24 hours in Los Angeles

Lots of people fly into Los Angeles on their way to somewhere else and perhaps they find they have 12 or 24 hours of time to explore. There is the obvious mouse kingdom, but there is so much more to do and see. Recently my daughter Sarah Harriet and I flew into LAX via Southwest Airlines to spend slightly more than 24 hours in Los Angeles.

Witness the evolution of an architectural boundary jumper.
Frank Gehry special exhibit at LACMA is open until March 20, 2016

We went specifically to see a taping of the Rob Bell presentation of Everything is Spiritual. Plus we had tickets the next day to view the Frank Gehry special exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Amazing collection of architectural renderings and models.
Frank Gehry’s retrospective illustrates the importance of perseverance and staying true to your vision.

We filled in the blanks with great food and shopping.

We arrived in the late afternoon on a Thursday. After a wild shuttle bus ride, we rented a car from Payless Car Rental. It was fast and easy. I commented on this and the clerk said, “You are just renting the car not buying.” Someone should tell all the other rental companies who still give me a 2 pound agreement in triplicate.

We drove to our Doubletree Hotel in Santa Monica and dropped our bags. We left right away for dinner after a quick search on Yelp. The traffic to Lares was stop and go and parking was a challenge. It was worth the effort. I enjoyed my enchiladas–one with mole and one with red sauce. Sarah and I enjoyed a great conversation and while we were waiting for our check an un-mariachi band played. It was quite lovely.

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Yummy Mexican food with good service in Lares restaurant in Santa Monica.

The Rob Bell performance was very thought provoking. Read more about it on http:leaderscompass.org.  We had fun.

The next day after breakfast and yarn shopping, we enjoyed the easy parking at LACMA. We bought our tickets to the Frank Gehry exhibit in advance. Our admission also gave us access to most other parts of the vast museum complex. We had time to view one more special exhibit: New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919-1933. As soon as I walked into the gallery I knew my friend Jim Adan would love the show catalog. Every decadent piece was something he would love. (I was right. He is thrilled with the catalog.) Go see it before it closes on January 18. (LACMA tickets: $25 per adult for Gehry exhibit/museum admission; $12 for parking)

By this time we were going to be cutting it close to get back to LAX vicinity and return our car, and so on. It was worth the little bit of stress. We had such a memorable time.

Walk Chicago’s Michigan Avenue

Downtown Chicago is the most beautiful downtown in the USA. Just walk Michigan Avenue. I stayed at Club Quarters at Wacker and Michigan. I walked across the Chicago River and a few blocks and the shopping began. Nordstrom and Bloomingdales are not architecturally interesting, but its the inside that matters.

Walk back across the river and a couple of blocks and you are at Millenium Park and a block or two from the South Lakeshore Drive.

Frank Gehry designed the Jay Pritzger Pavilion at Millenium Park
Frank Gehry designed the Jay Pritzger Pavilion at Millenium Park


There is the famous Cloud, which is always different depending on the weather and the people interacting with the sculpture.

The Cloud in Millenium Park
The Cloud in Millenium Park



These are new sculptures from my last visit to Chicago. People have already created ways to interact with them.


Across the street from Millenium Park is the Art Institute of Chicago. I have spent many hours on previous trips. This time I only visited the bookstore (a terrific bookstore). The walk along the park continues all the way to Field Museum and Soldier Field.


The park goes on. I have never walked past Soldier Field. There is a city bike rental program if you want to find a quick way to get back.