RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


Memories of 2019


I picked two photos from each month of 2019 to represent my year in photography. Just like last year, some months I had too many choices and some months it was hard pickings.  So these aren’t necessarily my very best photos but I tried to show a variety of different places.

The photo above is reflections in a puddle at Culver City Park at the end of my street. We had a lot of rain last winter after a seven-year drought.

Red hot poker plants at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. Some friends bestowed upon me a gift membership for which I am very grateful… and I am able to take a friend with me which makes it a doubly wonderful gift!



I was clearing junk out of the garage in February as I was planning to move. That didn’t happen but it allowed me to get rid of a lot of stuff. I took a photo of this painting with my point & shoot before I drove it over to Goodwill. I must have painted this in the 1970s! I hope somebody bought it and is enjoying it. I may print it out and hang it on a wall to give it a new life.

A random photo of the boys. Frankie The Monster, who of course bagged the most comfy spot. And Freddie The Giant Cat who is so laid back and always lets Frankie get what he wants.



The Broad is a contemporary art museum in downtown LA. This was a booth by Yayoi Kusama constructed of mirrors. My selfie is on the right. My friend BG was standing at the other side of the booth so you can see her face in some of the other circles.

I’m not usually good at doing things on the spur of the moment but my friend LA decided she wanted to see the wildflowers. So as long as she was driving I said okay. Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore is about 85 miles from Culver City. We went on a Wednesday and made pretty good time. It was a fabulous day. On the way home we came as close as I have ever come to being killed in an accident. In my mind I was already dead. Make the most of every day because you never know when it will be your last. It just wasn’t our time.



Next door to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) is La Brea Tar Pits with ongoing excavations. The site goes back to the Pleistocene Age. The extinct animals discovered at La Brea Tar Pits were trapped in the asphalt between 11,000 to 50,000 years ago. Outsiders always accuse Los Angeles of having no history… excuse me, we go back a lot further than most places in the US!

I don’t think this is quite what they had in mind when they named the Palms neighborhood of Los Angeles, adjacent to Culver City. But I always enjoy looking at this utility box on my walk to Sprouts Market on the LA side of Venice Blvd.



I made several trips to Echo Park Lake this year. Paddling around on these swan Paddle Wheelers is now one of my favorite things to do in LA. It’s relaxing and good exercise at the same time with splendid views of the downtown skyline. I hope can cajole more friends into going with me in 2020. Wanna come along?

I’ve been wanting to visit the South Coast Botanical Gardens for many years. Finally made it in May. It was really delightful. We only saw a small area as my companion wasn’t able to walk far. But I’ll definitely be back to see the rest of it.



My friend SB and I were waiting at the harbor to take the boat back from Santa Catalina to San Pedro. This couple walked by. I loved the way they looked so I asked if it was okay to take their photo. She had made their matching outfits with fabric she had bought at Downtown Disney in Anaheim. She said she often made them matching outfits. How adorable is that?

I am a member of the Natural History Museum and it’s a short train ride from Culver City so I often pop in there, often on my own if nobody else is available or interested. This lovely guy was on display in the special exhibit on Antarctic Dinosaurs, the 25-foot-long, “cold-crested killer,” Cryolophosaurus. The exhibit featured an ongoing scientific expedition from the NHM and Chicago’s Field Museum as they dig for fossils today. La Brea Tar Pits is also part of the NHM.



Rode the Amtrak train to Ventura with a group of friends. We hiked up the trails in the Ventura Botanical Gardens which is still recovering from the December 2017 Thomas Fire. Lovely views from the top. Ate lunch on the pier at Beach House Fish then walked along the pier watching people fishing.

BG and I made an overnight trip to Santa Barbara. Stayed at an historic estate, drove around the area, ate dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant, Due Lune Cucina, across from the beach as the sun was setting. Next day ate lunch on the pier before heading home. Wonderful experience.



Mount Rushmore has been on my bucket list ever since I saw the movie North by Northwest with Cary Grant and the marvelous James Mason. So now I can say been there, done that! It was a trip to look up and see those monumental faces… it’s impossible to imagine how that can be achieved. As you are chiseling away you would only be able to see a miniscule part of what you are working on. Amazing.

