Field Trip Day 4-15-2018 : King Tut Exhibit @ California Science Center

Hi it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything about my day trips.  Before I would put up bunches of pictures, now I have compiled it into a nice little video which will be whole lot easier to view rather than scrolling down through each and every individual pics.  I guess this is what you would call a vlog.  ūüôā

As a bonus I’ve also included scenes of the space shuttle Endeavor, which as you know in 2012 it made massive headlines as it was transported from the east via a piggyback ride on a Boeing jet and then towed through the treacherous streets of L.A. neighborhoods (not to mention a mob of enthusiastic SoCalifornians waiting to take their selfies beside the massive hunk of steel and aluminum).  It currently sits pretty inside of a temporary hangar as it awaits its new room that’s being built (date of completion unknown).

Hope you enjoy!

Last Saturday after hearing about the special exhibition from the Vatican Museum of Rome, Italy, to be held at the Ronald Reagan Library, I made the daring trip to the location in Simi Valley, barely conquering the infamous 5 North freeway.  I arrived at around 11:30 am to find the main parking lot is packed and I had to park at the foot of the hill where the building is actually located.  Luckily they had free shuttle service around the clock to take us up those treacherous hills and along the way got a scenic view of the city, which, sadly, is in dire need of rain, just like the rest of Southern California still weighed down by the severe drought, no thanks to the El Nino of course.

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The shuttle let us off at the front of the library’s entrance, entering through a lush courtyard.  We had to wait in line to enter the lobby, where the ushers let patrons in one by one.  It felt like the line at a Disneyland ride.  The best thing is to preorder the tickets online, which I did, and with the helpful discount from ABC7, and that line goes much faster.

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The line for the Vatican exhibit began just outside of the lobby opposite of the entrance, and and learned it would be at least an hour before I would get to set foot inside the gallery.  An hour!  Did I mention it was like a Disneyland ride?  Before getting in line for that painful wait I decided to take a quick stroll around, walking on what is the replica of the White House’s South Lawn, and down the wiggly path that would lead to the burial site of the 44th President and his wife, who had passed away just earlier this year.  The garden also featured an actual piece of the infamous Berlin Wall that was dismantled during his presidency marking the end of the divided Germany and beginning of a more democratic state.

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Afterwards I head on over to the line, seeing that it has grown in the last fifteen minutes.  The line moved at a snail like pace eventually leading back into the main lobby and to the left was the entrance to the gallery exhibit, the same place that would lead to the permanent collection of all things Reagan, including the authentic Air Force One (more on that later).

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Finally an hour later I made it into the Vatican gallery.  It was dark and narrow, and adding the mass crowd, I was in for a slow ride down the collection of some of the finest artifacts ever brought from the Vatican Museum.  Since I don’t know when I’ll ever get to travel to Italy I might as well get a taste of it here on US ground, where it’s cheaper and little safer than actually traveling there, considering the constant threat of terror attacks that has ravaged  much of Europe in the past years since 9/11.  The exhibit chronicles the rich history of the Vatican and its influence on world religion, and prominently features artifacts related to the traditional Catholic religion, such as the tomb fragments of the well known martyrs like Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the arts depicting popular Biblical scenes (made by famous artists such as Michaelangelo and Bernini), items and ceremonial attires used in the Catholic masses exclusive to the Vatican, and portraits and sculptures of over 500 Popes that have served throughout history, up to the present pope, Francis I.  Most notable of the popes is John Paul II, who has had diplomatic ties with Reagan during his presidency, and it is prominently presented here (click on each image for bigger picture).

After about 40 minutes I finish the exhibit and the exit lead through the Gift Shop, though I didn’t really buy anything.  I make a U turn back into the main lobby and head to the exhibit hall again, this time to the Reagan exhibit.  The gallery was well planned, chronicling the President’s life from his humble beginnings in his Illinois birthplace, to his service in the Army, to his stint as a Hollywood actor, to his charting down the political road first as governor of California and to the steps of the White House where he served two terms engaging in many noted historical events such as the American Recession of the 80s, the Cold War, the threats of Communism, and surviving an assassination attempt. The exhibit includes an actual replica of the Oval Office where Reagan did most of his presidential work.

There was also an exhibit dedicated to the First Lady, Nancy Reagan, and her unique contribution to the president’s term in the office, included with the Reagans’ White House memorabilia.  They even included some memorial keepsakes from her funeral that was held at the Library earlier this year.

Afterwards I was led down a hall toward a huge hangar-like structure where the Air Force One was parked, along with the Marine One chopper that seem so paltry beside the much gargantuan aircraft.  You get to walk through a short hall of documentation of the Air Force One’s history and its itineraries during Reagan’s tenure.  From there there was another long line to enter the interior of the aircraft, a rare chance to get up close and personal inside the President’s famous mode of transportation.

Exiting at the tail end of the Air Force One led downstairs to display of the President’s motorcade and the Marine One chopper, which also had a line but I didn’t care much for, I’m sure it would pale in comparison to Air Force One.  Hungry after nearly four hours of walking and sightseeing I decide to grab a quick bite over at the Ronald Reagan Bar& Café that sells sandwiches and beers and other usual café delicacies.  And oh, I almost forgot, Reagan loved jellybeans, so you’ll be sure to find a bag or two of these chewy sweet treats courtesy of Jelly Belly.

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After I finish downing a half sandwich and a Snapple (I contemplated getting a bottle of beer but then I had to drive back home) I walked back up to the second floor and was surprised to learn the exhibit was far from finished.  It was another twenty minute walkthrough to what was the later part of Reagan years, from his retirement to his love for horseback riding and ultimately to his battle with Alzheimer’s disease that would take him on June 5, 2004.  I remember watching the live telecast of his funeral procession; all highways were closed off for his motorcade to pass to the final resting place here at the Library.

