It was about two in the afternoon when I decided to go to the Griffith Park Observatory. I wasn’t hyped about going to a place where I’ve visited many times before so I didn’t think much about it. I grabbed my camera, car keys, and my backpack, then I was off to the observatory. The drive wasn’t any different from any other days, but I did go the wrong way and ended up at the stable. When I actually arrived at the right location, the parking lot was packed, but I was lucky enough to find a parking spot immediately. It never occured to me that people actually come to the observatory during daylight. The place felt foreign and unusual because I wasn’t accustomed to seeing the details outside of the observatory because I always came here at night. There were many tourists and I blended in with them because although it wasn’t my first experience of the observatory, we were both gazing at something new. We had the same amazement in our eyes and it was the complete opposite of what I expected. Despite that this place is called the Griffith Park Observatory, I never took my time to actually observe the place. Taking advantage of this opportunity, I was able to examine the delicate pattern of the observatory’s exterior and spectate the movements of the spectators. Time flew by quickly in no time and the sun began to set. Before I left, I was able to sketch the observatory building which made me realize that I need to definitely improve my sketching skills. Overall, I was able to leave with satisfaction.
My trip to the Griffith Park Observatory helped me realize that sunlight can greatly shift the appearance of a location and affect the experience of the visitor. Because I visited during the day, I felt it was absurd to enter the observatory. Instead, I decided to observe the surrounding environment outside of the observatory.
I left my house around noon blasé about going to the Griffith Park Observatory, because it was a place of familiarity since I visited many times before. The mild traffic and going the wrong direction towards the stables did not help me spark any more interest. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with cars and I was dubious about finding a parking spot.
Luckily, I found a parking spot immediately and that led to the turning point of my visit. As I made my way towards the observatory, I realized that I have never visited the Griffith Park Observatory during the day. It seemed like an entirely different place because of the sunlight illuminating the landscape and the tourists swarming around the site attractions.
By four o’ clock, I was blending in with the tourists, taking photographs of the sundial and the Astronomer’s Monument; however, in reality, I was actually attracted to another aspect of the area. The fact that there were so many people gathered outside of the Griffith Park Observatory intrigued me, because I used to think that people came during the night to observe the stars.
As the sun began to disappear, so did the tourists. Spectating the people became the focus of my visit, and although I came expecting nothing in return, I left Griffith Park with a memorable experience.
Thematic (Blog #4):
My visit to the Griffith Park Observatory gave me an opportunity to observe different types of people at the observatory. I was not used to seeing so many people at the observatory, and it made me unconsciously study the different people there.
The first category of people i noticed were the parents with their children. The unique shape of the statue and the weather compelled the kids to play around the Astronomer’s Monument. Because the kids were running around the statue, it was a challenge for me to take a good photograph. Instead of asking the parents to control their kids for a couple minutes, I decided to observe the other individuals.
When I looked around, a group of tourists carrying around oversized DSLR Cameras caught my attention. They were in a similar position as me, attempting to take photographs while the kids were running around. The tourists were mainly of Asian descent so I assumed they were all participating in the same tour.
The last category of individuals I saw were couples enjoying their date on a cool sunny day. They were mostly apathetic about their surrounding and seemed to just enjoy each other’s company.
During this visit, I learned that the Griffith Park Observatory has many distinct individuals who visit it during the day. It allowed me to conclude that the outdoor space of the observatory is a popular area for individuals to come and interact.