Ups and Downs 4

We saw this elegant set of stairs during our recent visit to Los Angeles. It’s the Bunker Hill Steps in Downtown LA, facing the Central Library. The 103 steps were desiged by the architect Lawrence Halprin and completed in 1990. A sign at the top of the steps claims that they “were modeled in theory on the Spanish Steps in Rome but more pleasingly asymmetrical in execution”.

Of Mice and Men

Despite what you might expect, the displays in the Natural History Museum in LA aren’t all about flora and fauna. The “Becoming Los Angeles” permanent exhibition covers 500 years of SoCal history, from Spanish missions to the present.

We liked the rather makeshift looking workbench above. It was made in 1923 by Walt Disney, from old packing crates and a camera. It was used as an animation stand for making Mickey Mouse cartoon movies. There is even a note written by Walt, reminding the animators what to do.

Skin and Bone

The older display rooms at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History have dioramas of African and American animals. Taxidermy is rather out of fashion these days, so the dioramas are a bit of a blast from the past. However the animals look so arrestingly lifelike that even kids, who generally expect something more dramatic than a stuffed animal, stand mesmerised by them.

Skeletons in the Closet

On entering the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, the first thing you see is this dramatic pair of dinosaurs – Tyrannosaurus Rex on the left, battling it out with Triceratops on the right. They are replicas of fossils in museum’s collection. Between the museum and the nearby Expo/Vermont Metro station, you can see what these monsters looked like in the flesh.

Paint the Town

Last month we featured several Pow!Wow! Long Beach murals on our blog  but that was just a small sample. Here are some more; all of them were work in progress at the time we saw them. That’s Pantonio painting manta rays on the aquarium above. And Dragon76 below.


Hitotzuki on the side wall of the so-called psychic temple.


And Sean ‘Hula’ Yoro, who had to paddle board out to his mural under Queensway Bridge.​ Nice commute!