Unfortunately the Vatican exhibit will close on the eleventh of this month September (originally it was slated to close on Aug. 28, which was the day that I went, but luckily for me they had extended it), so if you read this now and are interested you should blaze on out there and catch the magic of the Vatican before it vanished forever. ¬†And be sure to preorder the ticket online at¬†www.reaganfoundation.org/¬†for easier access. ¬†I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, as I did; and even if you do miss the Vatican exhibit there’s plenty of other stuff there to see. ¬†The photos above don’t nearly do justice and I know some came out rather scratchy; I can’t help but blame the fast moving crowd for it.

Until next time…

Anime Expo (or AX for short) is the largest convention of animation¬†and manga from Japan held in the US. ¬†You can say it’s like the Comic-Con of Japanese pop culture. ¬†It started in the Northern California and later moved down to the Southern California in 1991, where it has resided since. ¬†It has been held in numerous locations, notably Anaheim, Long Beach, and currently in Los Angeles. ¬†The convention is held annually in 4-day event during the summer of July with number of smaller relative counterparts¬†held all across America, and boasts of tens of thousands of attendees who are anime and manga enthusiasts. ¬†The convention hosts myriads of activities and events related to manga and anime such as seminars, product demos, panel discussions with special guests, and contests. ¬†The most notable is the Costume Masquerade, where attendees dressed as their favorite characters parade in their creations and compete for prizes. ¬†It is also a gathering ground for vendors selling anime-related merchandises, artists both amateur and professional who want to showcase and sell their works, and companies that seek to promote their products like video games and films.

I used to be into anime and manga, but so many years have passed since I’ve abandoned it for other interests, and I’ve always wanted to check out the convention, mostly for the folks from all walks of life dressed in colorful costumes. ¬†I’ve realized that so much have changed and there are new animes that I’ve not heard of, and saw how old I’ve become. ¬†There were few familiar sites here and there but it seems the magic I used to harbor for anime has long sailed away. ¬†Nevertheless I wanted to take a stroll and observe, and probably won’t hang around for seminars or Q&A sessions with special guests and celebrities (I don’t really know them anyway). ¬†The admission closes at 6 pm but the events inside can go on past midnight. ¬†And also because this is the 10th anniversary of the Expo (in addition to being a Fourth of July weekend and an opening day) things are going to be especially crowded. ¬†But I saved myself the headache of LA traffic and parking nightmares by taking the mighty Metro.

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From the Metro station on Pico is a brief walk to the LA Convention Center.  This is the view of the South Hall entrance, and you can already see the crowd amassing at the entrance.

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I preordered my one-day badge in May (which saved me $15 off the admission at the door) but I still had to wait in line to pick it up at the front.  It took a while to find the end of the line, as you can see here, and this is only the fraction of it.  Thank God for the white awning.

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The line moved in zigzags like for a line at a Disneyland ride. ¬†I’m like almost halfway there…

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And it’s still going. ¬†I have to say it was a good 1-hour wait. ¬†Like a stop-and-go traffic on the 405 freeway. ¬†At least the shade saved me and hundreds of others the agony of sunburn.

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Finally I make it inside the main hall to pick up the badge, then have to go outside again through a different entrance for the bag check (luckily this time they just gave us a free pass).  It was about a little past 12 and already the whole building was boiling.

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There were plenty of photo opps left and right with large statues like this dinosaur, as well as with the costumed staff and fans.

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There were bizarre, and then there was this bizarre. ¬†Obviously its a nod to that popular MINECRAFT games. ¬†It’s a wonder the guy can actually move inside this stack of cardboards.

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Here is inside the exhibit hall.

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Some familiar sights, like this classic Dragon Ball Z , which still to this day has a devoted cult following of astronomical proportions.  Sorry I realized lot of the pictures came out pretty blurry.

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Some tidbits of the items up for grabs for cool bucks. ¬†It’s not just limited to anime, it turns out.

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As cool as this is, sorry it’s not for sale.

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Plushies galore!

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I’m sure ever since the WALKING DEAD the sales of samurai swords (the favorite weapon of the series character Michonne) has skyrocketed. ¬†There are even replica swords from the insanely poular GAME OF THRONES series. ¬†(On side note, the swords are quasi-real, made of stainless steel; I’m not sure how sharp they are if you can actually cut someone in half).

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Something about ear cleaning. ¬†Don’t know how it’s supposed to work, and I didn’t care for it to try.

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Legos!

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Here is one of numerous video game demonstrations throughout the convention floor.  This one features the use of VR Gear.

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Another photo opp with a giant spider woman.  Ech, I hate spiders.

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Most of the time I’d just get shots of the costumed peeps from the sideline, but few times I did manage to get the courage to ask nicely some people for a photo shoot.

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Right below the exhibit hall is the Kenitia Hall that holds the Artist Alley. ¬†Here you get to meet some artists, both professional and amateur, showing off their creations. ¬†To be honest, they weren’t all that impressive.

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Now you best look twice before asking one of these ladies out for a date.  ^_^

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After about an hour I take a brisk walk across to the West Hall shown here.

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Here in the Entertainment Hall there are some setups of arcade games where you can burn some of your hard-earned quarters.

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Ah, this brings back old memories. ¬†If I tried to jump on this thing now I’d probably have a heart attack.

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For the car junkies.

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Bang-Zoom! Entertainment is a talent agency for voice actors in movies, cartoons, and anime. ¬†Here¬†they are having a mini-audition for aspiring voice actors. ¬†I didn’t need to sit through it, I could hear it throughout the hall as I’m exploring other sites. ¬†Some are tear-jerkers (and it’s not in a good way).

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Here is a section where anyone can test their artistic skills.

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I left a few scribble of my own. ¬†It ain’t pretty, but that’s because I totally jumped in on a whim, without any idea what I wanted to draw beforehand.

