Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The 2008 Golden Dragon Parade

Saturday was the 2008 Golden Dragon Parade, celebrating the Year of the Rat. In the four years that I've lived in southern California, this was the first time I made the effort to see the parade. The day itself was gorgeous and clear. I debated taking the Red Line from 7th and Flower to Union Station and then walking the rest of the way against taking the Downtown Discovery DASH. Cheapness won out, and after paying my quarter, I was on my way to Chinatown. Unfortunately, when the bus made the turn on to Cesar Chavez, it got bogged down in traffic. To compound the mess, because of street closures, the bus driver informed us that the next stop was the Chinatown Gold Line Station. It would have been nice if the LADOT had added some temporary stops for the day (how about at Cesar Chavez and Broadway). Still, I had plenty of time to wander the parade route and get some photos.

There are more photos from before the parade here.

After wandering around, I settled on a spot on the west side of Broadway along Alpine Street. This enabled me to watch the parade start down Hill St. prior to it turning round and coming down Broadway. I chose the spot because the parade would be heading toward the sun and get good light. And it worked (for a while):

However, as the parade dragged on, it got frustrating. First, the parade suffered from a back-up, where it would stop for some random length of time and then start moving again. Then, as the sun made it's trek across the sky behind me, the shadows across Broadway lengthened, and impacted my shots:

The rest of my parade photos are here.

Next year, I think I'll take a spot up where the parade makes the turn onto Broadway.

After the parade finished, I walked to the New Years Festival area, where I was a bit disappointed. There were sponsors booths and some food booths (none with real Chinese food) but only one thing made me stay for any length of time -- to see the firecrackers explode when the parade was completely finished:

That was NOT disappointing.

After my experience on the Downtown Discovery, I decided at first to take the red line. However, when I realized that I could walk the distance, I decided to do that instead.

The rest of those photos are here. All in all, in spite of my disappointing moments, I was glad I went to the parade. I have my lessons learned to enjoy next year's parade.

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