Directly across from the De Young Museum by the Golden Park is the LEED certified California Academy of Scenes. This is one fantastic science museum – an edifice of light ! Iconically supporting a 2.5 acre green roof, with solar panels bordering its numerous Skylights. Designed by Italian Architect Renzo Piano (he of the impressively new 2015 Whitney Museum in NYC).
This magnificent structure houses the Kimball Natural History Museum, Steinhart aquarium, the Morrison planetarium AND a tropical forest habitat!
The reptile collection is worth coming alone – even if just for Claude the albino alligator!
Big Sur is a beautiful, rugged 100-mile stretch on California’s central coast, running between Carmel and San Simeon.
The name “Big Sur” is derived from the original Spanish-language “el sur grande”, meaning “the big south”, and invokes images full of winding turns, seaside cliffs and views of the often-misty ocean.
Well – you’re mental images deserve to visit the stunning vistas! Big Sur is just one of the many pleasures that California has to offer; one of the things I can recommend easily to to drive US Route 1 between San francisco and Los Angles.
O’Neill House In 1978, Directly on 507 N. Rodeo Drive, Art Dealler Don O’Neill began the construction of this beautiful house built as homage to Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi. In a seeming tribute to its muse, it was not fully finished until after O’Neill’s death in 1998. Today we can all enjoy gazing at its facade and imagining the wonders the interiors must have.
Spadena House or The Witch’s House
At the corner of Walden Drive and Carmelita is this very special site, The house was designed by cinematic art director Harry Oliver. Built in 1921 in west LA as offices for a film studio, it could have been a set piece of Oz. The entire structure was moved to its present location in 1934 by the Spadena family.
Honorable Mention There were two spots we ran into randomly and really enjoyed. We didn’t get to spend enough time at either to get a full vision, but they both brightened our day. If you’re in the area, they are definitely worth a look.
We stumbled into Chan Darae hungry, bordering on cranky. We took a chance on Thai after our myriad of New York City experiences where the majority of Thai food is saturated with old oil. To our pleasant surprise it was succulent, light and non-greasy, while allowing us to happily keep exploring L.A.!
1511 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028 (North of Sunset)
Mon-Sun: 11:00am – 11:00pm
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday
10:00 am – 6:00 pm Saturday – Sunday
9:30 am – 6:00 pm Monday – Friday
9:30 am – 8:00 pm Saturday – Sunday – holidays
The current design of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium was achieved by the architects Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis; who later, in 1988, received an honorary Award from he American Institute of Architects for their outstanding work.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium was the first in the world to grow live California Giant Kelp. One of their signature attractions, you relax on perfectly placed benches and marvel at the 8.5m (27.8 ft.) tall kelp forest as Pacific creatures flit between the waving strands, swaying like the hair of some sea-deep leviathan. Sardines, leopard sharks, wolf-eels, rockfish… the tank swirls with life as it circulates fresh salt-water direct from the Bay combined with a wave machine to create an endless dance of life.
In their tranquil fluidity, the jellyfish rooms create an ambience that seems to reflect the regions psychedelic history. Perfect, Kreisel tanks (aquariums with slow, circular water flows, no hard corners and a minimum interior hardware) prevent the delicate life from geting hurt while their circular flow moves the translucent forms as if suspended in orbit.
Other exhibits include Giant Pacific Octopuses, Sea Horses and the ever favorite Sea Dragons. At the back of the aquarium, overlooking the pacific is “Life on the Bay.” A place to spot wild sea otters, pelicans, dolphins, harbor seals, sea birds and the rest of the denizens of the coast.
The Monterrey Bay Aquarium is deeply commited to marine life conservation and you can easily learn about and become involved in the different campains end awareness programs they offer, such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.
From the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Press Release:
In the Ocean’s Edge galleries, fresh seawater is pumped continuously and directly from Monterey Bay to maintain the great diversity of plant and animal life in the exhibits. By day, filtration leaves the water clear for public viewing. At night, unfiltered seawater flows through the exhibits. The raw seawater not only sustains filter-feeding animals, it also carries in spores and larvae of plant and animal life that settle and grow in the exhibits – making the exhibits a “living extension” of the bay. Water enters through two 16-inch-diameter, 980-foot-long intake lines located 55 feet deep in the bay. Pumps draw up to 2,050 gallons of seawater per minute into the aquarium seawater distribution system, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – more than a billion gallons of water a year. Four operating modes permit varying levels of filtration, from raw seawater to pressure-sand-filtered, de-embolyzed seawater. Most aquariums are located on polluted bodies of water or inland of the coast, making “open” system designs like this impossible.
Originally built as an apartment complex in the 1950’s The Mondrian is now part of the Morgan’s hotel group (inc. the Hudson, Morgans, Royalton, Delano….). Originally designed by Philip Stark in 1984, the building facade was then painted in color blocks like a Piet Mondrian canvas. A further redesign by Benjamin Noriega Ortiz from BNO Design brings the hotel into its present state. The lobby and Lounge areas on the ground floor are softly touched with color changing LED Lights and a splattering of beautiful designed furniture, creating the perfect diorama for the good looking patrons that visit the hotel.
The pool area is the star of the show, surrounded by day beds, giant ottomans and tanned bodies. In the evenings it is transformed into an attractive scene with some simple, yet effective furniture moves. The restaurant is surrounded by fantasy, with giant planters and fairly lights in the surrounding trees.
The rooms are ample and comfortable, if a bit cool in atmosphere. Pluses for hidden plasmas and the expansive balconies. If you stay here, ask for a balcony room looking over the pool & city.
The staff was attractive and amiable for the most part. The exception being the Night Bouncer at the pool lounge. He was unnecessary, over-forceful and turned what should have been a glamourous setting into a something akin to a popular nightclub.