How Can You Look at Stars When the Building is So Cool? Griffith Observatory

Just a note, don’t go when it is even close to convenient, you are in a hurry, don’t want to walk a million miles, or don’t want to be with other people, because this place is popular. It is also worth it.IMG_6869

The observatory is built on Mt. Hollywood, the same one that has the big Hollywood sign, in 1935. From its inception it was open to the public for free. It was meant to make astronomy approachable and accessible to the masses and the masses show up en masse.IMG_6873

The copper domes really do house legit telescopes that aid real-life science (see what I did there?). Smart people doing smart things that I don’t understand, work there. I didn’t work there, I just looked there.IMG_6878The city, the sky, and the building. The art deco scalloped smooth lined solid colored building, the pastel fading multicolored shapeless sky, and the staccato jumbled lit up city.

You can only go there when you have some time.IMG_6870

Only go there when all those crowds and lack of parking and walking don’t matter. Because despite all that, you have to go.IMG_6875


I stood alone outside the luggage carousel till the 16 passenger shuttle bus pulled up. I asked the driver for a dinner recommendation and he quickly replied I should eat at the Dinosaur. I took a mental note and looked out the window. “So I suppose that is where Lex Luthor lives?” I asked without noting what building I meant. He quickly responded, “Um, no. That is just an office building.”

Later in the evening I walked past the Dinosaur to the brew pub that outranked the recommendation on Yelp. The city had the look of a place that was once somewhere, had promise that it could be again, but is not now. There was architecture and the occasional sidewalk bistro, but no people. It was early evening, still light out, but I was mostly alone.The sandwich was dry. I sat on the balcony overlooking the waterfall and quietly listened to the conversation at the table next to me. We two tables were the only ones taken.

There were four of them. Three men, one looking to be a sturdy sixty, another a scrawny twenty, and one woman, maybe thirty. The younger talked loud about how women have no reason to marry anymore. He claimed to be trying is hardest but it was never enough for her. He loves her but she simply doesn’t care for him. She doesn’t need his money and he really does try his hardest. The other man, the one who wasn’t old, repeatedly offered his phone so the bewailing man could call her. “No man. My phone dying is the best thing to happen tonight. I told her I wasn’t drinking today.”At one point I’m sure I heard the statement, “Now I’m not racist but…” followed by something I couldn’t hear. The older and the younger men got up, shook hand with the remaining two, and left.

Once they were gone there was silence. The woman looked over at me and asked, “Was it just me or was that crazy?” Not knowing the best way to answer, I said just that. I went on to learn that the two parties had just met that night. I didn’t have to wonder how, guessing it was in similar fashion to how I was now meeting these fine folks myself.

“So what are you selling?” “Pardon?” “Your’e wearing your money suit. No one looks like that who isn’t working.”

I chuckled and explained. I asked what they were doing meeting drunken husbands in Rochester. She looked at the ceiling and said, “Ahhh, we are just passing through.” The man explained that she doesn’t like talking about her job.

I looked at the two of them innocently and said I understood… but I am very imaginative. “We work together on a flight crew,” the man quickly explained. When asked he replied he was a pilot.

She looked out at the waterfall, I walked back to the hotel.