We had tix that bookended the start and end of our day: the Broad museum as a starter and Pete Holmes and Friends at the Largo as a closer–both were sold out, so look at us, advanced planning! We grabbed some Starbucks and set off.
But as we zipped toward the Broad, a bright pink building caught our eye: the one and only Danny Trejo’s donut shop! Oh, yes!!
Machete makes a mean and fairly fancy artisanal donut!
We got a Maple Pig, Cocoloco, Horchata, and Abuelita (chocolate and not pictured)–they threw in a handful of Trejo-timbits. So much delicious sugar!! My clear winner was Cocoloco. Delish! So much sugar!
Fully fortified for our art adventure, we passed the lovely Disney Concert Hall on our route. The last time we were here, it had just opened. Now, the Hall is the cornerstone of a revitalized downtown LA arts district. See, arts matter!
As do donor relations. Eli Broad has long been an LA arts champion, board member, and donor, but those checks always come with strings. Last time we were here, Eli Broad’s unbelievable collection of contemporary art was believed to be heading to LACMA, but it did not. Broad decided, instead, to build his own museum to house a rotating selection from his more than 2000 pieces. And both the building and the art are extraordinary–and just as a teaser, you get a glimpse of what’s not on view, too.
In the galleries, which are lit both naturally through the slanted portholes and artificially, the light seems to shift over time and gives viewers a sense of how lighting changes one’s perception of the works. Cool!
One of our party can take or leave museums; another is very much NOT A FAN OF CONTEMPORARY ART. Guess who that is. If you’ve read in this blog of previous discussions on Marcel Duchamp, you may have a clue. If not, check out this series of photos.
Yep–you guessed right.
One of our party LOVES contemporary art. Guess who that is. She’s hidden in the mirrored surfaces of these perfectly vulgarly perfectly beautiful Koons Tulips (btw, check out the amazing reflection of the Broad’s ceiling honeycombs on all the mirrored Koons sculptures; a thousand times yes!);
or this Koons Rabbit;
Or this Balloon Dog.
That’s right–it’s me. And, for the second LA day in a row, I was wearing an outfit described as “on point” by an LA hipster. Represent Old Navy!
And, here’s my co-conspirator in adventure!
The Broad has a nice Keith Haring / Jean-Michel Basquiat room (see our trip to the AGO Basquiat show), and while I was looking at the Basquiat painting below and talking with Ned about a fascinating podcast analyzing the racial context of the legal costs and culture surrounding rap artists …
He looked distracted and said, Chris Meloni is right behind you. And he was, there in a beret was Elliott Stabler, appreciating Basquiat as everyone should. Like fat Mango does.
While we missed out on a ticket for Yayoi Kusama’s infinity room installation, we were cool with that as the entire traveling exhibit is coming to AGO. We did have tix for the Jasper Johns exhibit, which reminded me that I love his earlier more graphic work and can really leave his latter efforts. Later in the day, an older man in the Broad parking elevator referred to the Johns show as the “suckiest show I’ve seen in years.” Penn’s hero.
We left the Broad, walking past some artful berms and a crazily colored crosswalk and down a very steep hill …
to the jam packed Grand Central Market. If it’s edible or even potentially edible, it’s here.
We split up. I picked Bento, Harper chose GF Filipino rice, Ned and Penn the found the Mexican stall with the longest line–believing it a good sign. It might have been a sign of greatest value: check out that five pound serving of tacos, rice and beans smothered in avocado.
As we were leaving the market, I ran into an MCC faculty member because small universe. Her daughter lives in LA and she was heading back on a Friday red-eye, too. Ah, break week.
Across from the market is a cute little railway–Angel Flight–that has been running two tiny cars since 1901. Adorable! And it saved us from walking back up the hill–doubly adorable!
The shadows were lengthening and air growing colder as we hustled back to our parking spot at the Broad.
We paused a little while at the Andaz before heading out for dinner and the Pete Holmes show, which gave us a chance to explore the lobby. (And see Caroline Rhea check in–say hi to Sabrina!)
We napped while Ned met Alex and picked up our tickets–then Ubered over to meet them and Elspeth at a vegetarian place, Real Food Daily, near the Largo. They had scored second row seats and had heard from some others in line that the mystery musical guest might be the Avett Brothers. Ugh. I mean, they’re great.
The Largo is in a cute space, the Coronet, that used to be home to a small playhouse way back in the day. It has a charming courtyard and a VERY strict cellphone policy.
So this is the only inside photo I have;
You can see how close we were. When Ned nodded knowingly at one of Pete Holmes’s jokes, Holmes pointed at him and said, This guy gets it. The “and friends” of the Pete Holmes and friends were brought to the stage in order of career advancement. Holmes first tried out some brand new material and then tested other new jokes as interstitial transitions. He was in a great mood because his HBO show Crashing had just been picked up for a third season. The musical guest was not the Avett Bros but an acoustic male/female duo who covered a series of songs (inc one by the Weepies!) with lovely harmonies and sly wit. The show built to a “very special guest” and we had been guessing over dinner who it could be.
No one came close.
It was Adam Sandler!
There, five feet from us, fully human, nervous, happy, and really funny was Adam Sandler. He tried out new material and songs that he read from loose leaf paper pulled from a binder. He apologized when he stumbled over words; restarted a few songs when he missed a beat; thanked us all for being so nice and responsive even though we were probably tired; and was quite unexpectedly charming. And, he pointed at Harper and Penn and gave them a shout out!
It fascinated all of us to watch someone who didn’t need to risk anything at this point in his career–and who probably got advice NOT to risk anything–take the stage in a small club (200 seats) and work out what seems to be a reinvention via return to stand-up. And, again, he was really funny! The laughs he got from all of us were genuine and lasting.
What a great night!
We fell into our beds ready to dream colorful, joyful, and delicious only-in-LA dreams.