We arrived at Old Faithful in Yellowstone in the evening. The glow of the setting sun was a magnificent backdrop to the geyser. This was my second visit to the park. This time we had the privilege of staying inside the park at the Old Faithful Inn. You just walk out the front door and there is Old Faithful right in front of you. Magnificent.



Second Home Pavilion was a temporary exhibit which I visited on one of the hottest days of the year at Hancock Park between LACMA and La Brea Tar Pits. I asked the young lady sitting at the entrance how she was doing and she indicated not too well. I enjoyed walking through the colorful maze of tunnels.

BG and I hung out at LACMA visiting several galleries. At Mary Corse: A Survey in Light we had a little fun as we became the artwork.



The celebration of El Dia de los Muertos is one of my favorite times to visit Grand Park. This year there were about 40 altars all personally and culturally relevant to Los Angeles honoring those who have passed over. It coincides with halloween and is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and helping support their spiritual journey. In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness but as a day of celebration because their loved ones awake and celebrate with them.


Several friends met at the Sunset/Vermont Red Line station and rode the shuttle up to the Griffith Observatory. Half the group attempted the hike to Inspiration Point but it was too hot for me so I sat and chatted with the other half at the cafe and enjoyed the views. The hikers only made it half way before being forced to turn back. So I was glad I didn’t attempt it. I’ve suffered from heat stroke before and have to be careful.



GM, EA and I made reservations for an early lunch at Perch on the 15th floor of the Pershing Square Building. I had eaten there previously and talked so much about it they wanted to experience it too and weren’t disappointed. Perch LA is a French-inspired rooftop bistro with unobstructed views of Downtown Los Angeles for guests to experience the feeling of floating along the skyline. The elevated spaces offer outdoor fireplaces, rooftop fire pits, indoor and outdoor dining experiences, and lounge seating to experience the city skyline views. The food isn’t bad either! This is just one of the many views when you walk around the outside area.

Several members of the Culver City Art Group met at the Getty Center to visit the exhibit Manet and Modern Beauty. You gotta love the staircase with the Manet image leading up to the exhibit. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the artist but I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of his paintings… many I was not previously familiar with.



A friend is a member at Descanso Gardens. She very graciously picked me up at Union Station and drove the rest of the way… I took the E (formerly known as the Expo) Line to the Red Line… one of these days, probably not in my lifetime, the E Line is supposed to go all the way to Union Station. The gardens were beautifully decorated for the holidays. Of course I imagine it is really spectacular all lit up at night but it was pretty good during the day too.

Last but certainly not least, I led my 3rd Annual Downtown Holiday Decorations Walk ending with lunch at the Biltmore Hotel (at left). There were 13 participants… all women this year… but not too surprising. This lovely Christmas tree was located at the southeast corner of Pershing Square. Lined up correctly the star appears between the US Bank Building (Library Tower) and the Deloitte Building (the Gas Company Building). I had to pay those pigeons to take flight just at the right moment!

Thanks for bearing with me. Some months there were a few more photos I really wanted to include… but I had to keep to two from each month and not cheat… you wouldn’t have known if they didn’t appear in the correct months but I would have known!

I wish you all a very healthy, happy and adventurous 2020!


A walk to the top

culver city baldwin overlookI’ve said it before, I’m sure I’ll say it again: I feel very fortunate to live where I do, just a couple of blocks to the south is Culver City Park that connects with Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook and miles of hiking trails. Part of the California State Parks system, the Overlook opened in April 2009. For months I sat out on my deck with a glass of wine (not the same glass of wine) watching the multitudes of people climbing up to the top and thinking it would take a lot of time and effort to reach the summit.

culver city baldwin overlook

As it happens it is a half hour walk, more or less, depending on my energy level, from my front door to the very tippy top!

culver city baldwin overlook

There are three routes to the top. A hiking trail which is difficult for me as I no longer do well on uneven ground. A billion stairs which are also difficult because some of them are too steep for my old knees (however, I have done the stairs several times with the help of a hiking pole). And the route I prefer now, the paved road which is shared with cars.

