Monday, October 15, 2012

Every Day I'm Shuttlin'

Endeavour waits for some Randy's Donuts along Manchester Ave on October 12.

Just a week after Los Angeles' streets were reserved for our 9-mile CicLAvia, we had our own 12-mile ShuttLAvia running through the streets of Los Angeles and Inglewood as the space shuttle Endeavour did some cruising from LAX to the California ScienCenter.

The Militant, of course, was there, and wouldn't miss it for the world, nor did hundreds of thousands of Angelenos who wanted to catch a glimpse of space history roll before their very eyes on the very same streets they walk, bike, ride a bus or drive on.

Los Angeles was already lucky to be one of the four locations to receive a space shuttle: The Discovery was flown to the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum's Steven V. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA (Suburban Washington D.C.) where it was simply rolled next door from the airport (Bo-ring...). The Atlantis was taken to...well, it wasn't really taken anywhere at all since it just stayed put at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL. Only the Enterprise was actually transported along the Hudson River via barge to the Intrepid Air and Sea Museum in New York. But sucks to be them, since the Enterprise never flew in space, only as a test glider over the Mojave Desert.

Wonder what the fine for not stopping is.
Yes, Los Angeles was the only place where a freakin' space shuttle that actually went to space was transported along the city streets. We got to see something special, because we're a special kinda place. After all, the space shuttle is a So Cal native -- conceived in Downey and born in Palmdale. People raised their families here from the '70s to the early '90s with space shuttle-related paychecks. This machine was our homegrown pride and joy, and the Militant is proud to know that we got to keep the last one of these that ever got built. So next time you hear someone diss on Los Angeles, ask them how their city's space shuttle is doing. Cos suckaz ain't got none!

And though some people ridiculed the choice of the areas and streets the shuttle paraded through, there were zero arrests during the three-day journey. ZERO. Everyone dug it, and it made some of these neighborhoods considered "the ghetto" by many to earn a certain amount of prestige. Did the $1.7-billion spaceship roll through Brentwood? Newport Beach? Bel-Air? Beverly Hills? Nope. Knowing the NIMBY-types that live in those neighborhoods, they would probably blow up the shuttle before it got anywhere near their pristine fiefdoms...just speakin' the truth here!

The shuttle will go on display on October 30, so all you have to do is ride the (M) Expo Line to the Expo Park/USC or Expo/Vermont station. If you decide to go all astronaut cosplay for Halloween, y'all know where the party's at. In 2017, they'll build a new permanent exhibit for the shuttle, and have it reunite with its booster rocket and external tank friends in a simulated launch position...which The Militant isn't exactly cool with, since the active shuttle only landed and never launched round these here parts (though it almost did...). Plus it's one more thing to worry about during an earthquake, A shuttle in landing position would have been apropo and ideal for the Los Angeles exhibit, but dude, we got a space shuttle now!

Just this year alone, we got a big-ass rock, a battleship and now a space shuttle. What next for our great City?

MORE PICS (Because you haven't had enough of 'em)!

All this waiting for a stupid Toyota truck? (October 12)
The crowd at Crenshaw & Martin Luther King (October 13)
Endeavour in front of the Krispy Kreme on King & Crenshaw. Wassup with the shuttle and donuts? (October 13)

No Cruising on Crenshaw. (October 13)
Car-free streets for everyone at ShuttLAvia! (October 13

1 comment:

gail said...

Spacecraft and giant donuts are a rockin' combo (think "Space Truckin'" and "Space Cowboy"...the possiblities are endless.) I like to think of that Randy's Donuts sign as being visible in outer space..... if I flew out into the galaxy, I might want a donut....(and, no, I wasn't stoned when I wrote this.)