Saturday, November 11, 2006

The best place to see stars in L.A.!

So, the one-of-a-kind GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY , which has been closed for renovations for the past four years, has finally reopened.

Even if you've never been to Griffith Observatory, you've probably seen it in countless films (from "Rebel Without A Cause" to "Charlie's Angels 2").

I went to the Observatory for the very first time last Saturday, and it's a stunning environment. Located high in the Los Feliz hills, Griffith Observatory has many fun displays (including the world's largest photograph of the galaxy, scales that show your weight on different planets, etc.). And yes, they've managed to adapt to Pluto's new non-planet status.

But, for me, the highlight of Griffith Observatory is the rooftop view of Los Angeles at night.

People go on and on about the architectural shortcomings of Los Angeles--L.A. is a city that people love to hate. But, if you want to see Los Angeles at its most beautiful, take a look at it during the night, up high, from a distance. The city becomes a pointillist abstraction of twinkling lights, and you can see it literally pulsing, as though it has a heartbeat. Los Angeles is called a city, but it's really a series of conjoined neighborhoods (each with its own history, ethnicities, and distinct personality). It can feel incredibly lonely and disjointed in L.A. It's no wonder that Los Angeles has fascinated artists and filmmakers from around the world, from David Hockney to David Lynch, Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog (who lives in Laurel Canyon). In a world of strange places, Los Angeles may very well be the most eccentric, schizophrenic, hard to understand.

Though I can also understand why Los Angeles might not appeal to everyone.

This all being said, if you want to attempt to suck up Los Angeles in one breath, check out Griffith Observatory. It's just reopened, and it's fantastic.