culver city baldwin overlook

My pet peeve of the day: Despite this sign, which evidently no-one other than me has bothered to read, gives vehicles the right of way… this is a road! And the advice to walk on the left facing traffic is totally ignored. People either hug the right curb with their backs to the cars, or walk all over the road causing vehicles to either stop or drive at one mile an hour. I don’t get it. Am I the only one who feels it is safer to see the cars coming towards me. Yes, it’s tough being perfect in an imperfect world!

culver city baldwin overlook

These photos were taken in December, 2014 after one of the first rains. It’s fabulous to see the hills change from brown to green overnight!

culver city baldwin overlookSince then we’ve had a couple more storms and the hillsides are even greener… I just didn’t want to take these photos all over again.

culver city baldwin overlookWhen the park was created it was landscaped with native drought-resistant plants. So this is how it would possibly have looked hundreds of years ago when the Tongva Indians inhabited the area.

culver city baldwin overlookThis view shows the Sony Pictures “ziggurat” building just left of center. In the center is an approximately 160-unit (don’t quote me on that) apartment building being constructed at the end of my street over on the Los Angeles side. The red-roofed building at center right is Culver City City Hall. You can see my roof deck from up here but I’m not going to point it out!

culver city baldwin overlook Aaaahhh… the Pacific Ocean on the horizon. Looking out towards Playa del Rey and Marina del Rey. In the center is the tower of the Culver City Veteran’s Building and in the foreground the baseball field at Botts Field in Culver Park.

culver city baldwin overlookUpper center is the Blue Whale, the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

culver city baldwin overlookThis park is well used. On the one hand it is not the place to come to get away from people. But on the other hand I always feel safe with other people jogging and walking around me.

This park is well used. On the one hand it is not the place to come to get away from people. But on the other hand I always feel safe with other people jogging and walking around me. If you look very closely and squint you can see the Hollywood Sign in the distance at upper right at the top of Mount Hollywood. Behind Mount Hollywood are the Verdugo Mountains. And the highest mountains in the background are the San Gabriels.

culver city baldwin overlook

Walking back down with a feeling of accomplishment. Just above the girls’ heads you can see the Rainbow Sculpture at Sony Pictures (Sony is on the old MGM lot… need I say more?).

culver city baldwin overlook

Looking towards Marina del Rey. Culver City is five miles from the ocean.

culver city baldwin overlookWe are looking at the high rises in Century City which was built in the 60s on land that was previously the 20th Century Fox Lot. Fox Studios is still located there today.

culver city baldwin overlookThe interpretive center. I love browsing in here when it is open (I think mostly at the weekends) as there is a lot of information about the flora and fauna of the area and about the development of Southern California in general. They did a very nice job with the architecture. I see these buildings from my deck. They are lighted at night.

culver city baldwin overlookJust a view through the bushes to Century City.

culver city baldwin overlookLooking back to the interpretive center. The LAX control tower is in the distance.

culver city baldwin overlookThe long and winding road!

culver city baldwin overlookOn a clear day you can see forever (sing along now…). Downtown Los Angeles at right with a little snow cap on Mount Baldy.

culver city baldwin overlookI can never get enough of these views…. the Hollywood Sign splat in the middle at the top, above the SBE building in the center.

culver city baldwin overlook

Red berries make a nice contrast with the green. Very holiday-ish just a few days before New Year.

culver city baldwin overlook

Some kids and parents enjoying a soccer practice down below in Culver Park. I walk through there on my route back down the hill.

culver city baldwin overlook

I just walked up here yesterday and it was so much greener than this so you will just have to imagine how green it is. But in the summer it is 50 shades of brown!

culver city baldwin overlookI just happen to like this fence. Certainly not keeping anyone or anything in or out… maybe just designating private from public land…. I really have no idea.

culver city baldwin overlookI’ll be posting some more photos of another walk up here soon I am sure. Hope you enjoyed coming along on this outing!

