Downtown with Dad

Broad Museum entrance Broad Museum entrance (image is from here).

My dad and his neighbor drove down from Simi Valley this morning to spend a nice downtowny couple of hours with me. He’s a septuagenarian armchair technology enthusiast who’s thrilled with the idea of what The Future is bringing us right meow. So I figured it’d be not only convenient but exciting for my dad to grab a Lyft ride from my building to the Broad Museum - his first Lyft/Uber ride.

I waved at another Hispanic male driver of a silver Scion xB right before our actual Lyft driver, Jorge, arrived to whisk us off our feet. Dad peppered him with questions about his experience during our 5-minute, $5 ride down Wilshire, up Figueroa, down 4th, up Hope, round the corner at 2nd and Grand Ave. Though a lengthy queue had already formed for the 11:00 ticket-holders, we were still over 20 minutes early. Dad, Joe, and I strolled past Disney Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and the Taper Forum to get a good look at the cathedral at Temple St. before turning around, strolling past Grand Park and the county superior court on our way back.

My dad knows even less about art than I do, but Robert Therrien’s Under the Table gave him a chuckle (and a requisite photo with Joe). We wore laughingly perplexed expressions while wandering among artworks by Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Basquiat, Warhol, Ed Ruscha, Cy Twombly, et al. We also did the requisite wait in line for the requisite 45-second experience of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away… this time around, I got to experience the room alone, but it wasn’t the contemplative moment I’d hoped for. Museum staff failed to explain to line-waiters that the walkway was surrounded by water (one group made a mess splashing about) and quite a lot of talking and noise made their way into the room, cloudying the quiet that could have been there.

For more about the Broad, here’s this Washington Post write-up from September.

We left the Broad by way of Bunker Hill, passing by a Tommy’s truck, a Kogi truck, the Central Library, and glimpses of the Westin Bonaventure along the way. (Dad remembered when the Bonaventure was a relatively new building - perhaps when he and Mom trekked cross-country to stay in L.A. for one summer in the 1970s?)

We swung into 800 Degrees for a pizza stop, where Dad and Joe shared stories of what Queens, Brooklyn and Harlem were like in the 1970s. The final return leg of our trip took us past the Korean Air skyscraper construction site and over the 110; we had walked 2 miles in total at the end of it. I’m wondering about the last time Dad would have walked such city blocks in the midst of such swathes of city folk - probably not since he and Mom left Philadelphia in 1976.