Carmageddon: Staycation at LACMA

July 13, 2011
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Richard Diebenkorn, Freeway and Aqueduct, 1957. Painting, oil on canvas. 23 1/4 x 28 in. Gift of William and Regina Fadiman. M.86.68. © Richard Diebenkorn. Currently on public view in the Ahmanson Building, room 216.

This Diebenkorn from 1957 captures the visual sensation of traveling in a fast car on an empty freeway—an experience you’re unlikely to have anywhere in Southern California for 53 infamous hours this weekend.

If you live in central Los Angeles and you’re planning to be penned in by this weekend’s epic car-pocalypse, fear not. There are various efficient and often pleasant ways to reach the museum without going near a freeway.

Metro is running extra buses during the freeway closure. The 720 Metro Rapid Wilshire bus is free all weekend and stops on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, half a block west of our main entrance.  (We’ve even got benches to sit on while you wait for the bus, thanks to the recent improvements to the façade of LACMA West.)

Waiting for the bus, corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.

As someone who bicycles to work, I recommend two-wheeled alternatives. (Little-known fact: In Los Angeles, it is legal to cycle on the sidewalk, as long as you do so slowly and respect the safety of those on foot.) Check out bike maps via LADOT—the one for Central City and Westside suggests various routes to reach LACMA.

You could take a helicopter to LACMA, if you prefer to be airborne and can afford the ticket.  One local tour operator is even offering helicopter tours over the 405, complete with champagne.

Once you’ve solved the matter of how to get here, you’ll probably want to stay awhile before braving city streets again. Between 11 am and 8 pm both days, you can take respite in our air-conditioned galleries, enjoy a Burton-inspired monster matinee  (The Thing, 2 pm on Saturday), hear some live music for free, bring the kids for storytelling, and grab a meal in our new restaurant before catching one of our current exhibitions.

Meanwhile, let other visitors know how you reached LACMA this weekend via Twitter, #lacmaroute.

Amy Heibel