You might enjoy an earlier post I wrote: Stepping up to Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


DASHing to the Griffith Observatory

griffith observatory

A friend and I were on a stroll along Sunset Boulevard from West Hollywood to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles a few weeks ago (7.5 miles in case you are interested). At Vermont we saw a DASH bus with “Observatory” on the header. As both of us happen to be fans of public transportation we decided that sounded like a good idea. So this past Saturday we left our respective homes early in the morning and met at the Sunset/Vermont Metro train station. The DASH shuttle stops right across the street. The downside is that the Observatory shuttle only runs at the weekends. The upside is the fare is only 50 cents (25 cents for seniors) and takes the TAP card.

griffith observatory

This was the first time either of us had ridden on a DASH route. According to the website: “DASH provides frequent, inexpensive and convenient bus service in downtown Los Angeles and in 27 neighborhoods all across the City of Los Angeles. Each route is designed to serve travel within that neighborhood and to connect to other regional transit services such as Metro Rapid and local routes, Metrolink and Metro rail lines.” Sounds like another public transportation adventure waiting to happen.

The view above, obviously, is of the Hollywood Sign. Another reason why tourists like to come to the Observatory.

griffith observatory

The view above, obviously, is of the Hollywood sign. Another reason why tourists like to come to the Observatory.

It’s been VERY hazy lately so I was afraid by the time we arrived at the Observatory on Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, there wouldn’t be any kind of view, which is one of the reasons to make the trip: spectacular views of the mountains and city. On a clear day this panorama of downtown LA is stunning but at least you can see the buildings!

When the Endeavour space shuttle arrived in Los Angeles this was supposedly the best vantage point. But getting up here that day would have been a traffic nightmare. I was thrilled enough when it flew over my deck!

The view above, obviously, is of the Hollywood sign. Another reason why tourists like to come to the Observatory.

This is the detail of an engraving showing the constellations that runs along one side of the building.

The view above, obviously, is of the Hollywood sign. Another reason why tourists like to come to the Observatory.

The Griffith Observatory opened on May 14, 1935. The man who envisioned it, Col. Griffith Jenkins Griffith, passed away on July 6, 1919 but he left enough money in his estate to build it. (You can read the whole story here.) The Observatory’s planetarium was only the third to be built in the United States and was not even invented until 1923, after Col. Griffith’s time. So the cinema he had planned became the more fitting planetarium.

griffith observatory

It’s hard to see in this photo but there is a pendulum that swings from a wire attached to the ceiling across the pit below. That’s what the people are peering into.

griffith observatory My apologies for this photo. I forgot to reset the ISO on my camera… this is what happens when an old brain meets a new-fangled DSLR camera!!!! The photo was pitch black but I managed to bump it out in Lightroom so at least you can see the pendulum swinging. At left the ball is hitting a set of pins at intervals.

griffith observatory

griffith observatory

Another look at the ceiling of the Central Rotunda. Obviously the lighting conditions are not ideal.

griffith observatory

Nikola Tesla invented the Tesla Coil in 1891. According to Wikipedia, Tesla used these coils to conduct innovative experiments in electrical lighting, phosphorescence, X-ray generation, high frequency alternating current phenomena, electrotherapy, and the transmission of electrical energy without wires. Today we are familiar with the name because of the popularity of Tesla electric cars.

griffith observatory

griffith observatory

In 2002 the Observatory closed its doors for the first renovation since it opened. As the building sits at the top of a hill there was nowhere to expand outwardly, so the decision was made to build underneath. The Cosmic Connection is the corridor linking the historic building above with the new Gunther Depths of Space below. The passageway contains a 150-foot timeline of the history of the universe decorated with celestial-themed jewelry in the glass case that lines the corridor.

griffith observatory


The story of how the expansion of the Observatory was engineered is pretty amazing. They had to lift the existing building up on jacks in order to excavate underneath. It was all planned with computer programs and nobody knew if it would actually work… if the building would remain intact… until the day they came to lift it up! Whew, I bet there were a lot of sleepless nights around that time!

