I’m sitting here waiting for the L A LAKERS vs boston celtics Finals basket ball game to begin.  It’s a best-of-seven series (one team must win four games) and tonight is game 1.
While perusing the Sports pages today, I came upon an article by you know who and thought you might enjoy it.  Especially the photos taken from the Goodyear blimp of downtown Los Angeles.
 Chris Erskine
‘He gets the best worst seat for the Lakers game’
The Goodyear Blimp hangs over Staples Center like a Phil Jackson thought-bubble, plump full of helium and carrying a goodly jigger of airline fuel for its two six-cylinder engines. Down below, LA Live is lighting up, the biggest bangle of cubic zirconium you ever saw. Obviously, I’ll go anywhere for a marginal story.

I love L.A. — especially from a distance. In this case, we’re 1,700 feet up in what is possibly sport’s most recognized icon. It is also, in my odd quest for weird ways to watch a game, the ultimate nosebleed seat. I am riding high at a recent Lakers game, Los Angeles laying out beneath us like a lumpy picnic blanket. Matthew St. John is at the helm, Fabian Ochoa working the camera.

Pilot Matthew St. John operates the Goodyear blimp above downtown Los Angeles during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals between the Lakers and Phoenix Suns last Thursday.
Blimps are definitely the blue whales of the airways, cruising speed about 45 mph. When an up-draft pistons the nose upward, St. John twists the wheel at his side to push the snout back down. When he needs to turn, he foot-pedals the rudders.
And there are all sorts of restrictions. For instance, when the Dodgers are playing, the blimp must stay out of the three-mile restricted airspace surrounding Chavez Ravine. Since Staples is 2.5 miles away, that means hovering half a mile from Staples Center’s zenith.


So up here in God’s lap, with not much else to do, it’s tempting to ponder the state of Los Angeles. Of particular note:

— The city’s skyline is moving slowly south, a giant glacier of metal and glass filling the corridor between downtown and USC. If they manage to slip an NFL stadium in here, it could make for a veritable Las Vegas of hoops, hockey and gridiron action. Yes, I’m a visionary.

— The Sports Arena, that aged repository of so many great Clippers memories, sits mostly empty and wart-like on the edge of the Coliseum. Why not level it and turn it into a state-of-the-art tailgaters’ park? Or at the very least, put up a parking garage — L.A. could always use another one of those. It’s what we have instead of pocket parks.

— The Hollywood sign should be lighted at night, at least for special occasions such as the Oscars or the NBA Finals. It is Hollywood’s version of the cross, known ’round the world. You could do it on the cheap. They have these things now — solar panels. I could pick some up when I’m at Sears.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles is lighting up (what else is new). By 8 p.m. it is glistening like snow on a very cold night.
Off to the east, a full moon is coming up as if on fire. 

By the way, the way they land the blimp, evidently, is to let out a long rope and have the newest guy in the crew (that’s me) shimmy down it till he snags on something – sort of like bottom fishing.

It’s a charmingly old school way of landing — or maybe just an amusing initiation/hazing. Whatever it was, everybody seemed to have a good time with it, especially me, a guy who really values adventure.

Me, the blimp anchor, a dangling participle, my pocket change spread from Compton to El Segundo.

If you happen to find my keys, please call.   KIDDING!!!  Hah!


Lighter than air: A view of downtown L.A. from the Goodyear blimp


A view of Staples Center before the start of Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns.


The setting sun cast its rays on Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. 


The sun sets on downtown Los Angeles.


The 110 and 10 freeways, full of vehicles during rush hour, form a twisting pattern near downtown.


The sun pokes through the clouds, highlighting areas of southeast section of downtown Los Angeles


Staples Center is aglow during a Western Conference playoff game between the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns.


An aerial view of downtown Los Angeles from the Goodyear Blimp, shot with a fisheye lens

I hope you enjoyed these pics of downtown L A.  Crowded, huh?


 I had three doctor appointments this week and all went well.  My Podiatrist is saying at least three more weeks for my foot to be 100%.  I HATE the bandaging I have to do twice a day but it does look and feel much better.  Had six vials of blood drawn today but I’m used to that by now… except for the drive.

Have a Great weekend,


PS:  LAKERS crushed the celtics 102 to 89.  Who’s the tough team now?

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7 Responses to GO LAKERS!!!!

  1. maillady says:

    Wonderful pictures, Bob. Good to hear you are on the mend. Take care

  2. Sue says:

    GREAT pictures! Boy, I’d rather be up there than in the stands for the game. Talk about your bird’s eye view. Keep changing those bandages—it seems to be doing the trick. Enjoy the series—me, I’m more into baseball this time of year. Go TIGERS!

  3. Jade says:

    Glad to hear your footie is getting better 🙂

  4. Tom says:

    Who knew vesides you and Mitch Kupchak knew that Ron Artest still knew how to play basketball

  5. Babblelot says:

    So happy yer foot is healing, whew had me worried. Wow LA sure is ah heap of cement. Buildings & roads that is. I’d rather be here in the grassy countryside with cows moo’in and frogs burp’in. Hugs Bob!

  6. Joe says:

    Amazing pictures my friend! I think I’d rather be there then in the game any day. My mom had to change bandages and it took forever for her to get away from having to use a walker after breaking her ankle…I hope you are soon free of that. Bless you man, I miss hearing from ya.

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