designer in L.A. and works for the film and TV industry. Following his suggestions I wenn then to the vista point above Lake Hollywood Reservoir (with the best view of the Hollywood Sign) and of course to Griffith Observatory in the homonymous Park which was already on my list of places to visit. I have a special relation to Planetariums since I grew up in the city of Bochum which got 1964 the first post-war large planetarium in Germany. From 1983 to 1986 I gave there talks for the youth. I was 13 when I gave the first official presentation – how fast time goes by…

Hollywood Sign seen from a vista point above Lake Hollywood Reservoir.

Looking from Canyon Lake Dr. over Lake Hollywood Reservoir into “The Valley”.

After enjoying the outstanding view over L.A. I attended the show Centered in the Universe in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium Theater at Griffith and it was – to my surprise – presented live (as in my old times in Bochum) instead of using tapes as most planetariums do nowadays. Somehow the show appeared to me a little too perfect and later I found out that it is actually presented by actors as a narrator instead of scientists , an instance which was controversially debated.

Griffith Observartory with Samuel Oschin Planetarium.

View from Griffith Observatory over the widespread City of Los Angeles with Los Feliz on the foreground and downtown skyscrapers to the right.

Griffith Observatory (built 1933-35) is a prominent landmark over the City of Angels with surely the most impressive view on it. It also appered in a number of movies – most well-known are the scenes in the James Dean film Rebel Without a Cause; a bust of James Dean is placed at the west side of the grounds. It seems a little geeky that I liked that particular movie mainly because of the planetarium scenes.

View from Griffith Observatory towards Mount Lee with the Hollywodd sign. The James Dean bust is seen on the left.

Griffith Obseravatory enthroned above the City of Angels.

After the visit I went for dinner to the highly recommended Umami Burger restaurant at Hollywood Blvd. and had a really tasty Umami Burger (the house mark).

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