12 of 12 for October 2008

14 Oct

So, I got the idea for this from SquamLoon, who in turn got it from PodCacher, who got it from someone named Chad. Basically, a “12 of 12” is a monthly blog post which recounts the 12th day of the month with 12 photographs.

I went home to New Hampshire this weekend. I fly home in October in lieu of going home on Thanksgiving because 1) it’s nice to go home in the middle of the semester instead of towards the end, and 2) October is much nicer than November. On the morning of the 12th, I was getting ready to go to the airport and fly back to LA.

The fall colours were getting close to peak in the Lakes Region this Columbus Day weekend. I love waking up to beauty like this right outside the windows of our house. A bittersweet moment, however, since I was packing my bags for “Hell-A.” You can’t get such snuggly autumn mornings out here.

Another view from our house, with some morning fog lingering over Newfound Lake. I was particularly mesmerized by the light blue colour of the lake, and the contrast with the foliage. Our house is on the market, and nothing about the prospect of moving makes me sadder than giving up this view.

We drove down to the airport in Manchester. Takeoff provided an excellent view of the foliage down below (despite being a native New Englander, I am a proud leaf-peeper). Manchester is New Hampshire’s largest city, with about 100,000 inhabitants. Second and third are Nashua and Concord, with around 80,000 and 40,000 citizens, respectively. There are only 11 towns and cities in NH with more than 20,000 people. Looking at the photo of Manchester above, it really does look like a bastion of civilization within the wilderness.

Since I’m such a geography nut, I love spotting landmarks from the plane. The lake nearest the wing above is Pleasant Lake in Northwood, while the elongated lake just north of it is Northwood Lake (which is just south of Route 4). Northwood Lake was one of the sites of the bizarre tornado damage this summer; if you look carefully at the western end of the lake, you can spot a small area that’s been cleared of trees. The tornado actually crossed right over the lake (some of the damage can be seen here).

In the distance you can make out Lake Winnipesaukee and a host of summits, including the most prominent, Mount Washington.

Seeing all the colour from the air is breahtaking. The small village in the bottom right corner is Deerfield Center, I believe.

On its way to Washington (Dulles), the plane briefly followed the coast. I snapped a cool shot of Boston, but since I’m limited to 12 photos, I opted to post a different shot taken over Massachusetts. In the foreground, you can see Cape Ann, and in the distance, across Massachusetts Bay, is Cape Cod. Pretty cool, if I say so myself.

Thanks to the clear weather, I also had an unobstructed view of Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and most of the major Northeastern cities.

After hopping on my connecting flight in D.C., I snapped this shot, presumably somewhere over Virginia (I haven’t bothered to figure out exactly where yet). Evidently the foliage has not turned here yet, although if you look carefully, you can see a hint of colour at the top of the ridges.

I’m always fascinated by the changes in landscape as I fly over the country. The endless geometrical farmland in the Midwest… the other-wordly, desolate landscapes of the Southwest… and of course, the mighty Rockies.

I think this is somewhere over Colorado, although it might even be northern New Mexico. The snow-capped peaks stand in stark contrast to the desert below.

Perhaps the most remarkable sight of the journey is the seemingly infinite SoCal metropolis. This photograph only represents a fraction of the incredible urban sprawl here. Even NYC, despite its larger population, is a mere fraction of LA’s land area, and is much greener than LA’s sprawling mass of concrete and stucco. Fortunately, the smog level was relatively low this day, allowing me a clear shot of downtown LA with the San Gabriels behind (you can still see all that grey in the background though).

Sadly, the wing is obscuring both the Hollywood sign and the USC campus.

After a somewhat bumpy descent into LAX, I was happy to be back on terra firma and got in my shuttle back to USC. What should’ve been a 20-minute ride turned out to be nearly an hour as the driver took an out-of-the-way route through Ladera Heights, an interesting section of LA that I’d never seen before. Ugly brown hills covered with oil rigs.

It was suppertime when I got finally got back to campus, so I stopped in the dining hall for some bouffe. After a week of stuffing myself on Thai takeout, free colloqium food, airport fast food, and “I’m home so I should treat myself” food, I tried to eat something relatively healthy (terriyaki chicken, green beans, potatoes, and cranberry juice). Unfortunately, more free food (pizza) the past few days has ruined any sort of healthy diet I may have hoped to maintain this week.

I’m trying hard, though, because 1) I gained way too much weight last year by not watching what I ate, 2) I’m starting to have digestive system-related problems, which makes me nervous at my age, and 3) I don’t really feel comfortable in my skin at the moment. Every time I see skinny college students eating a plate full of pizza and chicken nuggets for supper, a little part of me dies.

Anyway, the main reason I took that photo was to show the skateboard rack in the background. Each of the dining halls has one. How much more Californian can something be?

I was hoping to get a cool shot of the LA skyline at night for my 12 of 12, so I walked to the top of one of the parking structures on campus before realizing that the view of downtown was obstructed by another building. Instead, I looked to the west and saw this view of the sunset over the horizon. You can see the two tallest buildings on the USC campus, the Von Kleinsmid Center (with a globe on top – VKC typically houses courses in international relations, political science, foreign languages (including my Italian class), etc.) and Waite Phillips Hall, the education school building (whose 12 storeys I ascend for exercise).

On the way back to my apartment, I walked by the Shrine Auditorium. My apartment is located one block from campus, and that block is occupied by the Shrine. It was built in 1926, hosted the Oscars in 1947-8 and 1988-2001, as well as the Emmys in 1998-2007 (this year they moved to the much nicer and newer Nokia Theatre downtown).

The road on which this picture was taken is where the red carpet is rolled out. It’s a bit odd to think that I was walking in the same place that so many famous celebrities have walked before. But considering the countless times I’ve walked here to and from campus, it doesn’t seem like a big deal.

It’s no surprise that the Emmys moved, however, considering what a ghetto the Shrine is located in. There’s really no glamour at all, and I have to admit that I’m always nervous walking to my apartment at night.

Since I gained 3 extra hours with the time change, by the time I went to bed I had been up for over 20 hours and was quite tired. Travel days are very fatiguing.


2 Responses to “12 of 12 for October 2008”

  1. squamloon 17 October 2008 at 04:49 #

    I’m so glad you’re doing this!

    I love that your first 12 of 12 crossed the nation.

  2. wedding dress 8 April 2015 at 02:05 #

    So let us take a look at the fashions you will encounter while searching
    for your dream gown. Don’t feel like you need to pose and direct your couples either, just
    tell them to go out and have fun doing whatever it is. Capt Phillips is at the full scarlet along with blue uniform of his regiment, the Queen”s Dragoon Protects.

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