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There is a section called the Cosplay Photo Booth where attendees can take pictures on one of various backgrounds like the ones shown here.

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Yes accidents do happen, to the costumes that is. That is why there is a dedicated section with supplies included to allow attendees to makes some necessary repairs to their wearable creations.  In addition there are programs offered for those who are interested in taking part of the costuming madness as well.  Turns out some have made a profitable career out of dressing up.  Who knew.

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The crowd just don’t know when to stop do they.

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It was amusing to watch these two jiggling around.

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And there it is, my quick scan through of Anime Expo. ¬†I don’t have Fitbit so I don’t know how many miles I’ve walked that day, but I will say my legs were awful sore for few days. ¬†Only takeaway here was the memories and brief nostalgic trip down my childhood. ¬†If I could go back ten years and had some friends I’d try out the cosplaying business, and actually stay through all four days to get the full-on experience. ¬†Though they always say its never too late, I think I’m pretty much over anime thing to get back on it.

If any of you would consider taking part of this experience in the future you can visit this website and stay up to date on their future events.

http://www.anime-expo.org/

 

 

After months of waiting I finally nabbed the coveted ticket to the newly opened Broad Museum in Downtown LA, located right across an older cousin the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art). Opened in September of last year this new museum boasts of larger collection of modern post WWII era and contemporary art by legendary and current living artists made possible by generous support from its founders Eli and Edythe Broad, who are avid collectors. Admission is free but advanced reservation of the ticket is required; when I tried to get mine it was booked for good several months but I finally got in.

I decided to take the train to avoid the infamous LA traffic and save myself $20 of parking. I parked my car at the Norwalk Station, paid for one day pass for $7 and hopped on aboard. It would take two separate cars to get to my destination. The train speeds down the rail track in between the 105 freeway and I’m looking out the window to see the traffic already welling up at 10 in the morning. Someone has some really strong perfume on and I don’t like the smell at all; it’s like one of those incenses they burn at temples.

The train made its last stop on 7th and Flower in e heart of DT. From there I would have to walk several blocks up north of Grand Avenue, which is kind of painful considering it’s a steep climb.  But it makes for a nice stroll around downtown LA to take in more intimate closeup of the area as well as a good workout.




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I finally reach the peak of Grand Avenue, with the Broad in full view.  It sits pretty alongside the other cultural venues on the avenue including MOCA, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Mark Taper Forum.

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After waiting in line for about half an hour after arrival they let us in by groups in which we made our reservations prior to the visit; in this case I was with the 11:30 group.  Just right time I say to avoid too much crowd (and on top of that it’s Wednesday).  I step inside the main lobby that looks like the inside of a cavern, they appropriately call it the Oculus Hall.

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There are three floors total; the second one isn’t much which I’ll get to later.  That escalator you see here goes straight up to the 3rd floor.

Here are some of the amazing works on first floor.  The most prominent one being the collection of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.

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Some enclosed rooms feature multiple works of one artist, such as Murakami.  Here you will also see one of his largest and longest mural.

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Now I take the escalator up to the 3rd floor.  The ride up can feel a bit claustrophobic.

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And behold the main event of the visit.

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Of course there is an elevator and a standard walking staircase.

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Here are some pictures of artworks taken from the museum.  There are lot of recognizable ones representing various genres (Pop Art, Conceptual, Expressionism, Minimalism, etc.) by well-known artists like Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Barbara Kruger, and Kara Walker.  Now careful not to touch them, there are eyes watching.

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I found this piece particularly amusing.  It pretty much tells you plainly what you need to do in order to be ‘successful’ artist, course at the expense of your soul.

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I don’t think I need to explain this one.  ūüėČ

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I was really aiming for the large canvas on the wall, but this gold urinal just happened to sneak in view.

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Apparently the idea for this piece was inspired by the Alice in Wonderland story.

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Here is a small dark screening room where you can sit and watch artsy short films.

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Now the only way down is the elevator or this staircase which I’m taking now.

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One the way down you can catch a glimpse of the museum’s secret vault which harbors thousands of art still waiting to have its day in the limelight.  It is said the museum will unveil one new artwork to the gallery every week.

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The finale of the visit is this Infinity Lights Room by artist Yayoi Kusama, which you have to reserve a spot in line at the beginning (because it’s a long wait).  They let you in depending on number of parties per group for 45 seconds allowing you to be surrounded by millions of colorful lights reflected by mirrors, and the floor is covered in water, so they warn you not to step off the platform.

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And that was it.  Of course there are lot more than what I have put up here, it would be better for you to make the visit yourself.  For more information including directions and tickets (currently admission is free but gets booked fast so plan ahead-I don’t know yet if that will change or it will always be free) go to www.thebroad.org.  Also if you plan to take a car there instead of the train like I did take care public parking in DTLA is not cheap, though there is a valet available (also not cheap).  For public transportation option go to www.metro.net.

Located in Santa Ana, California, the Bowers Museum houses an eclectic collection of ancient cultural artifacts of Pre Columbian, Pan Asian, Pacific Islands, and early California paintings.  Named after Charles Bowers, who was a land developer in the 1800s the Mission Revival styled building was opened in 1931 and originally devoted to the history of Orange County.  In 1992 the museum reopened completely transformed into what it is now, a center for education and preservation of various cultures and especially ones that make up much of the fit today.

Since this is one of few museums closest to my home I’ve come here quite often, as they regularly hold many different special exhibitions annually.

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There are several entrances to the museum, but this is the main one, you can see it right off the road along Main Street.

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Enter through the Spanish style gate and walk up these steps to the main door.

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Beteween the gate and the main door is a nice lush courtyard where they sometimes hold oudoor cultural events such as concerts, bazaars and lucheon.

