S: Flat Stanley Goes to Hollywood
BC: November- May 2013 Love, Uncle Craig, Aunt Samantha & of course... mad props to Flat Stanley (aka: Flatso) | Where am I off to next?
FC: Flat Stanley Goes to Hollywood
1: I'VE EMBARKED ON A ONCE IN A LIFETIME | I've just arrived at the USPS Terminal Annex in sunny Los Angeles, California the 31st state in the Union! This Post Office was built in 1939 to process all of Los Angeles' mail. 1,632 clerks, carriers & laborers were responsible for processing two million pieces of mail a day; by 1980 that had increased to 14 million pieces a day. Wow! That's amazing! I need to learn more about this place, so let's head off to city hall.
2: On my way to City Hall I happened upon this crazy sign that points the way to all of Los Angeles' Sister Cities. These are 25 cities around the world who work together with LA to help build peace, understanding and quality of life for all their citizens. I'm all about that! So of course I had to take a picture to share with you. I hopped across the street to City Hall which is such a beautiful building chock-full of history. Built in 1928, it has 32 floors and at 454 feet it is the tallest isolated base- structure in the world. (That means it's super strong against earthquakes.)
3: Speaking of innovative architecture, check out Disney Concert Hall. It was built by Frank Gehry and is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. After it was built, the outside surface was so shiny that when the sun hit the building it would act as a parabolic mirror heating up the apartments across the street to over 140 degrees. Sauna anyone!?
4: Traveling through downtown, I came across Angels Flight. Originally built in 1901 and then relocated in 1996, this is one of the shortest railways in the world! For 50 cents, you can travel 91 meters up a 33% incline! It sure does beat walking! | ...but then again, walking allows you to truly experience the street art of Los Angeles.
5: Traveling throughout the city, I came across so many different paintings! Los Angeles is home to all types of artists and some of them find the largest and strangest canvases on which to put their paint. Boy, these artists sure are talented! ...Is that girl crying rainbows?
6: CHINATOWN | All that walking sure made me hungry and what better place to grab some grub than Chinatown! Also located in downtown, it's one of three Chinatowns in California (the other two are in San Francisco and Oakland). Originally established in 1880, but relocated to make way for the construction of Union Station in the 1930s . Currently, it is home to almost thirty thousand residents!
7: I explored the local colors and sampled some awesome food...Seriously. that was the best dim sum and wonton soup I think I ever had!
9: One day, we took a family trip to the Museum of Natural History. Originally built in 1913, it has been remodeled many times throughout the decades. It is currently the largest museum in the western United States. It houses over 35 million specimens and artifacts that cover four and a half BILLION years of history! | ROOOAAR!!! Many of the dinosaurs in the museum came from the tar pits right here in Los Angeles. | Inside the three story building we saw exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to gemstones to polar bears. The polar bear exhibit was pretty impactful; did you know that there are less than thirty thousand polar bears left in the WHOLE world due to climate change and pollution?
10: Besides being the official terminus of the world famous Route 66, the Pier also boasts the Pacific Wheel, which is the world's first and only solar powered ferris wheel. I definitely had to stop and visit Zoltar before I left, I told him my secret wish and he gave me my fortune... and nope! I'll never tell! | Ahhh, sunset at the Santa Monica Pier, one of the many pleasures of being in Los Angeles! The views and attractions here have made it a prime destination for all sorts of folks for over one hundred years! Did you know that in the United States you can only see the sun SET into the Pacific Ocean? Conversely, you can only watch the sun rise out of the Atlantic Ocean. Hey, you could make it to both in the same day if you fly!
12: Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world. Home to movie stars and fans alike, it also has some of the most beautiful movie theaters in the world like Disney's El Capitan Theater and The Chinese Theater. | Since The Chinese Theater opened in 1927, there have been 200 stars immortalized in cement. Oh look, there's my buddy Darth Vader's footprints. Is he still here? Hey Annie! Wait up! ...We go way back. This one time, I was on this space station...Oh, it's a long story...Maybe some other time. | The Hollywood and Highland Mall houses the world famous Dolby Theater, home of American Idol and the Academy Awards.
13: IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MOVIES
15: I tried to spot some more stars at some of the studios around town but they were all closing up for the night... | So I decided to check out the night life around here and head on down to the Sunset Strip to listen to some local bands.
16: I wanted to really live it up in the City of Angels, so I hit "The Strip" to check out the scene. The Strip is known for it's many famous venues like The Roxy, The Whiskey A Go-Go and The Rainbow Room. Many bands got their start playing shows here from Van Halen to Guns n Roses to Steel Panther...whom I got to meet and hang out with backstage. Now they were some interesting folks! I think I need to head home for the night before I get into any trouble!
17: California's mountains and valleys make it a great place for hikers. Beautiful nature and gorgeous vistas make for some of the most spectacular views. Even the city parks are beautiful. One of my favorite was Historic Echo Lake Park with it's lovely mix of street art, city views and it's beautiful lake.
18: My family LOVES to shop in their "Yard Mart"! You see, SoCal's (that's what the locals call Southern California) climate allows for gardening almost the entire year and they sure do make use of it. | They have peach trees, avocados,and even strawberries. That's Inspector Maynard checking out the corn... oh, that over there? That's, um... butternut squash and brussel sprouts. I know! I know! But they were actually quite yummy. You should try 'em sometime!
19: Welp, I've had an amazing trip, but now it's time to climb back into my comfy envelope and head home to NewJersey! Bon Voyage! | (That's French for, "See ya later!")