Los Angeles Hidden Adventures
By Robert Bernstein
Even though Los Angeles is closer than San Francisco, I get to SF more often than I get to LA. But last month my wife Merlie had to go to LA to renew her passport. At the same time we were having construction at our house and they asked us to stay away longer. Perfect excuse to take an extended stay there!
We stayed in Koreatown because my wife could walk to her appointment from there. What a wonderful gem! It turned out to be a perfect launching place to get to many other places without having to drive! The Metro and buses served us well!
Here are some photo highlights.
Our first stop was at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). For a few years my grandmother lived in that neighborhood, but I had forgotten how amazing is this museum. The only down side is that our SB Museum of Art reciprocal membership was not honored there and it is quite expensive. Despite the name, LACMA is a private institution. I was also not happy that their entire admission process requires a smart phone and I don't do smart phones. But they did make an exception for us and we were soon on our way in.
As we waited to enter we posed with some other-worldly art in the lobby:
And there was this classic by Magritte that we all know and love!
A highlight for me was this animated art piece called Metropolis II by Chris Burden. Not clear if it was meant to be utopian or dystopian. The rail looked utopian but all those cars, not so much!
Being in Koreatown the highlight is the food! I had been in Korea in 1999 for my work and immediately fell in love with the food. The main feature of Korean food for me is the array of pickled side dishes that come with the meal. This is apparently a lot of work to create and many Korean restaurants in the US skip this essential part of the meal.
I also was surprised to learn that each restaurant had a specialty. The places that had Korean Barbecue tended not to have seafood. So we had to sample a variety of different restaurants. Here we enjoyed Korean Barbecue at Park's Barbecue on South Vermont. They also had to make special accommodation for us smart phone free people.
My good friend Danielle is from Long Beach and she gave us some visiting tips. One was to ride the Angel's Flight Funicular. Here is a video of that brief but fun experience!
Danielle also told us about The Last Bookstore which is really quite a trip! Approaching it from outside we saw this wonderful art on the side of a building.
We wound our way through an upstairs maze of books like this:
Which gave an aerial view of the vast ground floor and reading area:
Upstairs also hosted some art studios, some art galleries and plenty of whimsical art installations like this one:
Here are more photos at The Last Bookstore.
It was fairly toasty during our time in Los Angeles. We made multiple visits to Grand Park to cool off by the fountain. You can see City Hall behind us.
Near Grand Park is the Broad Museum. "Broad" is pronounced like "road" with a B in front. The Broad collection of art has been around a long time, but it had previously just been on loan to other galleries. It is new that they have their own building to display some of their collection.
I had previously seen this depiction of Michael Jackson by Jeff Koons at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, but now it is at the Broad:
This piece is also by Jeff Koons at the Broad and you can buy smaller versions in the gift shop!
I loved watching these miniature people walk around some of the furniture in the Broad museum!
Here are more of my photos at the Broad Museum.
A good friend Lisa from college lives in Los Angeles. She is also a unicyclist and a hiker like me as well as being a medical doctor. We would usually plan to meet up with her, but she was flying back east to visit her new grandson. But she gave us a recommendation to hike to Skull Rock in Temescal Canyon at Pacific Palisades.
So, on our way back to Santa Barbara we made that hike. Unfortunately, it was quite toasty that day! Here I was near the actual Skull Rock at the high point of our hike:
Here was my view back down the canyon from on top of that rock. You can see my wife hurrying back down the trail with her umbrella!
This seems to be the actual Skull Rock which is quite hidden nearby:
Here you can see lots more photos of that hike!