This past weekend found me on the train headed for Los Angeles to see Jack White in concert at the Shrine Auditorium. Usually, my mode of road trip transportation is my 1987 Honda Prelude Si, which is fun to drive and has plenty of room for hauling home bags of records, CDs and the occasional painting or two. The drawback to my Honda is the fact that the AC has not functioned during this century, and with temperatures in LA County projected to top 100 degrees… the train seemed like an excellent alternative!
I took the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner leaving from the Old Town Trolley station in San Diego, which spends a considerable amount of time hugging up the coastline between Del Mar and Dana Point. It’s a really beautiful and relaxing ride; perfect for reading and listening to music and you cruise by packed beaches and breaking waves.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a step back to the beginning. To Old Town and my wait on the platform for the train to arrive at the station.
Always keep your camera handy, either in a pocket or around your neck. Your camera should always be a shutter click away. Otherwise, you may miss something like… this:
Yes, this dapper gent in his little electric cart was waiting on the platform at the trolley station. Sadly did not board my train to LA.
Now, I ask you: going forward, will you remember to keep your camera close at hand?
Snce I have a ton of pictures (and video!) to share, I’m going to breakup my weekend into segments. And, we’re off!!
The Train Trip
This first segment of photos was taken from the relaxed comfort of my seat on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner. The first shot was taken as we were approaching one of the stations along the coast, though I can’t recall which one. In any case, there were plenty of people out enjoying a Friday morning at the beach. And who could blame them!
Next is the view of The Big A, which is apparently now called Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Not a bad name, I guess, but I prefer The Big A. I took this picture while we were stopped at the Anaheim train depot, so if you ever want to take the train from San Diego to see an Angels baseball game, this is where you hop off.
The first photo on the bottom row is the skyline of downtown Los Angeles as you approach Union Station. The building in the very center is the tower spectacularly zapped into oblivion in the film Independence Day. I’ll have another shot of that building later.
Jack White at the Shrine Auditorium
The main purpose of my trip was to see Jack White in concert. Apparently, he’s played several different LA venues during the past year, and on this time around he chose to play at the historic Shrine Auditorium, a building with a rich history dating back (in one incarnation or another) to 1906. The current facility was completed in 1926, and it’s a spectacular place filled with what I’ll call Arabian Night’s Opulence.
There is no shortage of chandeliers, stained glass, interesting architectural detail and—no doubt— secret passageways, spread throughout the Shrine. Living in an old house myself, I’m always interested to poke around inside structures built around the same time period, though my house is Spanish Colonial while the Shrine takes its cues from Yul Brynner in The King And I.
Here are a few photos from inside the venue…
Parked just outside the fence in the parking lot was the cute little van you see below—the Rolling Record Store from Jack White’s independent record label, Third Man Records. I would have liked to visit the tiny little store to see what vinyl wonders it held inside, but as the van was outside the iron gates, and I was inside the gates, this would be difficult. More so because the Gestapo-like security outside the venue that was very insistent about ushering people directly into the venue. NOW! Luckily, I was able to take this quick picture through the gate, and even more lucky that a kind woman shopping the store handed me the foldout catalog you see to the right, which is filled with all kinds of reasonably priced vinyl releases available on the label.
That’s going to be it for Part One of my LA travelogue. Tune in for the second part for photos (and videos) of the concert itself, plus continuing excursions throughout Los Angeles.