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Once you enter the door to your left is the museum’s diner that serves gourmet meals inspired by the cuisines of the Pacific Rim

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and right across the diner is a cozy little gift shop for the shopaholic of exotic toys

I pay my admission fee at the reception desk, about $13 general (there are discounts for seniors and students of course), and then I turn to the hallway on the left to begin my tour.

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This is who will greet you as you pass through the doorway of the hall. Dont worry he wont bite. ūüėČ

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A snapshot of the hall from the other end. Note the walls here are adorned with one of the museums permant collections-a series of highly detailed color temple paintings depicting Buddhist deities and mandalas by a Tibetan monk Shashi Doj Tulachand (if you can pronouce this name you are a genius).

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A couple of close up of the temple paintings by Shashi Doj Toulachand. It would take all painstaking day to read every one of its details .

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A Buddhist deity, dont know the name but you sure wouldnt want to cross him; I mean just look at those eyes…

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There are several rooms along this hallway reserved for special limited time exhibits, such as this upcoming show of real ancient Egyptian Mummies, which I sm highly looking forward to (oh I didnt tell you I was an Egyptology fanatic back in grade school…Ill have to tell u about it another time).

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At the end of this hall to the left is another hallway leading to more in house collections primarily of early Central American artifacts and California arts.

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Walking down this hall you will see cases of these delicate ceramic artifacts used to be buried with the dead, a common funerary practices in the ancient times. It can be oddly deformed idol figures…

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…decorative vases and jars…

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…and animals, such as this adorable Mexican Hairless canines.

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Fro the hall you will enter straight into a room with some more artifacts and a mural

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Now this is one of the special exhibits taking place in thr next room. This particular one features never before seen watercolor illustrations by renowned Mexican artist Diego Rivera, based on the creation myth the Popol Vul.

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This rather narrow doorway leads to the Diego Rivera exhibit, but unfortunately theres no photo allowed. Inside this room leads to yet another room which is a screening room related to the said exhibit. Then exit that room…

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…and we are in yet another hallway, this time with its focus on early California Art. Walk down and enjoy some of these Impressionist-styled landscape paintings that attempt to capture the natural beauties of the Golden State.

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Every culture have their own renditions of the iconic Madonna and Child paintings.

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There is another room as you walk down the hall that feature artifacts of early native California Indians.

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At the end of this hall is this old carriage used in the early days of Orange County. Turn to the right…

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…and find yourself in this spacious room full of items from the Mission San Juan Capistrano archives. Here you will learn more about the history of California’s development and find out where the names of our favorite cities and streets of SoCal comes from…

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This is a portrait of the Englishman who helped to build Mission San Juan Capistrano: John “Juan” Forster

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Now when you exit that room and get back in the hallway you will find a stair leading up to a second floor with a balcony overlooking the room you were just in.

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And this floor features even more California Art, though you’ll find there was more than just pretty landscapes….

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The ceiling in this huge orange room features a mural much like that of the famous Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel mural, but here it depicts the early history of California. I only wished those lights weren’t such an eyesore…

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After making my way back to the receptions desk I head on the over to another hallway.  Now this hallway leads to a newly expanded wing of the museum completed in 2000 to make more room for other permanent collections that I will soon see.

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Walk down this foyer and you will come across this room, one of the newest additions along with the expansion, that regularly holds small limited time exhibits, such as this one about…

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…This pretty lady in gold, a mask of an Egyptian mummy. ¬†Now why only one mask here? ¬†Cause apparently scientists have made an extraordinary discovery inside this mask that will help identify the body more concretely. ¬†But really what is the point to learning the body’s identity, unless she’s somebody really famous…

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And now here we are in the new expanded wing of the musuem.

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This particular wing is dedicated to the Pacific Islander and Oceanic Art, as well as…

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…the Ancient Chinese arts.

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Now that’s a big doorbell.

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Next to that huge drum you saw earlier is a rotunda that leads to an auditorium where regularly they hold educational seminars and screen movies related to the mission of the museum.

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Now we shall enter the exotic world of Pacific Islander/Oceanic art-watch your heads.  (j/k)

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This permanent collection includes all the arts and cultural treasures of the many islands of the Pacific Coast. ¬†Believe it or not these are actual masks the natives wore for many of their ritualistic practices. ¬†I’d probably get squashed if I ever try one on…

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Totem poles, often depicting spirits or ancestors, and used to display that tribe’s status. ¬†

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I wouldn’t want to get stabbed by one of these…wait, what movie did I see that from?

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These are real human skulls.  It is common practice for the island natives to honor their dead by decorating their skulls.  

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Onward to the final exhibit-the arts of ancient China.

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Elephant tusk. ¬†Look at those details, every figure has its own personalities…

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A traditional scholar’s table

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This large panoramic photo shows the famous Terra Cotta Warriors statues found in the tomb in China.

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The Chinese have always been highly regarded for their beautiful delicate crafts in porcelain, bronze.

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Peace be with thee.. ¬†ūüėČ

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The traditional garments worn by Chinese nobles.  Note the intricate handiwork in those embroidery.

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It seems the Chinese also enjoy game of chess, but their version is much different from the Europeans.

Now after all that walk around the halls and rooms full of ancient treasures treat yourself to a nice relaxing rest in this lush courtyard.  Bask in the cool shades of the trees and listen to the sound of the water dribbling down the fountains.  That is, assuming there are no kids running around.

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For more information including upcoming events, directions, and other good stuff, go to:

http://www.bowers.org.

 

FLong before there was Disneyland, the Angels Stadium, the Honda Center, and a bombastic growth spurt of high end resorts and restaurants above its dusty grounds, the city of Anaheim was a thriving agricultural community of orange and citrus groves.  Sunkist Corp., one of the leading growers of the tasty oranges, once had a warehouse where all their fruits wer packaged and shipped to local retailers.  Today it has been converted to a gourmet artisan-style food court serving eclectic and cultural varieties of meals and drinks and desserts.  Don’t expect to find a Panda Express or McDonald’s here; it’s all about fresh new adventure for your tummy.  

