Sunday, January 29, 2012

OC Greatness

The Great Balloon
A couple of Sundays ago James and I journeyed to "The Great Park," an area of land in Irvine that used to be the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro and is now being transformed into a sustainable park that will one day be larger than New York's Central Park. In it's heyday, MCAS El Toro was used as a wartime air station and later as a training facility. It was decomissioned in 1999 and was the subject of great debate - what will Orange County use this land for? An international airport? A park? A "Great Park," if you will? (Guess what won in the end...)

Fenced off - do you think anyone would notice if I snuck in? Just kidding...
Today there's only a small area of land that's been redeveloped for use in the park, and the rest of the air base is sadly fenced off. Sadly, because I'm one of those people who's absolutely fascinated by abandoned buildings and I want nothing more than to go wandering through the base with my camera to record what I find there. (Luckily there is a group of artists doing just that, working on the Legacy Project. They even turned an F-18 hanger into a giant camera obscura to make "The Great Picture," the world's largest photograph. How cool is that??)

Looking toward Saddleback
The area that's currently in use today is made up of sports fields, a walkable timeline painted on old tarmac that illustrates the events of the 1940's, art galleries, a carousel, and "The Great Balloon." On Sundays there's a farmer's market. The best part? It's free!

Original Hanger

The Great Balloon & The Great Carousel
Going up...
 Seriously, if you're in Orange County and feel like gazing through fencing at old derelict military buildings a great distance away, check out "The Great Park." Also, you should go to see some free art and ride up in a large orange balloon to see the views - I haven't gone up yet, but man do I want to! I'm way excited to see all of the plans for this parcel of land come into being. What a great gem!

I don't know why, but I feel the need to capitalize and put quotations around "The Great Park" and "The Great Balloon" etc.  

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