Splash.

Culver Fountain 1

We discovered a cool nifty fountain next to the Culver Hotel over a year ago; an installation as part of the continuing artsy development of downtown Culver City. At its center stands a sculptured homage to the Cowardly Lion of The Wizard Of Oz, surrounded by a grid of “dancing” water spouts. The fountain’s varied liquid rhythms was just the thing to get my kid going. Last summer we visited it a couple of times and he got doused, of course, but was a little intimidated by the towering geysers which sometimes spurt over seven feet high.

This year, though, he took full advantage of the cool calamity and ran right into the ruckus. Being a weekday, there was nobody else around, and he went full throttle. Thanks to my iPhone, I was able to snap some shots.

Culver Fountain5

The iPhone’s camera takes some getting used to. For one, it definitely works best in daylight; and two, there’s some considerable delay between the pressing of the button and the actual picture taken, so one definitely has to anticipate good photo opps at least a second in advance. It’s like thinking, “What’s gonna happen a second from now?” I’ve heard many complaints about the iPhone’s camera, but I’ve managed to work with its weird ways and am still a happy mac camper—especially now that my other “real” camera (a Canon Powershot S45) finally crapped out on me after 6+ years of great service.

Culver Fountain2

We’re so glad that this fountain is right by our house. For awhile though, it was shut off. At first I thought it was due to the water shortage, but then I also found out that some unfortunate lil’ tike collided head first with the lion (which is made of solid metal), splitting his forehead open. I’m not sure which incident caused the shutdown, but they finally turned it back on sometime in June, but only activating a little less than half of the normal grid. Luckily, despite the cutback, there’s still enough action to get my boy spinning like a top.

Culver Fountain4

Being that there are no posted warning signs on the installment, I’ve made it my responsibility to keep a good eye on Greg as he makes his rounds. Things can get pretty hectic as soon as other kids join in—Greg’s collided at least twice with another child, luckily yielding nothing more than tears. Then of course, there’s the mighty metal lion itself, its injurious threat a total ironic deception to its infamous “cowardly” nature. A word to the wise—make sure you’re lil’ one’s wearing some good grippy water shoes or sandals, as the surface is super slick. I’ve seen a lot of kids wipe out on it ‘coz they were wearing standard street shoes, unprepared for the fountain’s fusillade. And believe me, kids go crazy for this thing. Mine sure does, at least.

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