updated: life on the wild side

ORIGINAL: Jewish holidays are such a relief; especially since I’m not Jewish and it is just a free day off. So this Rosh Hashanah I spent the day at the zoo.  Now for me, even as a teenager, the zoo is still quite the treat. I’m an animal nut and a day gazing at adorable little elephants sounds pretty good to me, but today was a bit different. Today,we (my mom, dad, and I) went to the Old LA Zoo, located a few blocks down the road from the new one. This zoo has no animals and is just the shell of cages left over from when it was running. And let me say, this zoo needed no animals: it was that cool!

The old structures are absolutely tiny and incredibly creepy. This place is an obvious graffiti hot spot and the walls are covered with all sorts of designs; however, in this case it added to the atmosphere instead of acting as an eyesore. The main cages sit right above the road (and smell slightly of piss), but the best part is to go above the cages to where the zookeepers would have been and drop down above the enclosures. Some parts are left open and easy to access, but others require climbing through chain-link fences that have been cut into large holes (I was the only one of my family to venture into these nooks and crannies)

I learned of this place through the wonderful world of the internet and the Yelp page had said that it was kind of hard to find. However, we discovered it right away along with nearby parking. This was partly because Griffith Park was preparing for its Haunted Hayride which wound right passed the zoo and there was a giant arch constructed to show the way. This construction also added to the excitement of the trip because we could walk through the to-be mazes and see the horrors that were in store for riders.

This was a great way to get out of the house on a random Thursday and provided a chance for some awesome photos. After telling my best friend about it she is now begging me to take her, so I will probably be returning very shortly. Apparently zoos can still be cool without the animals. Who knew?


Griffith Park Old Zoo 012

(a large animal enclosure)

Griffith Park Old Zoo 025

(a smaller cage)

Griffith Park Old Zoo 033

(zookeepers staircase leading to an enclosure)

Griffith Park Old Zoo 035

(inside the animal’s entrance to the enclosure)

Griffith Park Old Zoo 050

(concrete remains of the zoo)

UPDATE: So I thought I would revisit this post just to put in some updated news as I just went back to the zoo a few days ago. My friend was looking for a profile picture, so I suggested this place due to the awesome abundance and intense graffiti. The general structures are all the same, however it was fun to revisit some of the spots I had been to before and see the new graffiti that had been tacked on.

Another change was that one of the holes I had used to get inside the enclosures from the top had been sealed closed, though another still remained open. If possible, I also think the place was even dirtier with more bottles and trash littered about inside.

One of the cutest things we saw while at the zoo, was that a couple had set up a picnic inside one of the cages with a basket, blanket, and food and sat there perfectly content as if eating in a cage was the most mundane thing in the world.

Definitively less cool the second time around, but still a fun experience. Here are some of the new shots I got:

Old Zoo Edited 007

Old Zoo Edited 003

Old Zoo With Ariel 018

(this is the same shot from the original post, just with new graffiti)

Old Zoo With Ariel 090

(this one too mirrors an original photo, but with new graffiti)


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