LA Observed contributor Cari Beauchamp posts at Native Intelligence on the frustration of trying to wrestle answers about her cable service from the voice(s) on the line at Time Warner. At We Get Email, ex-Times subscribers vent about how delivery troubles broke them of longtime newspaper habits. Below, reader Ann Reinhart writes that while a Sunday visit up to Griffith Observatory can still involve some aggravation, at least it's worth the hassles:
From my visit to the Observatory yesterday, I'd say the logistical kinks in getting to and fro have been smoothed out considerably. We arrived early for our 10:20 am shuttle reservation at the Zoo lot, boarded the first of two buses waiting, took off five minutes later about 2/3 full, and arrived at the Observatory 20 minutes later. The video they showed on the ride up provided very useful information, as does the re-vamped home page of the Observatory website.
Helpful Hint #1: Instead of waiting in line at the Box Office to purchase tickets to the hourly Planetarium shows, enter through a side entrance and use one of the automated machines. No line. Same tickets for the same shows.
Helpful Hint #2: The Cafe is atrociously designed. If you want anything off the menu you need to stand in the line. Otherwise you are free to pick from the grab & go items and take them directly to the cashiers. Problem is the refrigerator unit that holds prepared sandwiches, juices, etc. is completely blocked by the menu line causing confusion and awkward physical encounters as people try to part the Red Sea to get access to the turkey subs. They need to do a re-design, and fast.
But the best news is the Observatory is finally back, baby. Same gorgeous views, lots of old, lots of new, lots of things to spark debates.
She wishes for:
On my wish list: one Planetarium show a day in the old school style, with a down home astronomer, laser pen in hand, showing us the sights with an audience Q&A. I'm afraid I could barely contain my laughter at the theatricality of "Actor Presenter Man" and his glowing orb and nary a scripted word out of place. One friend liked the bombast. The other slept through the whole thing. In their quest to right the wrong of the old wooden seats I fear they've perhaps ventured too far into the comfort zone.
About 3pm we went to catch a shuttle back to the Zoo lot. There were three buses lined up waiting, and we were directed to the front one where we snagged the last seats available. The bus departed moments later and with the typical weekend traffic back-up on Los Feliz Blvd it took about 40 minutes to make it to our cars.
Warning: If you have a late afternoon or evening shuttle reservation at the Zoo lot, beware the Festival of Lights traffic snarl and plan accordingly. I have no idea how long it takes the shuttles to negotiate this traffic, but I for one wouldn't want to find out. I believe you can change the date of your reservation no later than 24 hours in advance.