Sneak Peak

Call me obsessive or retentive or a stickler for details or a factual error narc or all four together, but I’ve been left muddled by an otherwise spectacular lead photograph (above) of the about-to-grandly-reopen Griffith Observatory by Damon Winter on the front page of today’s L.A. Times because of its accompanying caption, which I believe incorrectly states that the landmark “is seen from Dante’s Peak in Griffith Park at sunset.”

They got the Griffith Park and sunset parts right, but for the life of me I’ve never before heard of a Dante’s Peak (with the exception of that semi-enjoyable volcano disaster flick of the same name a few years back). While certainly I’m no expert on the park and its promontories, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night and a Google search plus a review of a couple pretty detailed online maps (here and here) don’t reveal anything officially listed by that name in the vicinity to the west of Mt. Hollywood where the picture was made.

I have heard of and been to Dante’s View, which was also a movie, but more to the geographical point that place can’t be the photo’s location. Dante’s view is a wonderful garden oasis located just east and below Mt. Hollywood offering an expansive southern vista that doesn’t include the observatory (or at least not at that angle and/or prominence).

Minor point? Sure it is. But before the majority of you tell me to get a life (or worse), I’m more than willing to sit my corrected ass down by putting it to anyone who might know better: is there a Dante’s Peak and where? But if there indeed isn’t I invite those of you who don’t think I should just get over it to share in the disdain I feel whenever the Los Angeles Times demonstrates a lack of accuracy over the very city it lives in — especially on its front page.

9 thoughts on “Sneak Peak”

  1. Yes, it is a little nit-picky, but you have a point. Interestingly, the view in the photo can’t be viewed from Dante’s View, which is NE of the Observatory, while the shot is clearly taken from a POV NW of the Observatory.

    On the other hand, you can thank the LA Times for providing plenty of fodder for OCD-niks like ourselves. ;)

  2. as Tyson said, Dante’s Peak is NE of here by about a mile or so. If you were to hike up to the peak above (behind) the observatory via the main path, you would pass by Dante’s Peak. There is a eucalyptus grove there, some picnic tables, and even a water fountain. From Dante’s Peak you can (should) see Glendale, downtown, and most of the LA basin.

  3. There are two probable places the photo was taken from, based on angle and accessibility. (and how long a lens this guy was using)

    34¬∞ 7’17.93″N,118¬∞18’7.15″W
    34¬∞ 7’34.52″N, 118¬∞18’19.72″W

  4. “Dantes’ View”, an ornamental garden in GP, is NE of the Observatory. “Captain’s Roost”, an older historic ornamental garden in GP, is NW of the Observatory. Based on perspective, “Captain’s Roost” is a more likely location for the photo.

    However, all three ornamental gardens in GP (including “Amir’s Garden” on the NE side of the park) seem to get called “Dantes” in the press regardless of which one is actually the real location of interest. A scary example of this misinformation tendancy occurred in 2004 when a fast-moving brush fire was heading for “Amir’s Garden” and the fire captain interviewed on all of the local TV stations said it was headed for “Dantes’ Peak” (sic).

    Well, regardless of the confusion, it is definitely NOT the case that if you’ve seen one of these three beautiful gardens, you’ve seen them all. :-)

  5. As far as I am concerned, you can pick all the nits you want, Will, if you make awesome references to Holiday Inn Express in the resulting posts.

    That was a brilliant bit of obscure humor, sir.

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