Saturday, September 19, 2009

Free in LA – La Brea Tar Pits

Week two (September 12, 2009) of Free in LA is at the La Brea Tar Pits. The La Brea tar pits are located in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles and is pretty much a series of ponds and puddles with tar in them instead of water.

Methane is bubbling to the surface of the pits causing massive tar bubbles and making the air smell of freshly paved roads.

In the largest pond, they have set up a display of a mother Mammoth stuck in the tar pits with her child and mate looking on.

There were about 6 fenced off tar pits total with tar bubbling up at other random places they haven’t fenced off yet.. At one of the pits, archeologists are actively digging for fossils. They were not there when we were but here is a picture of the pit they are working in.

Also, at the La Brea Tar Pits, there are picnic tables, and a museum that you can pay to go into that has many of the fossils that have been taken from the tar pits. We didn’t visit the museum but may go back in the future.

Directly beside the La Brea tar pits is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). While there is a charge for entering the museum, there are a couple of exhibits outside that are free. There is a sculpture garden and examples of “Urban Art.” One of the examples of Urban Art was an interactive display of tentacles formed by dollar store plastic products including cups, colanders, spatulas, etc.

Another example was a similar structure except it was made out of street lamps.

Behind the tar pits is a large field used for special events. When we were there the Brazilian Consulate was hosting a Brazilian Day with Brazilian food, music and events.

Overall, we enjoyed our visit to the tar pits. It is really strange to see tar bubbling up in the middle of Hollywood and it is easily accessible from the Metro line 16 😀

posted by admin at 9:59 pm  

Monday, September 14, 2009

Free in LA – Getty Museum

Since we are going to be Los Angeles for at least three years, Joy and I decided to spend every Saturday doing something different in the Los Angeles area. This will keep Joy from going crazy from school work and me from going stir crazy while unemployed. Because of the unemployment, our trips also have to be extremely low cost. I am posting these in case anyone is looking for something cheap to do in LA or wants to keep up with what Joy and I are doing. The first Saturday we did this was September 5th. We visited The Getty Center.

The Getty Center is located on Interstate 405 in the mountains that separate Los Angeles from the San Fernando Valley (where we live.) Admission to the museum is free but parking is $15. Fortunately, the Metro 761 which runs near our house stops at the front door.

When you first get to the center, there is a small garden with about a dozen sculptures in it. Here I am attempting to imitate Running Man by Elisabeth Frink. I tried to stay on my tiptoes as long as possible but had put my front foot down by the time Joy took this pic.

After looking at the garden, you have to take a tram to the top of the mountain where the majority of the center is located. The Center is comprised of numerous building holding different types of art, a cafe, many different gardens, a children’s area, and different lookout pavilions. Joy and I spent almost the entire day there looking at the different things it had to offer. The exhibits were varied and very interesting. Here is a picture of Joy beside Van Gogh’s painting “Irises.”

The gardens and lookouts offered views of Santa Monica, the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Monica mountains, Westwood, Beverly Hills, and Downtown Los Angeles. In this final picture, you can see downtown Los Angeles on the far left of the picture.

Tune in later for pics of our visit to the La Brea Tar Pits.

posted by admin at 4:57 pm  

Friday, September 4, 2009

California Station Fire Update

The California Station Fire has been contained on the southwestern side of the fire. The areas shown in the prior photographs are no longer in danger. Before I show you my next round of pictures I wanted to say a big thank you to all the firefighters and other emergeny personnel that risked their life protecting me and all the other citizens of Los Angeles.

When I got up this morning, the smoke was gone and the air was finally breathable again but to the north you could still see the smoke cloud.

These pictures are taken from roughly the same place as my last set. As you can see, the fire is out but smoke is still thick in that area.

On the road directly in front of my apartment about a dozen firetruck, bulldozers, and fire pickups were parked.

The firemen were in the shade taking a break.

This pictures were unedited except for resizing. Originals can be downloaded at
Creative Commons License
California Station Fire by Luke Odom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

posted by admin at 1:21 pm  

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

California Station Fire Photos

I was in Jacksonville when the Station Fire started. By the time I arrived back in Los Angeles it was within about a mile of my house. I decided to grab my camera and take a few shots of the fire around my house. All of these shot were taken on a Canon 40d and are unedited except for resizing. They were taken in the Lake View Terrace/Sylmar area near Hansen Park. Click in individual pics to enlarge.

This picture was taken just off the I-210 freeway. The city you see is Tujunga and the road is Foothill Boulevard.

This is a closeup of the previous shot.

This is the same shot but I left the lens open longer to give you an idea how high the flames were leaping.

This is the same shot with a quicker shutter speed so you can see the base of the fire.

This view is from Hansen Park, directly across the street from my apartment. The road at the bottom is the I-210 freeway. The city is Lake View Terrace. The location at the bottom of the picture is actually the Central Command Post where they are coordinating firefighting efforts. Any news stories or announcements from the Governator you see will be coming from there.

This shot is the same shot from another angle. It is from the hill beside my apartment.

To see the rest of my Station Fire pictures you can download the entire set of them here.
Creative Commons License
Station Fire Pictures by Luke Odom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

posted by admin at 9:09 pm  

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