Los Angeles is known for many things from its movie business to the busiest highways in the country, but something that many people tend to forget is its wealth of quality art museums. There are only two other cities in America where you can see more—New York and Chicago. Even if you aren’t into old renaissance paintings or outlandish conceptual art, there will be a museum for you in Los Angeles.
Here are just a few of the best and most notable museums in LA:
The Broad— This museum is LA’s newest (for now) and most instagrammable museum of art. The museum opened just over a year ago and is already one of LA’s hottest destinations. It features many famous artists from Andy Warhol to Takashi Murakami to Jeff Koons. Even if you aren’t a fan of modern/contemporary art there will be something here that interests you, not only that, but it’s free! It is very popular, so you better be willing to wait in line to get in. It is also conveniently located only a few blocks from the Pershing Square metro station so you can get there easily on the red or purple lines.
If you’re staying local during the winter break, now would be a great time to go on a museum-hopping adventure. Many of the country’s finest museums are scattered around the Los Angeles area and conveniently accessible from USC. Each museum features something unique, including paintings, photography, sculpture, and new media, and showcases various time periods from ancient to classical to contemporary. I have listed some of my favorite museums as well as fun places to eat and explore after your visits.
MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Downtown Los Angeles is located across the street from the Broad Museum, which makes for a fun, double-museum day visit. The MOCA’s permanent collection includes works from Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollack. Its featured exhibitions are always fun, thought- provoking, and always changing.
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, located in the Little Tokyo Historic District, is the sibling museum of MOCA on Grand Avenue. Pro tip: present the ticket stub from your first MOCA visit and receive free admission to the other MOCA museum, if visited on the same day.
Marathon running is meant for pros. But for those of us who are not pros and who house a vaguely masochistic streak, marathons can also be a good lifestyle choice. Pain aside, long distance running increases your stamina and energy and gets progressively easier the more you do it. It’s one of the best ways to see different parts of LA in the shortest amount of time, and, in my opinion, a pretty good way to kill a Sunday. Most importantly though, intense running sessions are great for justifying an addiction to snacks. So, of what does marathon training consist? Oh, you innocents.
Running long distance begins with a few weekly runs of 5-ish miles, and one big run every Sunday for punishment. 🙂 Generally, the Sunday runs are over 13 miles, the longest being a 22 mile stretch that starts at Dockweiler Beach, goes through Santa Monica and Venice, and loops back around to Dockweiler. This route takes approximately 4-5 hours to accomplish. So let’s talk about this one.
We start at a Dockweiler bathroom coated in the kind of graffiti you want to see more of, a nice inspiration for the hours ahead. For the most part, this run takes place along the beach. It’s reliable because there are water fountains along the course so you can run out of fluids without freaking out. We all bring some form of electrolyte sugar, whether in gummy, goo, or powerade form. Most don’t realize that once you break the 14 mile threshold, you risk running low on sodium and minerals, as those are also lost through sweat. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and, therefore, can be easily digested. Ingesting sugar will ensure a steady stream of energy, and reduce the risk that you will hit what is colloquially known to runners as “the wall”, or the point where your body stops burning excess calorie and instead breaks directly into your fat stores. “The wall” feels like death, so sugar is recommended.
Anyway, we go up through Venice Beach, passing tents full of vendors and their wares, each offering both sub-par and over-par paintings for sale, as well as an assortment of odds and ends. Graffiti coated pillars rise from the sand; muscle-strapped men and women work out on gym-equipment; people run by with miniature parachutes strapped to their butts (I assume this is a new-fangled workout routine). Yes, yes indeed: this is my favorite beach in Southern California.