Whoa, There’s a Freaking Space Shuttle On Crenshaw

Photographs of Endeavour’s Languid Trek Through L.A.

It only took a few hours for the space shuttle Endeavour to crisscross all of California on the back of a 747 last month. If you went out for a cup of coffee at the wrong time, you missed out entirely. On the other hand, this Saturday, Endeavor took a glacially paced 12-mile crosstown journey viewed by thousands of Angelenos—families, couples, amateur historians, photographers of all kinds, and, of course, intrepid hot-dog hawkers. Yes, there was whining, jostling, a slightly menacing police presence, and a few folks territorially guarding their front yards. But the people who gathered on Crenshaw Boulevard were rewarded with not just a fleeting look at the Endeavour—marking the conclusion of an era in spaceflight and a historical moment in L.A. city history—but with a chance to marvel at length, from all angles, both the shuttle and the massive engineering feat that brought this space-traveling behemoth through regular city streets. As exciting as it was to snap the perfect photo and post it on Facebook and Twitter, it was more exhilarating to catch that first glimpse, elbow the guy next to you, and cheer for America, Los Angeles, and the shuttle like they were one and the same. Here are a few scenes from one stretch of Crenshaw Boulevard—where parking lots and street corners were, for a few hours, transformed into an exuberant parade ground.


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