Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mulholland Drive

I haven't blogged much recently since it seems I am lacking some inspiration. However yesterday it all got back to me.

It all started two days ago. It was raining over the weekend and that cleaned up some of the mess in LA's sky (smog, fog, pollution, etc). I thought then that it was a good chance to visit Mulholland Drive, a road that goes through the Hollywood Hills well known for the nice vistas.

Now, the Hollywood Hills lie between two major freeways, the 405 and the 101, and it's about 20 miles between them. So we started off with Dora from the 405 heading towards the 101 following Mulholland drive. Despite my hopes, this specific route and direction looks behind the Hollywood Hills, to the San Fernando valley. Halfway through though there was a fork in the road, and it seems we took the wrong side and hence we ended up down in Beverly Hills! We had no more courage to go back and complete the trip, so we headed back home.

The next morning (or more appropriatelly, afternoon) I looked out my window from my office and saw the mountains behind the downtown. Now, that does not happen very often. The mountains are 30-40 miles away, and 90% of the time there si no visibility that clear. Sometimes I don't even see the downtown skyscrapers which are only 5 miles away! However I could now see all the details and full color of the mountains, which ment the sky was extremely clear. The strong winds also helped on that.

So around 9pm I call Dimitri: "How about a walk on Mulholland Drive?" "Sure", he says. Then I call Stayros: "Do you need a break? The sky is very clear tonight and we'll go up on Mulholland Drive to see the view". At first he refused but around 1 minute later he agreed to come. I just love people that liek doing things on the spot!

After I picked these guys up, we decided to go from th 101 side, hoping that the view would be better this time. Indeed, second after we exit the freeway and started climbing, we past a movie taping (sic) and we found a spot with the most stunning view of Los Angeles downtown I've ever seen... The photos can not even capture 10% of the majesty that you could feel up there, despite the freezing cold.

USC would be located close to the right and center of the picture. Other small details to notice: The weird UFO lights in the sky are trails from the lights of airplanes trying to land to LAX; the northbound traffic at the 101 freeway on the left side was blocked because of an accident, hence only the southbound red lights seem elongated.

We also tried to get a few pictures of us included with the background. The Canon camera I use has this amazing capability of keeping both the foregrounb (people) and the background in the picture without much error in lighting, so that both are visible at the same time. Here are some outtakes: