Just this past weekend, I spent the evening out at the Griffith Observatory. The week before, my family had decided to go check it out, as a “family’s night out.” Also, I had never been there before, and have been meaning to go ever since I was in third grade. So at the same time, I was fulfilling my childhood dream, in a way. 🙂
So what is the Griffith Observatory, you might ask? If you’re from the Los Angeles area, you will know that it is a popular tourist attraction in the city, situated on top of a hill located right across from the famous Hollywood sign, as well as overlooking the entire city of Los Angeles. The observatory itself is dedicated to all things space-related, from the planets to the moons and the stars. There are telescopes to look through, as well as the famous solar telescope located in one of the building’s domes. Really, the view is beautiful, and it’s no wonder that it continues to be a widely-visited place every year, let alone each weekend.
Left in the late afternoon, took the freeway downtown (rush hour on Saturday afternoon, you know, the usual). 😛 We had made plans to grab dinner on the way over; we had some amazing Filipino food a few miles away from the Observatory and, considering that I had never really had Filipinio cuisine before, it was an enriching experience!
Finished our dinner, then left for the final stretch towards the Griffith Observatory. The only way to get up to the top of the hill is through Griffith Park, a park for picnics, trail hikes, and so forth that is reputed to rival New York’s Central Park. We also passed by a lovely residential area, as well as the Greek Theatre, which happened to have some kind of performance that night, and so traffic was extremely slow. Basically, it was a single file of cars just crawling up the winding hills to the Observatory. We ended up parking on the road-side, since there weren’t any spaces left to park, anyway; most people did the same thing, too.
We had parked a good distance park from the entrance, and so we made our way up to the Observatory. It was getting dark as well, and so we had to be careful when walking. The trail leading up to the site was along the edge of the hill; if not careful, you could fall!
Finally arrived at the Griffith Observatory, and it was wonderfully lit, with domes on top that reminded me of those in Santorini, Greece. We didn’t stay too long there, just because it was super crowded: we just wandered around inside, checked out the displays of telescopes, planet models, and whatnot. Tried to go up the staircase outside and wait to see the famous solar telescope, but the line was super long, and so we decided not to go with it. Ended up taking a few snapshots of the Los Angeles view at night (really wonderful, by the way), then left for home. Got back fairly late; I was extremely exhausted, but in any case, I enjoyed the experience. Although the visit could have been longer, I was glad to have gotten at least a taste of the Observatory, and why it’s such a huge attraction in Los Angeles, for locals and tourists alike.
I caught a glimpse of the Hollywood sign as we walked back to the car, and I couldn’t believe that I was actually there, seeing something so iconic, so emblematic that I had never seen until then, despite having lived in the city for all of my life.
That night was a bunch of firsts for me: first, full-on taste of Filipino food, first visit to the Griffith Observatory, first time gazing at the stars above the city lights of Los Angeles. I have hopes of returning there one day, and fulfilling my status as a pure Los Angeleno, born and raised.
I leave you with a few photos of my experiences there. Until then, it’s lights out, Los Angeles! 😀
— The Finicky Cynic
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