Los Angeles, California, March, 2007

While attending a retreat in Malibu, we had a little extra time to do some sightseeing and photography the day before the retreat began. I had been in LA/Malibu several years ago while attending a training class and had gone to a contra dance in Pasadena on the weekend. When returning to my room in Hollywood after the dance, I missed a tricky turn off the Harbor Freeway onto the Hollywood Freeway and the next thing I knew, I was right in the middle of downtown Los Angeles.

While 'lost' that night, I had driven by the L.A. Library and saw a beautiful stairway nearby curving down a hillside with water running down the middle of it. It was really beautiful and for the past two years I have wanted to find it again so that I could get some photos of it and show it to Gail.

A Sunday morning is about the best time to visit downtown L.A. as there is not much traffic and it is easy to get around. So, as we planned our day, I said that I wanted to see if we could find that staircase. After circling downtown L.A. for awhile, we finally found the library, parked and started looking for the staircase.

I guess the security guard thought we were extras. We didn't say so and did not try to get into the scene, and he was the one that had told us to go ahead and walk on through! So, now here we were in the middle of the filming of a live scene! We were only looking for a staircase and now we were suddenly in the midst of Heroes with Superhuman powers trying to save the world!

As we went around the corner from the library, we came upon a filmcrew. I asked a security guard, "What's going on?" He replied, "It's the TV show, Heroes." He then said, "Go ahead, its OK to walk through."

We had never heard of the show, but of course, we Googled it as soon as we could. We found out that it was about Humans with Superhuman powers.

Since he acted as if it was no big deal, we figured they were between scenes so we started walking down the sidewalk. Having my trusty camera handy, as always, I shot a couple of photos as we walked by.

Suddenly, a guy in a long coat and carrying a briefcase came walking up and said, "You know better than that!"

I then realized that they were shooting a live scene and we were in the background! Everyone was all bundled up and we were in shorts! He then said, "You kind of overdressed didn't you?" as he turned to walk along with us escorting us through the scene.

From the yellow NYC taxis, and the long coats, it is easy to see that this is a scene taking place in NYC. Notice the red-orange sculpture to the left (the One Way sign is pointing to it). I shot this photo from across the street at the side of the Library.

The final episode of the 2007 season of Heroes is a two-part series. The first segment was shown Monday night, May 14, 2007 and the final will be Monday night, May 21. I found the scene to the left on the NBC site.

You can see the sculpture from our previous photo in the background here. Many scenes and even the final scene occur in front of this sculpture.

As we were walking down the sidewalk we passed Hayden Panettiere, who plays Claire Bennett on the show. She is the lady sitting in this scene.

She had been working to save NYC just minutes before we saw her.

After looking at this scene about a dozen times, something jumped out. The man in the long coat and briefcase that walked us through the scene is in this scene! He is the man in the light brown coat walking from right to left.

Here is another scene from the NBC site and you can see the taxis in the background. I did not realize that you can download entire shows from the NBC site legally and for free.

One of the Taxi Driver actors with the Library in the background. I think the palm tree in the background gives it away that it is not NYC! We were in shorts and this guy is bundled up.

And, finally, we found the staircase and it looked as I had remembered it. It is across the street from the main entrance of the L.A. Library. Its formal name is Bunker Hill and its informal name is 'Cardiac Hill' named by the joggers that run the steps.

At night, the lighting and the cascading water make a great scene. Maybe next time we will see it at night.

Two days later...

We just watched the final episode of Heroes and it sent chills up and down my spine! We were there right where this whole episode was shot. Recognized the places and many of the people. It was pure serindipidity that we were there when we were. We had pulled out a map of L.A. and asked each other where we wanted to go? I wanted to see the Queen Mary and show Gail the staircase. Plus, I had only gotten a quick glimpse myself and wanted to see where it led.

On another day, we will post photos showing where the staircase leads.