On a hot August morning, I rode shotgun in a golf cart with developer Milan Ratkovich around the east side of Playa Vista. We toured structures built by aviation pioneer Howard Hughes that have since been revitalized by The Ratkovich Company.
As he stopped the cart just outside the giant hangar that will soon be the Playa Vista launch pad for Google, Ratkovich discussed how the space once housed the H-4 Hercules, a massive flying boat.
Nicknamed the Spruce Goose (despite being made almost entirely from birch), many laughed at the project when Hughes proposed it, saying something so gigantic could never fly.
Hughes didn’t listen to the naysayers. He stuck with it. And though his Spruce Goose came in years late and vastly over-budget, it did indeed fly. It flew only once and very briefly, but on Nov. 2, 1947, the largest aircraft ever built lifted off the ground and soared over the Pacific Ocean.
The visionary Hughes would go on to urge the aviation industry to “do the impossible, because almost everyone has told me my ideas are merely fantasies.”
As I assembled this issue of Playa Vista Direct, it became clear that many of the people and organizations profiled in these pages have turned their fantasies into doing the impossible.
The Wallis Annenberg PetSpace will bring an innovative facility to Playa Vista that celebrates the relationship between people and pets by offering new ways for us to understand and connect with the animals we care so much about.
In her classes at The Resort and Google, dance instructor Meredith Harper Houston mashes up classical ballet techniques with pop and hip-hop beats, guiding her software engineer students in a transition from coding sequences of ones and zeroes to “seeing the music” through their bodies.
Chef Hunter Pritchett’s new restaurant, The Chicken or the Egg, is seizing on what he calls a chicken “renaissance” by focusing on fast and healthy breakfasts he’ll serve all day, bucking tradition.
As you read this issue, I hope you’ll consider how doing the impossible fits into your own life. I think you’ll agree that Playa Vista is a place where fantasies can become reality with the help of a little creativity and a lot of persistence.
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