California

LA: 12 minutes from Hollywood and Vine.


Latitude: N34°
Longitude: W118°

We wake to a perfect day –

clear blue LA skies with glorious sun but somewhat cool and windy. Larry and Del have a gem of a house, with a perfect yard and pool. We realize how quite and peaceful it is despite being 12 minutes from Hollywood and Vine.

We spend the day touring downtown LA. Who knew LA had a downtown! And in a Toronto sense, it doesn’t – it is an area of town called “downtown”, rather than the physical hub.

Two buildings in particular are on our agenda – Our Lady of the Angels (architect: Moneo) and Walt Disney Hall (architect: Gehry). Both are beautiful in the extreme – but it is difficult to conceive of 2 buildings that could be more different. And yet both are similar, in their use of light as an important architectural element and within close walking distance on Grand Avenue.

Our Lady of the Angels

The new Cathedral in downtown LA is monochromatic both inside and out. The walls and ceiling are poured concrete that has been tinted a sort of café au lait colour. The windows are alabaster, so the quality of the light inside is a shimmering luminescence, and the colour of the light shares that  same café au lait as the walls and ceiling. While a very modern building, it exudes a grandness of scale that rivals the great ancient churches of Europe.

The sconces on the wall are all handmade angels. One in particular caught my eye – he seemed so unhappy for an angel, and his wings appeared to be on fire.

Disney Hall

What can be said? The exterior of the main hall is clad in stainless steel, and every piece is unique. Because there are no flat planes, the sunlight dances!

Thank you, Larry and Del, for your wonderful hospitality. What a great start to our trip around the world!

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