Tag Archives: los angeles metro

Union Station in Los Angeles

Leave the parking to them!

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Not that it would ever happen to me, but if you live in San Diego and get bored after a few years, we’re fortunate to have Los Angeles just ninety miles up the road. Put San Diego, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs together — all within 100 miles of each other — and you couldn’t possibly be bored in Southern California!

I didn’t have a great appreciation for Los Angeles until recently, mainly because if I’m driving, I want to be driving! Not stuck on a freeway doing 10 mph, something that’s quite common on freeways like Interstate 5 and U.S. Highway 101 going through the heart of Los Angeles. Both freeways need a serious case of widening or, as San Antonio did, building an upper deck.

Last month, though, on National Train Day (May 11), I took Amtrak to Los Angeles and then hopped on the Los Angeles Metro subway to go over to Hollywood. Until then I had not realized that Los Angeles, in 1994, had started building a subway system. And it’s a nice one! In some future posts, I’ll show you just how nice. I might go to Los Angeles more often now that I know I can use the Metro to go to 90% of the places in Los Angeles that interest me.

My first stop on National Train Day was, of course, the historic Union Station:

Los Angeles Union Station

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Los Angeles Union Station

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station opened on May 3, 1939, to serve passenger trains from Union Pacific Railroad; Southern Pacific Railroad; and Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad; and commuter trains of the Pacific Electric Railway and Los Angeles Railway. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, it currently serves 60,000 passengers a day.

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Along with passenger trains from Amtrak and Metrolink, Union Station has a separate platform for the Los Angeles Metro subway, and another area for buses, taxis, and bicyclists.

A day pass on the Metro is only $5. That allows you to ride Metro trains all day long, get on and off as you like, and really have some fun. I can highly recommend it as a way to get around the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Sightseeing is so much more fun when you don’t have to try to find a parking place!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Los Angeles Metro's Del Mar Station in Pasadena

Just passing through

Railroads & Trains logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When Jim and I travel, we usually try to visit aquariums, zoos, gardens, and university campuses. I also try to sneak in a visit to a place having something to do with trains.

When we went to Los Angeles this past Sunday for our 19th anniversary, our main destiny was the Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanical Garden. Afterwards, we went in search of Pasadena City Hall (the second most beautiful City Hall I’ve ever seen, behind San Francisco), the Rose Bowl, and the old Santa Fe Depot in Pasadena. We found City Hall and the Rose Bowl, but, sadly, never found the old Santa Fe Depot.

According to one site that I found after getting home, the Santa Fe Depot was absorbed into the new station and was “rehabilitated to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.” Ha! Anything but! See for yourself at Pasadena Views.

Jim and I walked around for about 30 minutes looking for the station, or its remnants, or maybe an address where it had been moved. While we never found it, I did get a couple of good flash videos of the Metro trains. The second one is my favorite.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I approve this post.Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Snippets

A little of this, some of that

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have such a backlog of blogging topics that I’m going to combine a few into this Snippets post.

First, here’s a 9-second flash video taken at the historic Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego at the very end of our train travels for National Train Day this past Saturday:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m presuming that the blue blinking light told the Amtrak engineer where to stop his train.

Notice that there is no sound in the video? Yahoooooooooooo! I bought Corel VideoStudio Pro X6 yesterday and the first thing I did was learn how to delete the audio. Next I’ll be learning how to insert my own audio.

Next, a recent La Mesa Patch had a story about KB Homes clearing out an 11-acre forest of 74 mature trees, many with nesting birds in them, in order to build a small subdivision of 31 homes, each home ranging in size from 3,106 square feet to 3,755 square feet. Plans indicate that 422 trees “of specimen size” are to planted. With 31 homes of 3,106 square feet or more, I just don’t see how 422 trees of any size can be planted there. Here are a couple of pictures of the development, to be called La Mesa Meadows. I think the “Meadows” part indicates that a meadow was destroyed to build the homes because there certainly won’t be any meadow there when they finish.

La Mesa Meadows

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Mesa Meadows

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Next, I think I figured out how to upload videos to YouTube much faster than what I have been doing. My Canon 550D takes videos in the MOV file format. The blinking light video above was 45.8 MB in the MOV format, but after deleting the audio track and saving as an MP4 file, it was only 4.5 MB and took only a minute to upload to YouTube. I’m gettin’ the hang of this video stuff!

The following 10-second flash video is of arriving passengers at Los Angeles Union Station on National Train Day 2013. The MOV file was 53.8 MB; the MP4 file is 5.31 MB.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Many of the train stations for the Los Angeles Metro are attractions in and of themself. We couldn’t decide which station we liked the most, but I know I’ll be going back to L.A. many times just to ride the Metro and investigate all the stations. Here is a video I created of one of the Metro stations in Hollywood. I combined three flash videos into this one 23-second video:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lastly, these short flash videos lend themselves quite nicely to something that is difficult to capture with pictures. Water fountains come to mind, especially tall water fountains. Thus, a 9-second flash video of a water fountain at one of the train stations:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Coaster commuter train, San Diego, California

Hollywood fun!

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

What a great National Train Day I had! Hope you had a great day, too!

Jim and I made it over to Hollywood courtesy of the San Diego Trolley, Amtrak, and the Los Angeles Metro. I must say that after a day on the Los Angeles Metro, it has now risen to my #1 favorite mass transit system. They started building it in 1992, and I believe they did it right, and upcoming expansions will only make it better.

Hollywood was a great place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. The last time I went, which I think was in the mid-1990s, it was a prime piece of urban decay. I swore I would never go back. I knew that some big-time Hollywood stars had been leading the charge for urban renewal, and I believe they succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations, so much so that Hollywood now is way overcrowded.

At one of the new malls, a six-story mall located at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, children were playing in one of those street fountains that shoots water out of the ground. I got a cute flash video:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Pacific 844 steam engine in Southern California, November 2011

Happy National Train Day!

Railroads & Trains logo

National Train Day

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Angel's Flight Railway in Los AngelesHappy National Train Day!

I’m out riding the trains today — San Diego Trolley, Amtrak, and Los Angeles Metro.

I’ll be starting at San Diego Trolley’s 70th Street Station, then to San Diego’s historic Santa Fe Depot, then to the even more historic Union Station in Los Angeles, and finally Metro’s Red Line to Hollywood. To end the day, simply reverse the trip.

I also plan on finally getting to ride the Angel’s Flight Railway after all these years. Seems every time I’ve gone in the past it was either out of service or decommissioned. Unless it breaks in the next 12 hours, it’s up and running.

If you can’t get out to ride the trains today, then at least sit back and watch a few of my train videos.

San Diego Trolley arriving at Santa Fe Depot in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner leaving Santa Fe Depot in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner arriving at Old Town Station in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Coaster arriving at Santa Fe Depot in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Pacific Steam Engine #844 near Indio, California, November 2011

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Pacific Steam Engine #844 at 70 miles per hour
near Indio, California, November 2011

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos