Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ready for Takeoff

Rocketship Park in Torrance

There are three areas that provide especially awesome views of the Los Angeles basin. The first is the Griffith Observatory, viewing the urban sprawl from the north. The second is the Getty Center, viewing from the northwest. And the third is Rocketship Park in Torrance, viewing from the south.

Aside from the view, the main attraction is the old "Rocketship" from 1960. It's a big, metal playground rocket, with a slide. I remember thinking it was the coolest slide EVER when I was a child. Not because it twisted or turned or was especially long. Rather, it was so exciting because it seemed as if you would go sliding down from the Palos Verdes heights into the city itself, at least within my youthful imagination. The slide faces a long, sloping cliffside with nothing between the rocket and the panoramic view of the Los Angeles urban sprawl.

Of course, the rocket is set far back from the cliff. Yet, for a child, it seems to be so amazingly close to the edge and so beautifully elevated over the city.

The rocketship was restored in 1993.

Given the constant rebuilding and devotion to novelty that characterizes LA, I'm constantly surprised that the rocket still stands. It was "dated" when I was a youngster and it's been a very long time since then. ;-)

Los Angeles is constantly undergoing change. I'm very happy that this unique and fanciful aspect of my childhood has been "developed" into apartment buildings or McMansions.

Hidden in a residential area, Rockship Park is a few blocks south of Pacific Coast Highway.

I would show you some photos of the awesome panorama, but I visited the park on a gray and gloomy morning. The park was of a high enough elevation to get some flat daylight, but the Los Angeles basin was obscured by mists.

Fortunately, there's a vid that gives a decent feel for the view. Someday, when the sky is clear, I might make my way to the park to get some photos for you all. But, until that time, here's a vid:


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