Lately whenever I take my car in for maintenance, I end up taking the car-free morning away from home as an excuse to walk down to the Manhattan Beach Pier. The last time was right after a Halloween storm, which was gorgeous, but this time it was a gloomy morning, and I took the opportunity to explore a little more.

Modern Beach Town

Manhattan House mural.

This mural wasn’t there the last time I walked by, and may not have been there the last time I drove by either. The restaurant is new, and it seems like it would be hard to miss. I like the mix of two cities: the one I was standing in, and its namesake on the other side of the country.

Also: a pirate shipwreck. Yarr!

Believe it or not, this next photo is not a double exposure:

Traffic Sign Reflection

I don’t think I’d ever seen this type of traffic sign up close before. At first I was intrigued by the five-LED pattern used for each pixel, but as I started to line up a photo, I noticed the layered effect reflecting the street and the buildings on the far side.

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Elevated train station above a parking lot at night. A long streak of light indicates the windows of a train in motion.

I haven’t really kept up with the photoblog since moving a few months ago. I’ll try to get back on track with a new post each week.

This is Aviation Station along the Los Angeles Metro Green Line, the closest station to LAX. (It doesn’t actually stop at the airport, but you can take a shuttle bus.) It’s also the nearest stop to my office. Before I moved, I’d sometimes take the train up to this point and a bus the rest of the way to work.

One night I was working late and missed the bus. Somehow convinced that the next one wouldn’t be by for an hour, I decided rather than sit and wait, I’d walk the mile and a half to the station. Three or four buses passed me, so it didn’t save me any time, but it was interesting to watch the planes line up for landing, and I caught this view of a train leaving the station as I was arriving.

Leave it to MapQuest to remind you that the nearby railroad actually is the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe (and immediately lodge the song into your mind).

Actually, I’m also reminded of a Forbidden Broadway bit on a musical version of Anna Karenina, which finished with the parody, “On the Ashkabad, Tblisi and the Kiev Express.”

Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that we went out to see The Musical of Musicals: The Musical last night at the Laguna Playhouse. (It’s a musical, by the way.) It features a cast of four performing the same melodrama plot five times, once each in the styles of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Kander & Ebb. The musical styles were dead on, the show was hilarious in its own right, and it was packed with in-jokes so if you’ve seen enough of the shows they’re lampooning, it’s even better.