Los Angeles Area
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Los Angeles. Second largest city in US. The big smog town. Lacking of an efficient public transportation system, air pollution from cars accumulated above in the sky. To make it worse, Los Angeles lies in a valley, with the Pacific Ocean at west and while mountain ranges at other three sides. Wind blows from the ocean and traps the polluted air (smog) in the valley, seemingly for eternity. It happened to be a rainy day when I took these pix, which makes the smogging effect even more dramatic. Across the street from Staple Center, Home of the LA Lakers, some painters just finished a huge portrait of the legendary Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Universal Studio, Hollywood. For more than 80 years, this amazing place has manufactured thousands of American dreams on the wide silver screen. Today when you talk about LA, what's the first thing pop into your mind (besides the smoggy sky)? Hollywood! If you ever wonder why people call LA the Tinsel Town, just go to Hollywood and you'll understand.
Various sights. Remember the Jaws, The Hulk, the Terminator I-III...? Kids love X-man...
The Water World and The Animal Planet are the best among all shows
Street scenes of various styles. Of course they're all fake. The houses actually have only the frontal view built with panels without the backs. This is literally a tinsel town. Do you remember seeing those buildings in movies? At least I remember that city hall with a clock was in Back to the Future. Also the fountain looks so familiar, it must have appeared in many Western movies.
Some more movie tricks: a bridge collapsed and recovered by itself; a scary flood attacked our car; see that blue sky background? That's what they use to make a sunny day. I was told the MTV "Waterfall" of TLC was shot in a pond and in front of that blue background. Amazing visual effect eh? If you remember that video.
The J. Paul Getty Center. Opened in 1997.
The private collections of J. Paul Getty and more. Has wealth of European
paintings, decorative arts, old master drawings, Medieval and Renaissance
manuscripts, 19th & 20th century American & European photographs.
The building and the garden are quite artistic themselves.
Paintings. The best-known and priciest one among the collections is Vincent Van Gough's Irises (the first one). I personally like the portrait of the little girl (last on 2nd row) a bit more.
Marble and other stone statues.
The Huntington Library. Established in 1919 by the Henry and Erabella Huntington. Consist of a library, art collections, and botanic gardens. The library, which contains collections of many rare books and manuscripts, was closed during the visit, but the botanic gardens and the art collections were surely impressive. Owing to its vicinity to Hollywood, it has appeared in many movies, especially those with wedding scenes (like Intolerable Cruelty starring Clooney and Zeta-Jones, just to pick a recent one in random).
Various styles of gardening.
The Art Collections.
LA County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. A huge (127 acres) botanic garden located in the city of Arcadia. It's also known as the "Garden of Peafowls" because a large number of beautiful peacocks and peahens live in the garden as a naturalized specie just like sparrows or pigeons. Has trees and plants from all around the world. One of the earlier Tarzan movie (Tarzan Escape, 1936) was shot in the tropical area here.
Beautiful peacocks (the male) and peahens (female). In contrary to our species, it's the male peacock who wears colorful feathers. One of the peacock actually showed it off by opening its tail. Sorry ladies (last picture), you're just not as attractive.
Love my new camera. Just look at these close-up of flowers, still with little drops of dew on it...
Exotic plants in the tropical warm house:
Disney Land. Of course it is not only for kids. Shown below are a palace, an artificial river with steam ships sailing on it, an Indian resort by the river... and the quartet singing folk music. Don't miss the speech of a robot President Lincoln (the voice is real).
On the way from the Bay Area to Los Angeles. Near the Pacific shore is Interstate 101. Interstate 5 crosses in the middle of the state. See how many bugs I hit after the 6-hour trip.
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