Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Magic Monday // LA's Other Observatory

We are made of material that was created in stars. It's not hippie-dippy shit. We are. 12 elements, to be exact. Star stuff, according to a wall of elements at Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory that lights up in different directions when you push a button here or a button there. I'm lucky to live close to Griffith. So close, in fact, that if I wanted to, I could go every day -- on my lunch break, even -- to stare at the sun through an 8-inch lens.

The place is always packed, and it lives up to its hype. The tourists and the selfie sticks and the senior citizen bus tours are annoying, yeah. But it's worth braving all of it, even during peak season (which is I'm not sure when, because it's always slammed, even at night).

There is another observatory, though. It's also in Los Angeles. It has telescopes varying in size (the largest in the world, I've heard), and a guy -- every now and then -- who's on site to tell stories and answer questions about the moon, the stars, the sun and the constellations. That "other" observatory is called Mount Wilson; it's north of where I live, and about 34 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. A short, scenic drive up Angeles Crest Highway has lots of turnouts -- places you can stop for photo opps, to talk to strangers and admire the fog. Mount Wilson even has its own restaurant, Cosmic Cafe, that opens for the year in April. 

Sometimes I like to get away, think a little, maybe even see a bit of leftover snow. I did just that on Monday and came home with tons of new ideas. If you live in L.A., crave your alone time, appreciate snow, etc., you should take this little drive. It'll make your Monday instantly better. 

*Try to go when it's not raining and/or super foggy (unsafe -- big accident on my way back down). 


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