It's my last day in Los Angeles...what am I gonna do today? Well, after leaving the hotel, I drive past The L.A. Hotel Downtown on my way to Exposition Park, home of the California Science Center, California African American Museum, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the University of Southern California. Also in the area is a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, sitting outside the former California Aerospace Museum designed by architect Frank Gehry. First, founded in 1951 as the "California Museum of Science and Industry", the Museum was remodeled and renamed in 1998 as the "California Science Center". Outside the Science Center is a United Airlines DC-8 Jet Mainliner and a USS John F. Kennedy Navy plane. Outside the California African American Museum stands Charles Dickson's "Wishing On A Star" eco-kinetic solar sculpture. Next, I check out Exposition Park's massive Rose Garden. The Rose Garden is a historic 7-acre, sunken garden located in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California. It has been called "one of the city's best-kept secrets". It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. After spending time at the rose garden, I went over to the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, which is right across the way from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, home of the Los Angeles Rams and USC Trojans football teams. Next door to that is the LA84 Foundation and John C. Argue Swim Stadium (formerly Los Angeles Swimming Stadium), which was built for the 1932 Olympic Games.
Back next door at the Coliseum, along the back entrance of the stadium I photographed David Flores' "World Stage Legacy" mural. The mural features faces of historic figures from history. At the front entrance to the Coliseum is Robert Graham's Olympic "Gateway arch" and female and male headless nude statues. Those statues caused much controversy for Mr. Graham when he created them for the 1984 Olympic Games. The statues, noted for their anatomical accuracy, were modeled after water polo player Terry Schroeder and long jumper Jennifer Inniss from Guyana, who participated in the games. Before leaving, I was able to get great photos of construction of the new Banc Of California stadium, home of the expansion Major League Soccer team Los Angeles FC. After working my way over towards the Staples Center...home of the Lakers, Sparks and Kings, I found a parking lot that had a nice billboard mural of Muhammad Ali. With cars parked in the spaces in front of the mural, I captured it the best way I could. Across the street from there, I captured construction on two new L.A. projects...Circa Luxury Condominiums and the Park Hyatt Los Angeles at Oceanside Plaza. At the Staples Center, I went to Star Plaza to see and photograph Erik Blome's statues of former L.A. Kings hockey player Wayne Gretzky and boxer Oscar De La Hoya; Julie Rottblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany's statues of former L.A. Kings hockey player Luc Robitaille, and former L.A. Lakers players Shaquille O'Neal, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and former Lakers play-by-play announcer Chick Hern. Omri Amrany and Gary Tillery sculpted the Magic Johnson statue.
After photographing the Los Angeles Convention Center and more palm trees, I hit the freeway heading up to the Griffith Observatory, sitting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood. Parking spaces were very scarce up top, so I found a spot just below the Observatory and walked a little ways up the hill. I was able to get photos of the Observatory as well as photos of the smoggy Los Angeles skyline. After spending a little time there, I head over to the "Hollywood and Vine" area where I photograph the famous Capitol Records building, as well as the Equitable Building, which has the "Hollywood and Vine" signage at the corner of the building. The also famous Pantages Theater is next door. My time in Los Angeles is winding down, and I take one last walk along the Hollywood Stars Walk of Fame. I do notice that this end of Hollywood Boulevard is much cleaner and less crowded than the other side, which appears much dirtier and more "seedier". And no trip to Los Angeles is complete without seeing and photographing Thomas Fisk Goff's famous "Hollywood Sign" atop Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains. After that, back at my hotel...L.A. I'm out!!!