The Packing House opened its doors in mid 2014 at the intersection of Santa Ana street and Anaheim Bolevard, retaining much of its original Spanish Colonial architecture with some modifications to the aged structure to accommodate the new setup.  It sits on the same lot with the Packard Building, another one of numerous historic structures of the old days of Anaheim, which currently houses the Anaheim brewery and Umami Burger.  

For more info as well as directions visitanaheimpackingdistrict.com.

The Packard Building, which houses a brewery and Umami Burger

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In between Packard Buolding and Packing House is Farmers Park where you can enjoy a picnic lunch on the nice green lawn (warning: the grass is fake. ) or just take a nice stroll. on weekends they hold an outdoor farmers market selling homemade goods.

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The main north entrance after walking through the park.

Here it is the east entrance. well guarded by the two mighty roosters.

Yep, no Pets inside the building. Sorry they’ll have to stay at the park.

The House has an Upper floor and a basement floor, with a mezzazine im between.

The upper deck has some outdoor dining tables as well as these cutesy rocking chairs just to sit and rock away the time.

As you walk in through thd glass door you’ll find two carts flanking each side displaying unique gifts and novelties for sale. And oh yes the Roosters stand guard here too, ready to peck at anyone that dare to cross their way…

A simpld floor plan of the facility.

The mezzazine floor doubles as a lounge with two tiered spacious benches and also as a stage for live performances on weekends.

The Packing House is a foodie’s paradise with plethora of gourmet artisan cuisine to delight ypur palates. As I mentioned, no outside mainstream foods are allowed here, just original quality eats.

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Not only is there plenty of goodies to delight your appetite, its also a feast for the eyes, as each food venue stands out on its own as work of art.


 

at the west end is a room for more private dining experience . This was probably the front desk of the old packing factory.

  

There is a small room that appears to show films about the history of the Packing House

  

The House gets typically busy during lunch time , and considering Anaheim is the hub of tourism thanks to Disneyland lots of tourists flock here as well.

  

It gets especially crowded on weekends as usual, so getting a decent table is a battle.

  

The House is well stocked with complete course of breakfast lunch dinner, and of course desserts like these tasty pastries.

  

Every food stand have its own culinary specialties, such as this all grilled cheese sandwich shop.

  

The ‘official’ mascot of the grilled cheese shop.

  

Besides tables you can dine comfortably on countertops around the opening to the basement floor.

  

Sometimes it can feel like a jungle with all these floras hanging from the ceiling above.

 

 

You can rest assured all food are organic and contain no harmful substances, and made with love.

  
  

This particular joint is especially popular with waiting line sometimes going out the door.

  
  

  

  
  

  
  

  
  

  

It is said that NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was once spotted at this Kettle Bar, known for its gourmet gumbo dishes.

  

These individual steel based kettles are where every individual guests gumbo are freshly brewed and served.

  
 

 

For those with affinity for toy trains,.

    

David certainly loves his gelato.

  

Young kids today would not last a day on these desks at school like their grandparents did.

  
  

  
  

  
  

And after a nice tour its time to relax on a table with a crepe treat and live music.

The Los Angeles Brewery Artwalk is a biannual event at one of LA’s biggest artist in residence community. ¬†Originally the¬†Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery, it was converted into a non-profit art community in 1982 and today boasts of over 100 artist studios of all genres and techniques and characters. ¬†The event is open on one weekends and is free to the public. ¬†This is a good way for aspiring artists in training to get an up close and personal experience of the day in the life of an artist in their private hub where they brew and percolate their creative juices and bring works of art to be enjoyed by the public. ¬†It’s not too often one gets a VIP access into the seemingly private lives of painters and sculptors and the like, and see how they work and what makes them tick.

The trek around the former beer factory is itself worth the trip, since they retained much of the original structures from when it was first built, with some modifications to convert the spaces into a workable studios and to uphold the aging structures.  One would feel like an archaeologist walking through a piece of the past.  Oh, did I ever mention I once aspired to be an archaeologist in my younger days?

The Brewery can be seen clearly from off the Interstate 5 freeway north of I-10.

For more information and to plan your next visit go to http://breweryartwalk.com.

Enjoy the photos below:

The original building started out as Edison Electric Steam Power Plant, later to Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery, before being transformed into the largest artist community in the world.

The original building started out as Edison Electric Steam Power Plant, later to Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery, before being transformed into the largest artist community in the world.

You can see the Edison Electric sign faded but still in view.

You can see the Edison Electric sign faded but still in view.

The lower level of the Edison factory building serves as the Brewery Annex Gallery that hosts number of exhibitions by international and domestic artists throughout the year.

The lower level of the Edison factory building serves as the Brewery Annex Gallery that hosts number of exhibitions by international and domestic artists throughout the year.

From the Annex you can climb these rather treacherous stairs up to other studios in the building. Watch your step...

From the Annex you can climb these rather treacherous stairs up to other studios in the building. Watch your step…

Yes you can see just how

Yes you can see just how “safe” the stairwells are here. One slip, and you’ll be walking instead up the stairway to heaven. ūüėČ

The Colony supports artists of all crafts, even writers. This guy has recently published a series of childrens' books chronicling the tale of Edgar Trunk. Don't know who he is but you can check him out at your local bookstore.

The Colony supports artists of all crafts, even writers. This author, Jason Silva, has recently published a series of childrens’ books chronicling the tale of Edgar Trunk. Don’t know who he is but you can check him out at your local bookstore.

If you survived the treacherous stairwells to the top congratulations, and be rewarded with a view of this spacious studio with great views. Now this is my kind of art studio...