Below are some photos of the Depths of Space exhibits. Click on an image to start the slideshow:

The day before our visit we had a 5.1 earthquake in the Los Angeles area plus hundreds of aftershocks. So the seismography exhibit below was, unfortunately, very timely.

griffith observatory

griffith observatory

The big blue square is Friday’s 5.1 shaker. I was upstairs in my office sitting at the computer a little after 9:30pm when the quake hit. I wanted to get downstairs but the jolting and swaying was so severe I had to sit down on one of the stairs and hold on to the railing. Usually when there is a  tremblor around 3.0 or more I stay put as there really isn’t anything you can do. But this one was a little scarier.

griffith observatory

Our beautiful moon with a piece of moon rock showcased next to it.

griffith observatory

I believe this is a photograph (rather than a painting) printed on to a rolling canvas screen. Better than my photos anyway!

griffith observatory

We attended a show in the planetarium, Centered in the Universe. I believe it may have been the same one I saw when the Observatory re-opened in 2006 but with my memory everything is new again! Isn’t this a beautiful door? The other theater, the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon, shows a film about the history of the Observatory and space-related documentaries. No, I don’t think re-runs of Star Trek are on the schedule but that may not be a bad idea…

The images in the slideshow below are of sun flares but I could see them as paintings in a museum. The center image could have been painted by Van Gogh:

When we came out of the safety of the building it seemed all hell had broken loose. The parking lot was jammed with fire trucks, EMTs and Park Ranger vehicles with their lights flashing. Above helicopters from various agencies were buzzing around. Apparently two hikers on separate trails had become lost. This may be a park in the middle of a city but this is still wild country not to be trifled with. I don’t know what the story was in this case but too many hikers, experienced or not, take off on their own without any consideration for what might happen to them including mountain lions and falls. Always best to hike with a partner. The good news is that, after how many thousands of dollars of my tax money were spent on this, both the hikers were found.

So it was time for us to line up at the shuttle stop and leave the stars and planets here in the Hollywood Hills to come back down to earth.

griffith observatory

Coming up the 1 1/2 miles in the DASH bus we had noted the cars parked bumper to bumper on both sides of the road and were extremely glad we were in the bus. If you look very carefully at the road cutting across the middle of this photo you can see the cars parked.

Some more views.

Another adventure comes to a close. On to the next one!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


Larchmont Village/Windsor Square architectural walk

larchmont villageLast week I joined some friends on an exploratory walk of Larchmont Village which is a neighborhood in the City of Los Angeles just south of Hollywood, a twelve mile drive from the beach at Santa Monica and five miles west of downtown. Although there is a cute little shopping and restaurant area on Larchmont Boulevard, these photos are of the residential architecture.

Windsor Square is the neighborhood just to the south of Larchmont. The intention in the early years of the 20th century was to have a residential area like one you might find in the English countryside. (See end of post for exact boundaries of both areas.)

Like most neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area, there is no one dominant architectural style. It’s the usual mish mash of what I have come to call Southern California Eclectic. And I love it!

hancock-park-larchmont-020814-001-C-850px larchmont village neighborhoodThis house with Japanese elements… and a wishing well… was designed and built by Snow White. Well, at least the voice of Snow White in the 1937 Disney movie, Adriana Caselotti.

larchmont village

Looking south at the beginning of our walk.

hancock-park-larchmont-020814-011-C-850px larchmont village

Spanish-style modern at top. Note the LA Times thrown on the lawn in color-coordinated plastic bag! Below it a Los Angeles version of Tudor.

larchmont village

A beautiful day. We have clouds in LA now… we used to be known for our cloudless skies but I enjoy seeing those white fluffy things. Unfortunately they do not bring rain.

hancock-park-larchmont-020814-015-C-850px larchmont village

I don’t know how to describe these but I like the brickwork and tile roofs.


The house looks like it belongs in the English countryside… except for the palm trees…

larchmont villageThe ubiquitous (in that it can be seen from all over the LA Basin) Hollywood sign. Hollywood may be a district in LA but it is also a state of mind and an industry found all over the city.

hancock-park-larchmont-020814-020-C-850px larchmont villagelarchmont village

Grey roofs, green roofs or red roofs… take your pick!

larchmont villagelarchmont village

We travel from Spain to the Swiss Alps in just a few footsteps.

larchmont villageThis house, hiding behind the tropical shubbery, is listed at $2,979,000. They just didn’t want to say $3,000,000! Built in 1921 it has five bedrooms and 4,539 sq ft.

larchmont village hancock park

Obviously somebody’s pride and joy, approximately 21,000 of these two-seater Cadillac Allante models were manufactured from 1987 until 1993. I checked on the prices of early 90s models for sale: around $4,500.

Below are some more photos of the homes and trees around the neighborhood.

