Los Angeles – The Big Orange
Русская версия The Big Orange is one of the unofficial nicknames for Los Angeles, similar to Big Apple name for New York. Los Angeles is the orange due to being sunny, and we have already written about its warm satellite – Long Beach. It is now time to write about the City of Angels, of Flowers and Sunshine, a La-La Land or a Shaky Town, as Los Angeles is also named.
In addition, Los Angeles is called the world entertainment capital. Indeed, everyone can find an amusement he or she likes: restaurants, casinos, museums, tours… We will start with the description of one of the most unusual, but popular entertainment – visiting the graveyard.
The first owner of Glendale (or Forest Lawn Memorial Park as it is otherwise called) bought this plot of land in 1916. It is surprising to know that before Disneyland appeared, the Glendale graveyard had been the most popular attraction of Los Angeles; people came here not only for burials, but also for weddings and tourism. The burial here used to cost a lot and a few people could afford being buried in such a style. Glendale has been called the Disneyland of death due to its popularity and luxury. What has made the graveyard so famous?
The reason is that its founder named Eaton arranged it in a very unusual way. The village graveyards before had been gloomy, gray, and sad. Glendale became the first sunny graveyard, not only due to it location. The figure of Christ and other saints here do not cry, but smile and the place makes a spiritually high impression. It as if symbolizes eternal immortality and sacral pleasure, order and success. The graveyard is only decorated moderately, but in style; it seems that death here is not the end, but the aquisition of the eternal, beautiful and happy home. At the same time Glendale is also a memorial of Victorian architecture and Protestantism corresponding to Anglo-Saxon Protestant religious values.
It is also unusual that the graveyard is situated high on the hill and a beautiful view on the city opens from it.
Another viewpoint in Los Angeles is the Griffith Observatory. “If every person could look through that telescope,” declared Griffith J. Griffith, “it would revolutionize the world.” More than 80 years after this iconic building opened, the world remains unrevolutionized, but the view of Los Angeles twinkling below is still worth that. Inside there are many exhibitions, including a Foucault pendulum, Tesla coil and planetarium show. Make sure you come well before 10pm to gaze through the 12-inch refracting telescope on the roof or through the far less crowded modern, reflecting telescope on the front lawn.
The Observatory also allows for the view of the iconic Hollywood Sign. Originally created in 1923, the then “Hollywoodland” sign was supposed to be up for only a year and a half, yet here it is over 90 years later. You can also make a photo of the sign on Beachwood Drive, further up the hill near Lake Hollywood Park, or at Mt Lee Drive.
An attraction nearby is the Walk of Fame including a never-ending line of gift shops, tattoo parlors, lingerie stores, and, of course, the immortalized names embedded in the stars.
You can see the famous Bewerly Hills not far from here in hope to meet some celebrity; in vein though: the houses of superstars are hidden over the huge trees and bushes.
And further away you may visit Walt Disney Hall and listen to the concert.
Along with the free entrance to Observatory, another freebie attraction is the Getty Museum, based on the Getty Trust – the world’s largest cultural and philanthropic organization dedicated to the visual arts. The museum was founded by the oil magnate J. Paul Getty (1892—1976) who had been the richest person in the world by the time of his death. Thanks to his fortune he left for the trust, the organization is now the richest purchaser of the European and Antique art at the most prestigious auctions of London and New York. In 1980s the Trust was even accused of creating artificial stock-jobbing on the art market which led to exorbitant prices. The Trust owns two places in Los Angeles – The Getty Center of European Art and the Getty Villa of Ancient Art. We visited the latter.
One of the most remarkable exhibits of the museum is The Cyrus Cylinder, on which Cyrus the Great ordered to print a list of his victories and gracious deeds and enumerated his ancestors. The artifact was found in former Babylon and became famous after being recognized as the first declaration of the human rights: Cyrus argues for the slavery abolishment and religious freedom.
Finally, we visited one more less visited place – the port of Los Angeles and took a boat tour there. 1-hour tour gives a view of more than 50 attractions including various terminals – the China Shipping Terminal among them:
Boat Fire Station:
Many different ships with a variety of landscape on the background:
And sea lions if you are lucky:
The boat starts from the fish market, which is a place to visit too. Here you may choose a fish and ask to fry it.
It is hardly possible to participate in all the entertainments of Los Angeles, but we were happy about the ones we visited. Don’t forget about Long Beach, Santa Barbara and other nearby towns, there is much to see too!