If you survived the treacherous stairwells to the top congratulations, and be rewarded with a view of this spacious studio with great views. Now this is my kind of art studio…

A great view of downtown LA from the top floor of that Brewery building.

A great view of downtown LA from the top floor of that Brewery building.

Down below you can see some of many storage houses and barracks that surround the old factory, all converted into muti-unit studio lofts and occupied by artists from all walks of the art world.

Down below you can see some of many storage houses and barracks that surround the old factory, all converted into muti-unit studio lofts and occupied by artists from all walks of the art world.

This steel balcony really better be strong or it will be a four story drop to wherever.

This steel balcony really better be strong or it will be a four story drop to wherever.

Coming back from the balcony and a view of the other end of the studio. Wonder how much is to rent one of these babies...

Coming back from the balcony and a view of the other end of the studio. Currently on display are artworks from the Children of Hillsides, a non-profit organization that services of the needs of at-risk youth.

Going back down...yes you best hold your breath and pray you'll make it down...

Going back down…yes you best hold your breath and pray you’ll make it down…

Interestingly the adjoining building to the Annex serves as a play area for any mountain climbing fanatics. Would like to try myself someday.

Interestingly the adjoining building to the Annex serves as a play area for any mountain climbing fanatics. Would like to try myself someday.

Walk around to the back of the building and you can see what used to be a steel mill, not open though, I'm afraid.

Walk around to the back of the building and you can see what used to be a steel mill, not open though, I’m afraid.

Now entering one of many studio lofts open for your viewing pleasure. Some will let you climb the stairs to the second floor to get a nice view of below.

Now entering one of many studio lofts open for your viewing pleasure. Some will let you climb the stairs to the second floor to get a nice view of below.  Some studios are jointly operated by more than one artists, such as this one of Susan Berkowitz and Madam X.

Some studios don't have the second floor, but it's still quite roomy.

Some studios don’t have the second floor, but it’s still quite roomy.

Some artists here literally make the Brewery here a home, and the exteriors of their studio shows...

Some artists here literally make the Brewery here a home, and the exteriors of their studio shows…

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Now this studio doubles as a gallery and a cooking class. No starving artists here....

Now this studio doubles as a gallery and a cooking class. No starving artists here….

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Inside of the Hipcooks studio/cooking lab. Upstairs is for the artist Patrick Hammerlein.

Most of the artists here at the Brewery practice modern and contemporary art, but there are few for the more classical taste.

Most of the artists here at the Brewery practice modern and contemporary art, but there are few for the more classical taste.

Some interesting displays here using 21st century technology, such as a laser-cut relief here.

Some interesting displays here using 21st century technology, such as a laser-cut relief here by Guillermo Bert.

Here some intaglio prints made from intricately laser-cut plates

Here some intaglio prints made from intricately laser-cut plates from the same guy from above.  His crafts is not limited to just laser cutting, as most artists here handle more than just one area of artistic expertise.

Laser cutting is not limited to 2D objects, obviously.

Laser cutting is not limited to 2D objects, obviously.  By Guillermo Bert.

This is that laser cutting machine the artist uses for all his projects. That can't be cheap to maintain. In addition the artist here offers commercial and freelance services with their crafts. After all artists have to make money to support their living...

This is that laser cutting machine the artist uses for all his projects. That can’t be cheap to maintain. In addition Mr. Bert here offers commercial and freelance services with their crafts. After all artists have to make money to support their living…

Skateboard art.

I think this is the House of Sloth, sorry I’m not too good at keeping track of artists here. Skateboard art.¬†

You can actually see some artists working at their table. This guy is into heavy metal for sure. You can have pleasant chats with the artists during the visit, but not all are so sociable.

You can actually see some artists working at their table. This guy is into heavy metal for sure. You can have pleasant chats with the artists during the visit, but not all are so sociable.

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Some cool metal carvings. If you’re into heavy metal or goth, this is for you.

This bridge sure looks like fun to cross. If only I knew how to get to it...

This bridge sure looks like fun to cross. If only I knew how to get to it…

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This artist specializes in lino-cut printmaking, which was made famous by the legendary Pablo Picasso, seen here on the top right; it's hard to miss.

This artist, Dave Lefner, specializes in lino-cut printmaking, which was made famous by the legendary Pablo Picasso, seen here on the top right; it’s hard to miss.

An old-fashioned artists table to keep papers of all kinds.

An old-fashioned artists table to keep papers of all kinds.

The printing press. I remember using this back in my printmaking class.

The printing press. I remember using this back in my printmaking class.

Now this is a really old-school printing press. Still usable, it seems.

Now this is a really old-school printing press. Still usable, it seems.

The artist's table in its full mess of a glory. I lost cound on how many different paints and brushes were in this pile of mess.

The conceptual prints and painting studio of David McKenney. ¬†The artist’s table in its full mess of a glory. I lost cound on how many different paints and brushes were in this pile of mess.

Remember that bridge? Yep I'm on it.

Remember that bridge? Yep I’m on it.

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Some lucky artists gets a really cool open rooftop space, and he's free to make it his home...

Some lucky artists gets a really cool open rooftop space, and he’s free to make it his home…

Inside the workspace. Not all studios are open, but can still enjoy it from the other side of the glass.

Inside the workspace. Not all studios are open, but can still enjoy it from the other side of the glass.

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Some Andy Warhol inspired paintings. Recognize any of the images here?

Some Andy Warhol inspired paintings. Recognize any of the images here?

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This guy obviously has a thing for uniformed schoolgirls.

This guy obviously has a thing for uniformed schoolgirls.

See, what I tell you. This gives me the creeps...

See, what I tell you. This gives me the creeps…

A nice inspirational quote from some of the biggest historymakers of the world.

A nice inspirational quote from some of the biggest historymakers of the world.