After our walk we needed sustenance for the trip back home. We decided on Prado on Larchmont Blvd. Three of us ordered the paella which was pretty good. I would like to go back and order one of their sampler plates.

larchmont village

Because Los Angeles is such a confusing conglomeration of small cities (sometimes surrounded on all sides by the Big One, LA)  neighborhoods, districts and unincorporated areas, it is sometimes difficult to figure out exactly where you are. According to the Los Angeles Times mapping project, the street boundaries of Larchmont are Melrose Avenue on the north, Western Avenue on the east, Beverly Boulevard on the south and North Arden Boulevard on the west.

According to Wikipedia, the boundaries of Windsor Square are  from Wilshire to Beverly Boulevards, and from Arden Boulevard to Van Ness Avenue. This is inclusive of the one-block strip of Larchmont Village, between First Street and Beverly Boulevard.

Sometimes this area is mistaken for Hancock Park which is just to the west.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


Culver City Ballona Creek view on a spectacular day


The last few days have been incredibly clear around the Los Angeles area. It rained one day last week—maybe Thursday?—and since then all that uggy haze we have been dealing with has not re-appeared. When you can see all the mountain ranges surrounding the city you can understand why it is known as the Los Angeles Basin, as we are surrounded on all sides except, of course, for the ocean.

I took this photo on Saturday as I was on my way to walk up to the top of Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. Ballona Creek is just a block or so from my house. Ballona Creek used to be a pretty, meandering stream until the 1930s when the U.S. Corps of Engineers saw fit to tame it inside concrete walls. Like the Los Angeles River, the creek had a habit of changing course in the rainy season and wreaking havoc on the adjacent neighborhoods, so at the time, this seemed to be the only solution.

In our more “enlightened” times there are many movements afoot to bring some green back to the creek. Maybe by planting the sides or the center (as we have seen in many parts of the Los Angeles River). But it is a slow process and takes money.

This view is at Duquesne Avenue looking pretty much northeast. The bike path you can see on the left runs all the way down to the Pacific Ocean at Playa del Rey. If you look up and a little to the left above the bicyclist in the red jacket, you can see the Hollywood Sign peeking through the trees on the side of Mt. Hollywood.

The highest point above that is Mount Lukens. If you look VERY closely you can see a whole lot of television, radio and cellular transmission towers on top. Mount Lukens is within the City of Los Angeles and caps out at 5,066 ft (1,544 m), making it the highest point within the city limits. According to Wikipedia, this gives LA the distinction of being the city that has the highest and lowest elevation (sea level) difference in the country.

As the crow flies, Mount Lukens is about 25 miles from where I was standing or about 30 miles and 90 minutes by car, depending on traffic. Yes, I have hiked up there on several occasions—in my (younger) hiking days I bagged quite a few peaks. Now I am content to do the half hour walk from my front door up to the top of Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. I will be writing about that in another post very soon. For an older post, click here.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

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Saving of Hollywood sign too close to give up now


Hollywood sign from the Griffith Park Observatory at sunset

What is the first landmark that comes to mind when you think about visiting Los Angeles? What is the most visible landmark when you are driving around the city? Your answer is most likely the Hollywood sign that looms over all of us and can be seen from miles away on a clear day. What would Los Angeles be like if the view of the Hollywood sign was obstructed or disappeared completely? It would be a sad day for tourism in our fair city.

It is no news by now that the land around the Hollywood sign is owned by a group of Chicago investors who could by all legal rights sell the 138 acres to developers to build four luxury homes. Instead, The Trust for Public Land stepped in and was given until April 14 to raise $12.5 million to purchase the land for the people of Los Angeles and save the clear views of the sign.

As the deadline approached the preservationists were still $1.5 million short. The investors have now granted TPL another sixteen days (until the end of April), to raise the money before placing the real estate back on the market. A matching grant has been set up by Aileen Getty and Tiffany & Co which could raise another $1 million. Every penny counts at this point to save the land around our most famous icon and, as icing on the cake, add it to Griffith Park.

Many companies, organizations, and individuals involved in the entertainment industry and the preservation community have donated amounts of money large and small. The fundraising is ongoing but time is running out. For more information you can view The Trust for Public Land website.

(Photo copyright roslyn m wilkins)