And I quite liked this quote: "Some people say, and I understand it, isn't it premature? Too early? Well, I'd say then that it could be too late to respond three years from now," Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said. "It is now that we have the opportunity to respond – all of us."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who won the prize in 1984, summed it up by saying, "It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama's message of hope."
My partner’s a big history buff, so we went to the La Brea tar pits (free on the first Tuesday of the month):
We learned that, right in the middle of what is now L.A., there used to be mammoths, camels, lions, saber-tooth cats, jaguars, cheetahs and bison (and lots of others that I can't remember now). Can you imagine one of those strolling down Sunset or Wilshire? It would be quite a sight to behold. Here's a camel skeleton they found, for example:
They also had a yellow wall with over 400 dire wolf skulls, representing about a quarter of the ones they've found so far. Their theory was that packs of wolves would try to feed on animals stuck in the tar and get stuck themselves:
We discovered that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) next door has pay-whatever-you-want twilight hours (after ), so we went for a quick visit there, too.
There was a neat exhibit on Korean artists that I’d recommend checking out, if you’re in the
It was made of cheap plastic bowls, sieves and cups:
I also liked this one, which resembled a fountain of street lights:
We stopped by the Griffith Observatory (which was also free), where we got a beautiful view of L.A...
and saw (through a gigantic telescope) the largest four of Jupiter's sixty-three (!) moons: Io (with more volcanic activity than any other body in the solar system), Europa (covered in water and ice and believed to have twice as much water than Earth), Ganymede (the largest moon in the solar system, larger than the planet Mercury and the only moon with its own magnetic field) and Callisto (mostly ice and rock, less interesting), all named by Galileo in 1610. I know, let me push up my nerdy glasses and go nuts.
But, who can complain when you’re right in front of the beach, drinking fresh coconut juice, eating coconut curry (made with fresh coconut!) and spending time with great people? Not to mention how warm the ocean water was—like stepping into cooled bathwater, which was perfect at sunset. We even grilled fresh shrimp, lobster and fish.
(These are the moments that make me feel very grateful for my life and a sense of responsibility, that I really have to give back in whatever way I can to the universe to say thanks for what I have. The hard part is figuring out exactly what that means in practice.) But I digress.
Speaking of food, we also had the most amazing little tacos, complete with cucumbers, beans, a variety of sauces, seasoned cactus, etc. (YUM), which made me look forward to living in
After L.A., we stopped in
and the Chelsea Market, which used to be the National Biscuit Company (now Nabisco) factory.
It was a beautiful, industrial space with lots of exposed brick, an arch with a clock that looked like the Hulk just ran through, and tons of great food. If you're in New York and haven't been, it's worth a visit.
Then (almost done catching up, finally), we flew to
We’d stopped in
Which is where we are now. We've been without power for a few days, though, so we’ve been unplugged for a little while. But more on Dar in my next post.