Anyone remember the GIMP from the movie PULP FICTION?

Anyone remember the GIMP from the movie PULP FICTION?

I think that's Mao and Kim Il-Sung under there...

I think that’s Mao and Kim Il-Sung under there…

Yep, pretty much everything here is wearing that gimp mask. What is going on here?

Yep, pretty much everything here is wearing that gimp mask. What is going on here?

I can see a Basquiat influence in these modern reimaging of history's famous paintings. I know this was from Caravaggio's

I can see a Basquiat influence in these modern reimaging of history’s famous paintings. I know this was from Caravaggio’s “Paul’s Conversion”

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The entrance to the studio of Andre Miripolski, the Absolut Artist.

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Miripolski’s style reminds me a lot of Keith Haring’s whimsical Surreal Pop colors. Apparently this guy takes a shark as his mascot…

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The backroom of the studio.

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Some artsy (and provocative) poster art that were a big thing in the 50s and 60s.

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You can tell a lot about the artist from the way he/she decorates their workspaces. Now this guy has a thing for Gundam robots.

You can tell a lot about the artist from the way he/she decorates their workspaces. Now this guy has a thing for Gundam robots.

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Robots in Love by Aaron (he doesn’t seem to have a last name.)

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Some of Aaron’s graphic comic-book style b/w art for sale.

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Some life sketches from his art school days for sale…yeah, from school, they’re worth something too…

What started out as a bunny plush gift from her husband gradually turned into a passion for collecting all things hoppity hop for Pasadena resident Candace Frazee and her husband Steve Lubanski.  First opened in 1998 it currently holds the Guiness World Record for the largest collection of rabbits and rabbit products.

The museum is situated in a residential neighborhood, an unlikely location for such bizarre place.  But it isn’t hard to find-just look for a huge bunny topiary in the front lawn of the house.

Yep you just can't miss it.

Yep you just can’t miss it.


Step Right into the Bunny Land

Step Right into the Bunny Land


Step right up.

Step right up.

Except for a really tight space which is not good for the claustrophobics and a pretty awful stench, be prepared for the walk on the wild hoppy side.

You are now entering the Bunny Zone...

You are now entering the Bunny Zone…


The first bunny that started it all.

The first bunny that started it all.


Hope you dont have rabbit phobias.

Hope you dont have rabbit phobias.


If you smoke a rabbit joint this is what it would look like.

If you smoke a rabbit joint this is what it would look like.


I'm dreaming of hoppy land

I’m dreaming of hoppy land


too. many. rabbits.

too. many. rabbits.


I must warn you, you need to hold your breath.

I must warn you, you need to hold your breath.


The proud Queen of the Bunnies, Candace Frazee.

The proud Queen of the Bunnies, Candace Frazee.


Every nook and cranny of this house has em.

Every nook and cranny of this house has em.


Rabbits love games too.

Rabbits love games too.


How many books on rabbits can there be.  More than you can imagine...

How many books on rabbits can there be. More than you can imagine…


Is this really the kitchen?

Is this really the kitchen?


Even the kitchen is not safe from the hoppy critters.

Even the kitchen is not safe from the hoppy critters.


How many different magnets can you spot here?

How many different magnets can you spot here?


Of course whats a Bunny Museum without a real Bunny

Of course whats a Bunny Museum without a real Bunny


If you like drawing hop on in with the chalks.

If you like drawing hop on in with the chalks.


Stepping out to the backyard..

Stepping out to the backyard..


Enter the Bunny Garden!

Enter the Bunny Garden!


All things hopity hop at every step of the way

All things hopity hop at every step of the way


The pathway of the Bunnyland

The pathway of the Bunnyland


The garden

The garden


You cant even peep through this window.

You cant even peep through this window.


Ah remember the movie SPACE JAM?

Ah remember the movie SPACE JAM?


Bunnies comes in all shapes sizes and materials here.  Even Cookie Jars.

Bunnies comes in all shapes sizes and materials here. Even Cookie Jars.


Hoppy pinatas

Hoppy pinatas


 Note this room no longer has the right to the sunshines from the window.

Note this room no longer has the right to the sunshines from the window.


My favorite Bugs Bunny in the house (And is that Donald Duck in the left?)

My favorite Bugs Bunny in the house (And is that Donald Duck in the left?)


You can easily get lost in this hall of furries

You can easily get lost in this hall of furries


Some creepy looking rabbit inspired masks.  Collected from various regions around the world, they are carved out of wood.

Some creepy looking rabbit inspired masks. Collected from various regions around the world, they are carved out of wood.


Some sparkly trinkets collected from Hong Kong back when they were celebrating the Year of the Rabbit in 2011.

Some sparkly trinkets collected from Hong Kong back when they were celebrating the Year of the Rabbit in 2011.


Collection from the White House Easter Egg Hunt.  Yes they are real.

Collection from the White House Easter Egg Hunt. Yes they are real.


What's a cat doing in a house full of bunnies?

What’s a cat doing in a house full of bunnies?


The original mascot of the museum, lovingly stuffed and displayed in its full glory

The original mascot of the museum, lovingly stuffed and displayed in its full glory


And more stuffed bunnies that have followed over the years.

And more stuffed bunnies that have followed over the years.


The Official Proof that this is the most collection of bunnies they ever had in one place

The Official Proof that this is the most collection of bunnies they ever had in one place

At the time of the visit I learned they are in the process of making a move to a bigger building within the next few months or so.  Which means more room for even more bunnies!

