Window Seat Pics OAK to LAX, Thanksgiving Day 2014 (12 Photos)

Taking off from Oakland on Thanksgiving day. Ships in the Bay.
Taking off from Oakland on Thanksgiving day. Ships in the Bay.
The Gateway to the Peninsula.
The Gateway Isthmus to the Peninsula.

There is a lot going on in this picture. In the foreground is San Bruno Mountain, which separates San Francisco from the rest of the Peninsula. The flat expanse just beyond contains the cities of South San Francisco, San Bruno, and Daly City, known as “Gateway to the Peninsula.”

What this picture reveals, however, is that this flat little expanse between San Francisco and the rest of the Peninsula beyond is actually an isthmus. What’s more, we are looking at two separate tectonic plates. Do you see that thin blue line of water coming in diagonally at the top-middle left hand side of the picture? That is the San Andreas Fault which divides the Pacific Plate from the North American Plate. It continues in a straight line right out to sea and then hits land again in Marin County, just north of San Francisco.

The thin blue line of water is actually two narrow lakes, formed when runoff collects in the narrow gorge between the two plates. The lake closest to us in the center of the picture is called San Andreas Lake. The fault was named after the lake and not the other way around.

Slightly different view of the Peninsula's narrow waist and the fault lakes.
Slightly different view of the Peninsula’s narrow waist and the fault lakes.

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The island city of Alameda, with Mt. Diablo in the background.
The island city of Alameda, with Mt. Diablo in the background.

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The approach to Los Angeles
The approach to Los Angeles.
UCLA. San Fernando Valley in background.
UCLA. San Fernando Valley in background.
As of Thanksgiving 2014, drought conditions still prevailed in L.A. It is very apparent from this altitude that people are refraining from watering their lawns and that the public green areas such as boulevard median strips are now public brown areas. Of course, in the days after taking this photo LA received its first big rainfall of the season.
As of Thanksgiving 2014, drought conditions still prevailed in L.A. It is very apparent from this altitude that people are refraining from watering their lawns and that the public green areas such as boulevard median strips have become public brown areas. Of course, in the days after this photo was taken LA received its first big rainfall of the season.
Iconic shot of Northeast L.A. featuring downtown (lower right), MacArthur Park (lower left), Chavez Ravine (right side, below wing), Echo Park (blue lake, middle of picture), and Silver Lake (upper center).
Iconic shot of Northeast L.A. featuring downtown (lower right), MacArthur Park (mid-left), Chavez Ravine (far right, below wing), Echo Park (small blue lake, middle of picture), and Silver Lake (upper center).

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L.A.’S TWO STREET GRIDS

Los Angeles began as a city that belonged to the king of Spain. Its street grid, based on a traditional Spanish plan, was a three mile square centered on the Los Angeles River, whose streets were at a 45 degree angle to the cardinal points.This city plan served Los Angeles for its first hundred years, even for its first several decades under U.S. dominion. By the 1880s, Anglo-Americans from the Midwest began arriving and settling in Los Angeles in droves, and they wanted a city laid out with the standard U.S. grid aligned to the cardinal points, N,S,E,W. In the two photos below, you can see this dividing line where the original Spanish city ends and the American city begins, and the two street grids collide.

L.A.'s two street grids.
L.A.’s two street grids meet at sharp angles.
los angeles grids
A wider view of the two street grids.
hollywood park
Hollywood Park, condemned and awaiting demolition.
Holiday traffic on the 405
Holiday traffic on the 405

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