Where you been? If you hang out with us here enough, you know that a couple months ago we welcomed our first little homie into the world. And as will come to no surprise to the parents reading this, it turns out raising an infant is indeed a full time job. Add that to the full time job I have to feed said infant and provide him an insane amount of diapers, it turns out hobbies like running, or reading, or writing for this blog go out the window.
But I’m back (at least for now), and happy to say Laura and I got to give the little homie his first taste of culture when we were able to attend a sneak peak of LA’s most anticipated museum opening in years: The Broad, which officially opens today, September 20, 2015.
So here’s the deal. I’m not an art connoisseur and won’t pretend to be. Turns out the little homie was actually more patient in the museum than I am in most museums. Maybe he’s getting his mama’s eye for art. But we did have a chance to really explore the museum, and so here’s what to expect from this post:
1. Visiting the Broad 101. All the basic need to knows if you’re gonna check out what I’d consider an awesome museum and the surrounding Bunker Hill area of downtown LA.
2. Tips and tricks. Yep, there are tips and tricks, and at the preview we picked up on a few of them that you REALLY need to read if you’ll visit.
3. Just a few photos of some of our favorite art because, after all, you want to go check this place out for yourself.
Visiting The Broad 101
The museum is located at 221 South Grand Ave in downtown LA, next to the Walt Disney Hall. The honeycomb architecture is can’t miss! If you’re going Metro, get off at Civic Center (on purple or red line) and the museum is a little less than half a mile from there. If you’re staying in Santa Monica, grab the Rapid 10 and get off at Hope and 4th and walk a few blocks from there. There is parking on site, but if you want to save money, check out the tips and tricks below.Hours to visit
Admission is free and if you want to avoid the chance of any long lines, you can reserve your tickets online for free too! The museum is closed Monday but open all other days of the week. You can check hours here.
Explore the local area
You’re in a part of downtown LA that is constantly evolving.
1. The famed Walt Disney Hall is next door and a beautiful piece of architecture. If you wander around the building, you’ll find a little stair case that’s a spot tons of people love to take portrait type photos- including us!2. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels is in the neighborhood and is a beautiful church with some great art of it’s own to appreciate.
3. Grand Park is close by and one of our favorite parks. We took many of our engagement photos there as well. It’s a cool park to hang out in and often has great free events!4. Angel’s Flight and the famous park from the movie 500 Days of Summer
One day we hope Angels Flight will be running again. It’s a 298 foot funicular railway that’s a gem to see. And just next to it, below the California Plaza, is a tiny park you might recognize from the movie 500 Days of Summer.5. Finally, there are great places to grab a bite to eat in the area. We’re preferential to Grand Central Market. You can’t miss on most of the food, but EggSlut is overwhelmingly popular in the AM (be prepared to wait in insanely long lines) and G&B Coffee was raved about in The New York Times recently for their sweet macadamia nut latte.
Tips and Tricks
1. If driving, save money on parking and DON’T park at the museum (where parking costs $12). Instead park at California Plaza garage (enter off Olive) where parking (with validation) is only $8. The California Plaza garage is just a block away from The Broad!
2. Download the App and bring some headphones! The Broad has a free app, and it’s pretty damn good. Enable your bluetooth and use it when navigating around the museum. It’s got more details on much of the art, as well as some cool architectural highlights as well which I really appreciated!
3. You’re going to want to see Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room, no matter what!
And there will most likely be a line for it, so time your visit to this exhibition right. The exhibition only allows one person at a time, and you get 45 seconds there. When you first enter the museum, you can get your separate ticket for this. Make sure to inquire when entering. The exhibit is located adjacent to the escalator that takes you to the second floor.
4. You know those people in every room at museums that are usually meant to guard the art or keep you from taking photos? Well, the folks at The Broad- you’ll find them in all black, and they’re not just “guardians of the art” they’ve also been educated about the art and are excited to share their knowledge with visitors. Engage with them!
Some of our favorites
1. The piece below was found right when you came up to the second floor. It’s huge and when you get closer you realize they’re FEMA signs about propane. 10 years after Katrina, it was interesting to learn about what those tanks symbolized. I won’t spoil it, check it out for yourself!
2. ‘In the Land of the Dead Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow’ by Takashi Murakami
A beautiful mural. I could have spent an hour exploring it. And to add icing to the cake, my favorite travel writer Pico Ayer spoke with Murakami about his work
3. Marlene Dumas: Wall Weeping. This was one of my favorite to read about. The painting was inspired by a photo of Israeli Soldiers searching Palestinian men against a wall. Dumas cropped the photo, to focus on a section of the men against the wall where you don’t see the soldiers. With that context switch, it can just as easily look as though the men aren’t up against some random stone wall being searched, but praying at the famous Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.1. Anselm Kiefer Deutschlands Geisteshelden. You know those times a work of art speaks to you and you’re not quite sure why? Hello Anselm Kiefer, I’m talking about you today. Just really enjoyed this one!
There you have it. If you’re visiting LA and get a chance to check the museum (and the Bunker Hill area surrounding it) out, I think you’ll enjoy yourself! If you’ve been, let us know your favorite artwork. The Broads have a collection of over 2,000 pieces of art for the museum, so expect things to be rotated in and out!