To stay tuned go to www.thebunnymuseum.com

Before the grandiose Getty Center of Santa Monica made its appearance in 1993 showcasing a huge collection of arts owned by the late oil tycoon / art enthusiast J. Paul Getty, there was the smaller first cousin that first built in 1954 at the heart of Pacific Palisades, the Getty Villa.  Built to replicate the classic Greek architectural designs, it Had undergone extensive renovation following the completion of its larger more modern cousin and currently houses the arts and artifacts of ancient Greece and Rome and the Etruria from the prehistoric Archaic period to the Hellenistic and beyond before the Middle Ages.  It is situated atop of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean right off the PCH.

On the particular day I went it was gloomy and drizzly, so the wet roads made for a treacherous ride, on top of the often notorious L.A. traffic jam, but otherwise it would made a pretty good drive along the California coast.

Movie poster for the upcoming Pixar movie INSIDE OUT. Pretty much says it all about LA freeways.  ;)

Movie poster for the upcoming Pixar movie INSIDE OUT. Pretty much says it all about LA freeways. ūüėČ

If you are into all things Greek and/or Roman then you should give this place a peek.  I myself was a sucker for all things Greek back in grade school, especially the myths and legends about the gods and goddesses and heroes, which of course play a huge role in the arts culture.  Every room is organized by different themes and time periods of which the exhibits represent, such as the Bronze Age, the Greco-Roman Arts, Gods and Goddesses, Funerary, and Mythologies.

View of the villa entrance from top of the outdoor amphitheater, which was of course inspired by the Greeks.

View of the villa entrance from top of the outdoor amphitheater, which was of course inspired by the Greeks.

The main hall

The main hall

Front view of the amphitheater.

Front view of the amphitheater.

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The Fertility Goddess of the Cycladic Age.

The Fertility Goddess of the Cycladic Age.

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The figure from the ancient Cycladic Age.  Back then women were the boss.

The figure from the ancient Cycladic Age. Back then women were the boss.

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The Kouros.  Early attempt to depict the human figure in sculptural form.  Not bad for first try.

The Kouros. Early attempt to depict the human figure in sculptural form. Not bad for first try.

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The Roman emperor Commodus (yes the real life historical inspiration for the GLADIATOR villain played by Joaquin Phenix.  They do bear some resemblance to one another,dont they?

The Roman emperor Commodus (yes the real life historical inspiration for the GLADIATOR villain played by Joaquin Phenix. They do bear some resemblance to one another,dont they?

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The outdoor gardens are piece of art of its own.  I can see Mr. Getty was also a Greek/Roman freak like I am.

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The Outer Peristyle, often the epitome of the Getty Villa

The Outer Peristyle, often the epitome of the Getty Villa

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After finishing the day with a cup of latte and a giant rice Krispy bar I take a nice scenic detour down the storied Sunset Bolevard since the PCH was undergoing some major road work and so the highway is pretty backed up.  It’s pretty windy (wine-dy) so you have to keep your eyes fixed on the road unless you’ve already signed a death warrant.  You’ll pass through some nice neighborhoods like Bel Air and Brentwood Village with houses you could only dream about (and if you’re super lucky just maybe spot your favorite star strolling down the street).

For more info about the Villa and its larger cousin in adjacent Santa Monica area, visit http://www.getty.edu/.

Tune in for another Field Trip Day review soon from Yours Truly.  Have nice day!  ūüôā

On the 20th of February I paid a visit to my former alma mater, the Cal State University at Long Beach.  I’ve heard they’ve revamped the University Art Museum, one of the more prestigious college based museums in California (considering CSULB is one of the top public funded art programs out of the Cal State systems).  I couldn’t begin to tell you about my experiences there where I got my art degree back in 2005, but I’ll save that for another time.  Meantime, it’s about the Museum.  They regularly feature new exhibits of modern and contemporary art from professional artists from in and out of California, and also hosts their annual Student Art Show in May.  It’s safe to say now I felt totally cheated out of my bid for a spot in these shows during my student years.

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This exhibition didn’t allow photographs so I just took the one that describes the installation.

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These are large size replicas of flower pollen.

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The above installation deals with the artists exploration of the behaviors of honeybees when they are busy collecting nectars for that sweet tasty honey we eat all the time.  The exhibit combines delicate sculptures made apparentLy out of some sort of fiberglass and audio that mimics the sounds made by bees.

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After that I went to view a new wing in the museum which actually used to be a computer lab, they just expanded.  Here they’ve added some collection of prints from artists like David Hockney to Andy Warhol, donated with generosity by MOCA.

 After that I paid a visit to a nice little farm next door to the campus, the Rancho Los Alamitos.  It’s situated within a private neighborhood and requires a permit from the security at the gate to enter, but it’s free.  It used to be a pretty big farm owned by wealthy family back in the early 1900s and now serves as a local tourist attraction.  The farm boasts numerous gardens of unique and exotic plant life.  The interior of main family house is by guided tour only and features antique and vintage furnitures and collectibles owned by the family.

An abstract from the website(www.rancholosalamitos.org):

Rancho Los Alamitos is twice listed on the National Register of Historic Places – once as the sacred Tongva village of Povuu‚Äôngna, the traditional birthplace of the native people of the Los Angeles Basin and, second, for the evolution of its significant historic landscape over time. The site includes traces of the ancestral village, an adobe-core ranch house ca.1800, four acres of lush historic gardens developed during the 1920s and 30s, and the restored working ranch barnyard of the early-mid 20th century. With the opening of the Rancho Center, the film, new exhibits and room environments feature the landscape, the people and the place over time and within the context of the development of the region and the state.
This exceptional site reveals the early Tongva presence, the Spanish and Mexican periods, the ranching and farming era, and the imprint of 20th century development. A quintessential place for people to experience the living story of southern California, Rancho Los Alamitos is a microcosm of the region, past to present.

Some pics from my quick hike around the farm:

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And yes you will see some animals around the barnyard:

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The Ranch is open all week except Mondays and Tuesday’s, 1-4 pm.  Guided tours are available, and they do offer event planning such as weddings and banquets.   

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