Escape from Hell-A

5 Oct

Well, I haven’t exactly escaped… yet. But I do try to get out of the local ghetto as often as possible, and this morning I headed up to Griffith Park for the first time since I arrived in LA over three years ago.

After a week of oppressive temperatures in the 80s and 90s, yesterday was more genuinely “fall-like” (at least to those of us who know what a real fall is), with cloudy skies, temperatures in the 60s, and even a few raindrops. When such fronts come through, they tend to temporarily clean out some of the smog in the air, so I figured I would take advantage of the improved weather today for a hike up Mt. Hollywood.

Unfortunately, the smog wasn’t pushed completely away (it never is); when I headed to the bus this morning, looking down Figueroa past the famous Felix sign, I could see plenty of smog downtown on the horizon:

I headed downtown, hopped on the metro and then took a trolley to the Griffith Park Observatory. I didn’t have time to explore the observatory itself — just enough to answer an eastern European tourist’s question in broken English about the name of the tallest building in the LA skyline (the US Bank building).

While I would have liked some tranquil hiking, the trail to the summit of Mt. Hollywood was quite busy. I did enjoy the change in scenery and vegetation, although given the aridity of southern California and the recent fire damage in the park, “vegetation” is a liberal appellation.

One advantage of the hike is the ubiquitous view of the Hollywood sign (which is on Mt. Lee, not Mt. Hollywood. Go figure.):

The views from the summit are incredible – not because they’re beautiful, but because they show you how incredibly vast the city is. The sprawling metropolis covers your entire field of vision and just disappears into the distance at the horizon.

To see all of my photos from Mt. Hollywood, click here.

The other highlight of the week was the French Club’s first major event, a “French Music Night” where we shared favourite songs and artists. Well, most of the suggestions came from myself, but I did discover some cool (and modern) artists thanks to others’ recommendations. Janet shared some particularly cool Canadian songs, including this music video, “Je suis un robot” by Plastic Lite:

Some other recent discoveries:

Malajube

Pierre Lapointe

Kaolin

But I think my favourite recent music video discovery is this song by “Les Trois Accords,” entitled “Saskatchewan.” Despite their strong Canadian accents, the video is the epitome of awesomeness. Not only does it have nothing to do with the lyrics, but it has NINJAS!!!!

SASKATCHEWAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TU M’AS PRIS MA FEMME!!!!!!!!!!!!

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