In the chilly months of the subpar Californian winter, the sun blankets the city of lost angels at the roll around of clock hands that indicate a 5pm evening. The Los Angeles attitude mandated a relaxed bearing in every aspect. My walks were turned into saunters and my Lyft ride up to the crowds at the Griffith Observatory was rife with scenic views of the city landscape, accompanied by the authentic yet grateful confessions of Ariana Grande’s love life. As preluded by what might have seemed like an effortless pilgrimage, the Observatory was full of life, colour and people with a unique fascination for the sun’s ability to set in the horizon.
We barely made it in time for the sunset. I was anticipating a light summer breeze coming from the cold New York weather but LA just did not want to agree with my skirt and denim jacket. I was freezing but the sun gave us all a glimmer of warmth, albeit neglecting to warn us about one of the most beautiful sunsets we were about to witness.
The horizons were plastered by the mountainous landscape characteristic of the panoramic scenery. As people were scattered around the Observatory foyer, taking in the last few minutes of sun light, I momentarily regretted not packing my own mat and picnic basket for it seemed like the perfect way to enjoy the serenity.
To get a better glimpse of the impending sunset, I went to the viewing platforms only to be surprised by the bird’s eye view of the city landscape. It was interesting how the beautiful natural landscapes were this close to the urban areas. I have never thought how such dichotomy could be so effortlessly interwoven, the city was part of the mountains just as much as it was the other way round.
The sun rays were emanating in different hues. It seemed as if there was some sort of prismatic effect going on, painting the sky in colours that I would never expect.
The golden rays were also magnificent in its own right, filtering the landscape with its warm orange tint.
As the sun set into the horizon, people started clapping. My friend walked over to me in confusion and asked what was the commotion all about. Navigating my way through the crowds at the balcony, I replied: “The sun set.”
Trying to savour the last glimpses of light, I spent a good 20 minutes or so taking pictures of people at the foyer, attempting to document them in their physical relation to each other.
The scene reminded me of a 50s documentary I saw at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) that taped people walking around in their varied permutations and steps. It was juxtaposed with a video of someone practising a dance routine and it made walking seem like a performance in comparison. I do not exactly know how the images of people walking can relate to that but the documentary’s composition and style was inspiration to my lens.
To be honest, I knew close to nothing about the Griffith Observatory before Googling a ‘Things to Do in Los Angeles’ in the search bar. While some might come to the observatory to look at the nearest planet through their telescopes or scour the annals of their extensive museum, ask any local and they would most probably say that this is their favourite spot in the city.
For more information about the Griffith Observatory, click here.
Photos courtesy of Lauren Ong. Email Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org.