senoritafish: (A cunning plan)
[personal profile] senoritafish
Well, we made it up to Green Day and back alive. I was thinking we would park at the train station, and catch it directly, but John thought it would be a better idea to park at his mom's house, catch the shuttle to the Transit Mall, and from there catch the Blue Line up to LA. Which worked fine, but put a time limit on when we had to be back. The last shuttle back his mom's neighbor hood left downtown Long Beach at 9 pm, so we had to be back on the train before that.

I had packed up a bunch of sandwiches, carrots, apples and carried them along - Avalon was excited enough, she packed up her own. We made it up to the Staples Center without incident and walked over to the Nokia Plaza - that whole development is new, I'm pretty sure it wasn't there last time we were up there. The plaza itself was fenced off, but we had a seat on the planter in from of a statue of Oscar De La Hoya. The website had said the concert was to start at 5:30 - at 6:30 nothing had started yet, and John was getting impatient and saying if they didn't start in fifteen or twenty minutes we were leaving. No patientce, that man. The kids kept going over to the fence to see if they could see anything through any of the gaps in the covering, but there was really too much equipment in the way. Finally, we saw some TV camera platforms go up and heard an announcement, "Cameramen, please put on your headphones." A few minutes later there was actual music. Billy Joe's face appeared on the screens, visible over the fence, for about 30 seconds, then was replaced by little flying skulls and then occasionally "Carson Daly's New Year's Eve," Aha, that's what this was for. The band played quite a few songs, some not all the way through, and some silly things, like beginning of Stairway to Heaven, sequeing into the lyrics to Gilligan's Island, and a lot of joking around, which made me think this wasn't quite the real deal, especially since we could hear the people who did have tickets cheering and applauding down the street - they hadn't been let in front of the stage yet.

Finally the music wound down and the 21st Century Breakdown themed pictures on the screen were replaced with commercials from one of the other screens. John got up, insisted that was it, it was over (I was sure it wasn't), but we did have to catch the train back by the right time to not miss the downtown Long Beach bus. His knee and his feet were bothering him and he wanted to get home. Peeking through the fence on the way back to the train station I could see that all the ticket-holders were still standing in a group in the same place, but whatever.

Anyhow, the train was crowded, and the kids and I stood for quite a bit of it. We had to get off the train at the Willow Station as that was as far as it went, and wait for the next one, but we did make it back to Long Beach in time for the last bus, and a quick visit with John's mom and grandma before heading home. The kids had fun, we got to hear some live music by someone well known, and I think it's good for them to get some experience using public transportion.

I haven't taken the train for a very long time; however I remember the last couple of times we did, I looked out the window and right in the middle of the inner city, Compton or Watts, some graffiti artist had drawn a huge picture of Spock's face, filling the entire wall next to the tracks from top to bottom. I was kind of hoping it was still there, but it's been at least 15 years and graffiti art is ephemeral; if the city or wall owners don't paint it over, other artists or taggers will.

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senoritafish

August 2011

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