Last weekend Payam and I tagged along with my friend Teri to tour an old art monument in LA called The Triforium. It’s a huge monstrosity right in the middle of downtown sitting on top of the LA Mall, that itself is a ghost town. It’s one of those malls from the seventies that was partially upgraded in the nineties and looks worse for it. I didn’t take any pictures of the ugliness of the mall but you can take my word for it. Sometimes I think we are better off just leaving things alone.
There is a group trying gather interest in the structure in order to refurbish it but personally, it feels a bit of a lost cause. It’s one of those sad old things that everyone has an opinion about but nobody really can get anywhere on because it is mired in politics. It kind of reminds me of the Eiffel Tower and that museum that has all of it’s ducting on the outside of the building. Everybody hates it and then over time people begin to love it because it’s sentimental just because it’s been there so long being hated by everyone.
The structure itself is kind of pretty. The glass tiles used to light up in synchronicity with bell music that was played from below. But because it was built ahead of it’s time, it was rigged with a computer that was doomed from the get-go. It only functioned properly for about two years (maybe not even that) before it broke and became more and more of a problem.
At the time it was designed the artist had grand visions of it being interactive with the plaza around it. He wanted pressure points around the plaza to make it light up and play. Wouldn’t that be cool? Can you imagine the public music people could make? But the computer was twenty years ahead of it’s time and it never worked and he ran out of money before he got to the pressure plates…. So it sits doing nothing and everyone wonders what the heck it is. And then someone designed these really ugly speaker covers for it that look like giant ladybugs but that’s probably another story.
We were able to go below and look at the command center through a tour with Atlas Obscura. But it was kind of a disappointment because the room was so tiny and our group filled it up to sticky humidity levels. I could barely stand being inside because it was so hot and claustrophobic.
It was neat to see a room that hadn’t been touched since the 90’s though. They even had an old play-list scribbled on a pad of paper that included holiday hits from Pottery Barn and the soundtrack from Ally McBeal. The city used to pay employees from the local Sbarro restaurant to come down and hit play from time to time.
So that was kind of cool. But what is cooler was finding Atlas Obscura! I totally want to sign up for their mailing list and go explore other interesting things. Maybe some underground tours in London! (Which is coming up by the way, squeeeee!)
After the tour we walked down Olvera Street because we were right there. I love LA and I always forget how bored I am of Orange County until I’m there. There is just so much more to look at and experience. Don’t get me wrong, I love my safe haven of a neighborhood and all the wonderful greenbelts but you can only take so much beige after a while.
Sometimes you need some color and some Mexican food!!!
At the end of the street there is a plaza where they play salsa music out of loud speakers and everyone is out dancing. It was so beautiful with the sun going down. Slivers of golden light shot through the trees and broke up the long shadows on the painted pavement. Old women were dancing with old men, young girls in their shorty-shorts were waving their long skinny tanned arms above their heads… I felt like I was back in time in New York in the seventies, where it was hot and sticky and maybe there would be a fire hydrant somewhere that might shoot water into the sky for kids to play in.
I was so busy making instagram movies I didn’t take any pictures. But maybe that’s okay. Sometimes the memories are better with words and pictures inside your head anyway.
In other news! I have chosen a winner!
KRISTEN who commented with this funny joke: Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl when it goes to the toilet? Because the P is silent.
You win because I actually laughed out loud and your joke is totally appropriate for my gross and disgusting joke book. Check your email and I will send you a copy! Yay! Thank you for playing, all seven of you!
I know. Why do I keep this blog alive? It is dying a slow, slow, painful death. I am just unwilling to pay the mucho bucks it would take to make a book out of it and I’m too invested in my old stories and pictures to let it go. So I keep on paying for hosting and punch out a post here and there. And I super appreciate you old-timers who keep on reading after all these years.