Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Los Angeles ~ La Brea Tar Pits and Urban Light Sculpture

As many parts of this series that there is...and we are not done yet, there is still one more segment...I've only touched the tip of the iceberg here with this tour of Los Angeles. If you want a little more help with deciding where to go and what to see you may want to try out the Discover LA website. Lots of information there to help you decide on what to see and when to see it!
 After the Walk of Fame we headed to one of the most famous areas of Los Angeles, the Miracle Mile. Wilshire Boulevard has some of the most famous attractions of downtown LA. There are lots of museums as well as movie and television studios on Wilshire. The two we were visiting were the La Brea Tar Pits and the Urban Lights Sculpture at the LA County Museum of Art. 
 As with all things you see as a child,  the La Brea Tar Pits looks much bigger and much more dramatic than it does when you see it as an adult. I remembered the display being much larger with many more dinos stuck in the muck. 
 Fortunately our 12 year old son was totally fascinated...in the muck. This is the reflection of the light and trees on the muck which is a nasty blend of oil and water and tar. No wonder the dinosaurs got stuck!
 You even get to see prehistoric looking plants in the gardens there.
 This plant was twice my height and those "leaves" would have made great weapons...against another man but totally useless against anything larger! Good thing man and dino were here at different times!
 The wonderful new addition for us was the Page Museum. As I mentioned before, it's been a couple of decades since we did the "tourist" thing in LA so finding new stuff was really fun!
The Page is set in a beautiful park where you can bring a picnic and enjoy the Southern California weather.
 The museum is set up in a circular pattern with a atrium area in the center of it. Everything inside of it is from the area and there are some mind blowing animals you never would have expected ever existed in the United States....like camels. I kid you not...camels... in America...camels! Mind Blown.
 But it was the saber tooth cats that grabbed my imagination! I'm seriously happy that no human ever had to come up against THAT! On the back wall there, all lit up in gold, are wolf skulls. Yup...about 200 of them!
 There is a lab in the center of this area where you can, if you are lucky, watch the scientists working on the skeletons.
 The Page isn't a really large museum but it has a lot to offer. Take the time to read all that is there, especially the back wall right past this display, and you will find out so much more than you ever dreamed and have your mind blown quite a few times! This is the view of the lab from the other side of the museum.
 As I mentioned, there is an atrium in the center that you can walk through. There's a waterfall and cute little koi fish and turtles as well as lots of lush plant life to enjoy.
 Now here was where we got a big surprise. We were hungry after a long day of walking around LA so we asked the receptionist at The Page where we could go to eat. She directed us to the corner of the tar pits on Wilshire and told us to make a left across the street and there would be two or three places to eat there. I stopped to admire this canopy and take a few photos of the vintage details and we decided we'd go give this place a chance. Yes, it says "Callenders" up there on the sign. What we didn't realize is that it's a MARIE Callenders. Yeah, the pie place. But this was a Callenders like you have never seen before!
 This is a vintage Callenders...like 1940's gorgeous! Lots of dark wood, vintage details and gorgeous antique lamps and light fixtures.
Most Marie Callenders are a small step up from Denny's but this one is just one small step down from any fine dining place you have visited. We ate gourmet dishes where the only familiar Callender food was their famous corn bread! Our waiter was simply amazing and the experience was incredible. It felt like we were being totally spoiled! And, yes, they have pie and yes, we had some! Our only thought on why this place even existed is that there are some major tv studios across the street from here. It was easy to imagine some really big deals going down at the gorgeous bar or at these tables surrounded by photos of Old Hollywood.
After dinner we headed back past The Page and the tar pits. Notice the fence that is surrounding the place? Yeah, that wasn't there when I was a kid. I mean, it was cordoned off, but not quite the security fencing that is up now. Here and there in LA you will see signs of the times...security put in place to protect people who would either fall in due to carelessness or due to unchecked curiosity.
 Just a short half block away from the tar pits is the LA County Museum of Art. We didn't have the time to actually tour the museum but I loved the geometric lines and patterns of the entryway!
 We were there to see the Urban Lights Sculpture! This was installed in 2008 by artist Chris Burden and includes 202 vintage streetlamps of different sizes and styles that use to light the streets of LA.
 I was truly like a kid in a candy store. For a photographer it's almost overwhelming! There are so many angles and patterns and so much symmetry all lit up in the brilliant light from 202 streetlamps! We were only there for 30 minutes but I know I could have stayed much longer and been very happy! 
I've included this photograph, not just because it's beautiful and shows off the beautiful lamps, but because it helps prove that I was shooting in color, not black and white as the next photo seems to indicate!
 With a love of all things vintage these are just so beautiful to me and the experience of being in the bright lights was so lovely and romantic. I wasn't in the least bit surprised that there were several couples walking around it hand in hand or sitting on the side steps cuddled up together. Like 202 candelabras lighting up the night. If you are anywhere near the area make sure to swing on by and walk around for at least a few moments and if you are a photographer, give yourself even more time!

Unfortunately we didn't have more time to give to the sculpture because we were headed up to the Griffith Observatory! Next week we'll wind up our tour of LA with a tour of the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood sign. See you then!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks Cat Harper! I enjoyed reading your post. You well described all thing. It is very well written post by you. Kudos!
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