Monday, August 18, 2014

July 4 - Happy Birthday

Sometimes I get a gig on our nation's birthday, sometimes I don't. This year, I did not. I decided I would be a good citizen anyway, so I bought an all-day pass to ride around on the public transit system. I started later than I wanted, so I didn't get that far. Also, I restricted my vehicles to the light rail trains and a couple of miles on the subway. L.A.'s subway is no longer than a few miles. Figure that. There was a celebration in Exposition Park that I knew about and one downtown. The one in Exposition Park was fairly small. As it turned out, the one downtown looked exciting, but required that I go through a parcel search, a pat-down and I couldn't take a beverage in, so I declined that one and just walked around the Civic Center a bit. This walk took my past Angel's Flight. In the '90's I did a little project related to Angel's Flight. You can read about it HERE. I got back on the subway and ambled around Olvera Street

In reviewing the photos, I see that I didn't take any shots of the gathering at Exposition Park. Now it seems like a crazy oversight, but I suppose at the time I didn't see anything worth shooting.  Here's the rundown: they had some food trucks, some rides for the kids, a stage with an R & B act while I was there. It was well attended with folks camped out for the day. Most of the crowd was African American. The park is close to my old neighborhood. I have spent a lot of time in that park over the years, both professionally and for leisure. I am kind of surprised to be the age I am and still living in the city I grew up in. I've lived other places, but I am here now. It is not always the most pleasant feeling to be at a location and remember that it was different a long time ago. So different you almost don't remember what it looked like. Of course, sometimes it is hip.

Map of the trip is HERE

Sierra Madre Metro Station, close to my neighborhood.

North entrance to the rose garden with the Museum of Science and Industry in the back.

A rose.

East side of the Museum of Natural History. Boy, oh boy, do I have a history with that building.

Weddings happen all the time in the rose garden.

The Museum of Science and Industry from the south side.

Science and industry or military and industrial.

An empty hall at Union Station. 

The front of Union Station.

Union Station used to be the happening place for travelers. Nowadays a very few commuters use it. With L.A.'s fledging light and heavy rail system it is slowly coming back into it's own. Here is a shot of Union Station in the early 1950's. The younger woman is my mother, the older is her grandmother. Who knows where they are going to or coming from? I remember taking the train to Chicago. I think it was the Super Chief. Someone left the water running in the bathroom. The conductor came to our seats and inquired if I was the culprit. I told him no, because I was not. He threatened me. He told me that if he found out it was me, he'd cut my ears off. The adults with me were on his side! Not cool. Really, not cool.

In the courtyard at Union Station, same time period as above, but I think a different day, because my mother (in background) seems to have a different jacket on. That is her mother in the fur-lined coat. I don't know who the other woman is. It has to be winter, given those coats.

Union Station. Looking out into one of those courtyards that my relatives were photographed.

This is the USPS Terminal Annex. It is across the street from the train station. Makes sense for when trains where the main form of long-range transportation. Here is a story about celebrity: I was not/am not a fan of Ronald Reagan, not when he was governor, not when he was the president. Okay, one day, during his presidency, I had to mail something to beat a deadline. I was in the parking lot you see in front of this building. There was a lot of activity that I didn't understand. Lots of cops, lots of helicopters and this street (Ceasar Chavez/Sunset Blvd) was lined with people. All of a sudden activity picked up. I walked to the hedge to see what was the matter. Along comes a police motorcade, then some limos. The windows were rolled down on one, a guy was waving to folks. I realized it was Reagan. I swear, I really tried, but I could not stop myself from waving back. I was ashamed in the act of doing it, I am ashamed now. Just know that when people talk about the power of "the office," or the power of celebrity, they are talking about something that is real. 
On the train home. 

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