Funicular fulfilled

Angels fly! Originally uploaded by Payton Chung

I first heard about Angels Flight on a visit to LA probably 20 years ago, when its reconstruction was first floated. For some reason, this silly little tidbit of local history stuck — particularly since it’s been closed for all but four of the last 40-some years. Living in a topographically featureless city probably heightened the appeal of a “mountain railway” embedded at the heart of a vast city. A few weeks ago, I finally got the chance to take a brief ride on America’s busiest funicular railway — now once again a real funicular, after an ill-fated attempt at an alternate form of traction.

Anyhow, it’s an amusing little relic of a Los Angeles where people walked home from the offices below to the houses above. Nowadays, the offices and museums are above and the transit lines and lofts are below; I hope enough people still walk that route to keep this around for a long while yet.