Sometimes you go to a city to visit relatives or friends. Other times you are passing through on the way to a vacation spot. Then there are those times the city is your vacation destination but there are so many things to do you’re not sure how much to fit into one day.
To help you start out the year on a you-can-do-it note, here is a Day In series for towns that ought to be on your bucket list or when visiting friends and family. Don’t be surprised if the people you visit say they’ve been meaning to go there. People who live in an area often don’t play tourist in their own city.
The Day In series spotlights two main places and a restaurant, however, one or two alternatives are also included. Tip: no matter what the reason for the trip or what you do – plan some down time.
First in the series: A Day in LA
A red building wrapped with a chrome-like grill, rises from one corner. Across the road, another modern art structure seems to beckon you to go over there and see what’s inside. You’re at Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles,
Park the car within the red building’s garage and you are ready to go exploring. You don’t have to try this building first. Both corner buildings are filled with treasures.
Inside the eye-catching striped structure is the newly remodeled Petersen Automotive Museum. You don’t have to be a car buff to fall in love with the beautifully designed Bugatti, silver “gullwing” Corvette, Steve McQueen’s 1956 Jaguar XKSS or the Batmobile, all currently on exhibit.
Start on the third floor and then head down. You might come across a car your parents or grandparents drove such as a red 1956 Bel Air Chevrolet convertible or a black 1922 Chevrolet 490 series coupe that the great grandparents might have driven.
The Petersen Automotive Museum is at 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Across the road is what everyone in LA knows as LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with its 21st century remodeled look and added buildings.
The very contemporary, multi-winged-topped structure on the campus’ western corner includes Renzo Piano’s Workshop-designed Broad (pronounced Brode) Contemporary Art Museum.
Often referred to as BCAM, it opened February 2008. It is adjacent to the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion added in 2010.
But first, pull out the smart phone to take photos of your group wandering through artist Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” outside LACMA. It’s a fun collection of old-looking street lights. Then, stop at the LACMA Will Call window for tickets to “Picasso and Rivera: Conversations across time.”
Tip: Many LA area attractions including this exhibit need tickets so instead of waiting in long lines, purchase or reserve them on line to be picked up at the venue’s Will Call.
The ‘Picasso and Rivera’ show reveals how much the two famed artists were alike as they changed styles ranging from classical to abstract. Opened December 2016, the exhibit is in the BCAM section of LACMA through May 7, 2017.
Anyone who missed the “Moholy-Nagy Future Present” show at the Art Institute of Chicago fall of 2016, can catch it at LACMA Feb. 12 through June 18. It’s a fabulous exhibit of László Moholy-Nagy’s photographs, paintings, graphics and commercial designs.
Moholy, as he usually was called, was an influential Bauhaus teacher, founder of the Chicago Institute of Design and a pioneer of combining art with technology.
LACMA also has fine Asian, Latin American and Islamic collections. So you might want to divide up the time to do more than see a featured exhibit. The museum is at 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90036.
Now about food. It would be a shame to be in the area and not take advantage of lunch at Canter’s Bakery and Deli about a mile east of the two museums on Fairfax Avenue. Since opening in 1931, the famed deli has been the background for the ‘Mad Men’ series and has fed such celebrities as Barack Obama, Wayne Gretzky, Mick Jagger and Larry King. Canter’s is at 419 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036.
An alternative suggestion: The Broad Museum that opened to well deserved hype September, 2015 is worth a stop when in LA.
You will want to snap photos of the building, inside and out, see its exceptional collection of contemporary art and check out Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room.”
Museum admission is free but reservations are essential. If going there, get in line once inside for a timed ticket to the Infinity Room. The Broad is at 221 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012.
As to getting to these places, just be patient. Almost anywhere else you would likely time your forays to miss the rush hour. However, it always seems to be rush hour when driving the LA freeways. Since you are likely visiting or traveling with a companion take the car-pool lane.
Tips: Attractions are less crowded when they first open in the morning. Whatever attractions you choose, base your day on location. The places suggested here are near downtown LA.
Photography by Jodie Jacobs