Space Shuttles: Ten Ways Los Angeles and New York Can Show Theirs Off, Dammit

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This week, we learned that Houston, essentially the birthplace of the space shuttle program, will not be given one of the four remaining shuttles. Two of the four cities receiving them are both deserving and appropriate: Washington D.C. (for the Smithsonian) and Cape Canaveral, Florida, home of Kennedy Space Center. The other two are predictable, if frustrating for those of us who grew up in the shadow of NASA.

It got us to wondering just what Los Angeles and New York City would do with their shuttles. Neither New York nor Los Angeles has any substantial role in our nation's space program, so what would be the point of giving them shuttles? Of course, in Houston, we'd line one up next to one of only three remaining Saturn V rockets sitting at the entrance to the Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake where they, you know, do actual space stuff.

Bitterness aside, we thought since we are so well versed in space travel, we would assist these two cities in figuring out how they might consider using their new tourist attractions.

10. The Ultimate Low Rider Everyone knows nobody walks in LA, which means everyone needs a ride, the cooler that ride the better. Honestly, is there any better ride than the shuttle? We think not. Drop in some ground effects, a little neon, some hydraulics and, naturally, fuzzy dice on the mirror and that would be one pimped-out shuttle rolling through East LA.

9. Subway Train In New York, no one drives. Millions, however, take the subway and what better way to pay tribute to America's space program than to bury one of the shuttles underground, transporting grumpy passengers all day long. We recommend either the A or the F line, but that's probably better left to the MTA.

8. Tour Bus: FROM SPACE Tourists in Hollywood often take tour buses to places like Grauman's Chinese Theatre and along Hollywood Boulevard hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity. Now, the celebrities will want to look at the tourists as they cruise along in a double-decker spacecraft.

7. The Times Square Experience Sandwiched between the M&M's World Store and Hershey's Times Square, we imagine a vertical, neon-lit shuttle spinning slowly on its axis. Take the elevator to the top and stare out at the teeming masses from the cockpit. Grab a space shuttle-shaped hat in the gift shop on the ground floor. Nothing says "We landed on the moon" like a "We landed on the moon and all I got was this crummy shirt" T-shirt.

6. Staples Center Hood Ornament When the Lakers are challenging for another title this year or when Justin Bieber brings his tour to Hollywood, a space shuttle perched on the roof of the Staples Center just says "class." Also, it could be a good vantage point for security to keep an eye on gang members as they patrol the parking lot after Clipper games. 5. World's Largest Falafel Stand NYC invented food trucks, so it seems almost stupid not to convert the craft that carried men and women to the International Space Station into a street vending cart. Tagline: The food is out of this world.

4. The La Brea Tar Pits: Dinosaurs IN SPACE You might notice a theme here. Everyone knows dinosaurs fossils were put here by God to test our faith that the world is only like 20,000 years old. We think putting the shuttle there will further confuse people 10,000 years from now and leave a proud legacy of deception for future generations. Want to throw them even further off track? Drop a few hundred copies of Volcano into the shuttle. If Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche saving LA from a secret volcano doesn't freak them out, nothing will.

3. Spaced Out: The Coolest, Most Exclusive Lower East Side Night Club Ever New York's hottest new club is Spaced Out. Cue Stephon.

2. Con Air: IN SPACE Universal Studios' latest attraction features the space shuttle crash landing in the middle of Los Angeles with Nic Cage hanging out the window screaming, "I'm gonna save the fuckin' day!" And you thought the Jaws shark was scary.

1. Space Shuttle: The Musical Starring Nathan Lane...natch.

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