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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Chris Burden's Urban Light, Berlin Wall on Wilshire, La Brea Tar Pits (L.A. Family Vacation, Part 10)

Chris Burden's Urban Light is located just outside the doors of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Wilshire Blvd, in between Fairfax and La Brea Avenues. 

Opening in 2008, it consists of 202 restored street lamps from the 1920's and 30's, most of which are from Southern California streets. There's a total of 17 different styles, making for interesting patterns. 

After running in and around Levitated Mass, located just a few feet away, my kids enjoyed playing in and around Urban Light. 

In March of 2013, my wife, kids and I were back in Los Angeles for a little three day get away. Here's a link to the different things we saw and did, including a trip up the Hollywood Sign and seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Most of what we did was free - I think the most expensive thing (aside from our lodging) was seeing a 3-D movie at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. 

The fixtures are especially striking at night. If you're in the area, it's definitely worth stopping and seeing. Here's a previous post with some night photos and thoughts on Urban Light

Directly across the street from Urban Light is the largest section of the Berlin Wall anywhere outside of Germany. The Wall on Wilshire is located at 5900 Wilshire Blvd, directly in front of what's popularly known as the Variety building (named for the logo of the Hollywood trade paper on the top of the building). 

 It was a great opportunity to explain my kids what the Cold War was, and the history and purpose of the Berlin Wall. This is a permanent outdoor display sponsored by the nearby Wende Museum, a museum focusing on the Cold War. 

I absolutely LOVE these two sections, painted by Los Angeles based artist Kent Twitchell: on the left, Democrat John Kennedy. On the right, Republican Ronald Reagan. Apparently, Twitchell had planned on painting each of these two Cold War Presidents on two panels each but was just limited to just one. Having half of each President worked out better (in my non professional opinion). 

Walking back across Wilshire is the La Brea Tar Pits. Located directly on the busiest street in the heart of Los Angeles, the Tar Pits contain the largest deposit of Ice Age fossils in the entire world.

My son and daughter looking and taking photos. 

The three fiberglass sculptures of prehistoric mammoths have been around since the 1960's. Very distinctive. In the distance, in the left hand corner of the photo is the Page Museum, focusing on the fossil finds of the 100 years. 

Another view of the largest of several of the tar pits. with the office buildings of Wilshire Blvd immediately across the street. Long term plans call for the Purple Line Subway to continue from Koreatown (a few miles away) west along Wilshire - immediately adjacent to the Tar Pits. That will certainly be an engineering challenge. 

Two Giant Sloth sculptures, each about eight feet tall, next to the Page Museum as we headed back to our car. Thousands of fossils have been found in these tar pits. In the background, the 5900 Wilshire Variety Building. 

More next week as we continued to explore the "westside" of Los Angeles. 

© 2014

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