2012 Sep 22 | space shuttle Endeavor, Chocolate and Art show, LABV, Autumn Lights

Friday morning the space shuttle Endeavor was scheduled to fly over Los Angeles. This was the expected route. I figured most of the places would be pretty packed, so I went to the same rooftop I went to watch the eclipse. I thought it would be a good shot with the downtown buildings, and the shuttle would circle around that spot. I actually stopped by the City Hall observation deck on the way there, just in case nobody was there, but it was packed, and I didn't want to fight the crowd of people trying to get pictures.

There were a few people on other roofs waiting as well.

I could see City Hall from here. The observation deck is the area with all the pillars. The roof of the closer building on the right is packed with people, too.

A few people to the south.

I was keeping track of the shuttle's location on Twitter. It actually arrived a bit earlier than I expected and one of the other guys on the roof alerted us. It came in just as the picture said it would: from the southwest of us. Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy in that direction.

There were only a few other people on this roof, which was really nice; I didn't want to have to fight a crowd. We were all really friendly and talked a bit while waiting. Here are them getting pictures.

It curved around us. The best pictures were to the east as the sky was clear. I didn't expect the two fighter jets as escorts, but they were really cool, too.

Straight on the side.

Curving around to the north.

To the northwest going by City Hall. And this is where my planning didn't work. The shuttle actually flew so low it was behind all of the downtown buildings when it was on the west side. I'm surprised the pilots actually flew so low; while it was bad for my pictures, it was very good for all the people watching.

Coming back out from behind the skyscrapers. I actually probably would have gotten better shots of it from the roof of my apartment. You can see a couple of people on the roof of the building to the left, too; that probably would have been the best vantage point around here, but it was a private building, so I doubt I could have gotten on it.

A closer view.

And our last shot before it heads south. Really fun to watch, and I'm glad I remembered to stop taking pictures and just enjoy watching it for a while.

Sunset driving to the west.

And a really pretty one here. Actually, it's often a pretty sunset here, but it's a much better view a bit farther back on the highway. I never have my camera ready back there, though.

Big trucks stopping to deliver stuff really slows down traffic.

Not sure what this line is for. Maybe the iPhone 5? But I don't know of any store selling it around here.

Some protestors.

Dumb people walking across the street when they have a red light.

This is my kind of parking area. A huge tract of dirt that goes on a very long ways with no cost to park.

A TV in the floor of the entrance of this restaurant. Everyone was scared to step on it.

Pizza buffet, but what I really want are all those chocolate chip cookies.

Leslie, another optometrist, was invited to STK, a very upscale restaurant, for a free dinner sponsored by a drug company, and she was nice enough to invite me as well.

Pretty entrance. The steak was pretty good, but the green beans were suprisingly even better.

Someone moved this table right in front of the milk at the grocery store.

Friday night I checked out the Chocolate and Art Show, just a few miles to the north of my apartment.

People were selling their crafts.


A food truck.


More crafts.

Aw, a pet dinosaur with a leash.

Cool multi-layered paintings.

Very neat steam-punk type jewelry.

Paintings by the same artist. The lower ones had keyholes you could look through to see pictures inside.

Lots of interesting art.

And more.

Everyone loves chocolate fountains.

Aw, man, the one piece of artwork I would have bought, the green one on the right, and it was already sold. Most of the pieces were hundreds of dollars, but this one was only $50.

Drinks in a back room.

Live music.

Shiny paintings.

A face painter.

A woman doing live paintings.

Her name is Tasha Mintzer, and she's starting a non-profit art truck that goes around to local YMCAs and schools to teach kids art.

Body painting.

Saturday was volleyball with LABV.

Posing for the camera.

Everyone happy about a hard-won point.


Any part of the body is legal in beach volleyball.

Her arm looks like it shouldn't bend like that.

Saturday night was Autumn Lights, a multi-media light art exhibition.

Lots of black lights.

Black light balls in trees.

And on the ground and the wall.

A spinning color wheel.

Colorful balls with mirrors that you could control a bit.

Another piece of art you could control with knobs.

Although there were always lots of people playing with it, so I couldn't figure out what each knob did. Maybe they did nothing and it was a topic on the illusion of control.

An animated movie.

Artists painting.

A facepainter.

She did really good work.


Don't get lost in the forest.

Multiple pictures.

A CGI video of random pieces of stuff moving around.

Create your own black-light art.

A view towards the center.

Glow sticks in water.

Christmas lights in an aquarium; that's really neat.

A record made of water where moving the arm makes different music.

Another CGI video, this one of flying through a spiky building.

Big lit-up pieces of art.

A bunch of random stuff.

Finishing up a portrait.

A laser going right above the crowd.

Very neat when it fills in.

Metal beams.

A bunch of little viewers to look into.

What you see inside.

A woman hula hooping with a light up hula hoop.


Up and down.

All over.

A flower-type thing.

Wings you could take a picture in front of.

Very neat black-light painting.

Lots of TVs.

There was live music.

Cheerleaders in a pyramid.

I have no idea what this is, but it's really neat.

The laptop controls the giant screen.

A stool.

Fiber optic wind charms.

A big one.

A whole set.

Be yourself.

A ceiling display.

One of my favorite pieces there: a deep-sea fish.

With some if its friends.

This was interesting. It was a spinning mirror / glass that quickly alternated between seeing yourself and seeing the people on the other side.

A thunder cloud.

A giant video display on the benches.

The live-action scuba diver interacted with the 3D movie behind him.

3D glasses to watch the show.

Another view of the area.

Blacklight artwork.

A piece on Levitated Mass, the giant rock moved to LACMA.

Wow, that's amazing.

Live portrait painting.

A money tree.

A model with QR codes all over her.