Monday, December 31, 2007

Travelogue: The City of Angels

Saturday, during a break at the conference, I had the chance to get out of the hotel for a few hours and walk to some nearby sites in Downtown L.A. The nearest notable piece of architecture was the stunning Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall:

Not far from the hall was the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles:

Only about five years old, this modern cathedral is an awesome place. While its imposing boxy exterior may give some initial pause, the cathedral's interior design and works of art work are tremendous -- starting with its "Great Bronze Doors":

The most memorable art from the cathedral was "The Communion of Saints" -- the tapestries by John Nava that line the cathedral's nave. The saints depicted in the tapestries are from every age and place of the Catholic Church but placed randomly -- and even include a handful of images of unnamed young people. The tableau is inspired and thought-provoking.

The saints look forward into the center of the cathedral, as if processing to receive communion. Here's a close-up view of the upper half of one of the tapestries:

Finally, we concluded our tour by driving a short distance to a locally well-known sandwich joint called Philippes, "Home of the French Dipped Sandwich":

It was the kind of old school memorabilia-laden place any Pittsburgher would feel right at home. (Their Cole slaw was, however, a side dish and not under the bread.)

Tour guide: Jay.

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