Monday, November 12, 2012

#247: STAR Eco Station

Pet a boa constrictor, gaze into the third eye of a monitor lizard, and meet a baby crocodile at the wildest place in Culver City: the STAR Eco Station. The Eco Station rescues exotic wildlife and takes in endangered and illegally trafficked animals from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Center.  For just $8 you can take an hour long tour of the facilities. 

When we went on a Saturday afternoon, there were only six other people in our tour group. We started in the aquarium room, where our guide pointed out a giant black fish in one of the tanks. How did this fish find its way to the Eco Station? The poor guy grew so large that it busted through its owner's glass aquarium! The owner had no idea that this breed of fish would grow so strong or large. Sadly, "pets gone wrong" seems to be the story of many of the animals at the Eco Station.

so sad 

We noticed that a lot of the birds at the Eco Station didn't have feathers. Our guide told us that birds get very attached to their owners, and when their owners abandon them or give them away, they become distressed and start plucking out all their feathers. :(


The interior of the Eco Station is amazing--it reminds me of being in the Jungle Book! That's no coincidence; Hollywood set designers lent their talents to transform the Eco Station into a wild jungle paradise.

reptile enclosures

a baby crocodile

Our guide referred to this little guy as a crocodilian, which blew Brad's mind because he didn't know that "crocodilian" was even a word. He proceeded to say "crocodilian" about twenty times throughout the day.

A boa that we got to touch

we touched this guy too

Are you an animal lover?  Be sure to also check out The Gentle Barn (#195) and The Wildlife Learning Center (#190)!

Have you been to the STAR Eco Station? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

STAR Eco Station

Monday, November 5, 2012

#246: The Wall Project

Did you know that the largest stretch of the Berlin Wall that exists outside of Berlin is right here in Los Angeles?  The Wall Project was erected at 5900 Wilshire Blvd right across the street from LACMA to honor the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It's comprised of ten wall segments which span almost 40 feet in length. Well known and emerging artists painted the front and back of the wall, which is free to view.

The back of the Wall

The Wall Project is brought to us by the Wende Museum, a museum dedicated to preserving cultural artifacts and personal histories of Cold War-era Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. 

Plaque on the front of the Wall

Plaque on the back of the Wall

The backdrop to the Wall Project is this looming building which conveniently blocked the sun:

Ah, shade.

On the weekend, food trucks were parked in front, making the lawn the perfect place for a picnic. We threw a blanket down and alternated between gazing at the Wall and making ourselves dizzy staring up at the skyscraper.

If you plan on visiting the Wall Project, be sure to also check out The Levitated Mass (#245) which is located at LACMA (#184). Yay for free art on Miracle Mile!

Have you been to The Wall Project? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!