Not only was this past weekend Memorial Day weekend, Memorial Day and Larry’s birthday both fell on May 30. I had asked if he wanted to go all out and I think we had gone all-out just a month ago, so Larry was much more in tune with going small. He wanted to explore the newly-reopened and newly-renovated Petersen Automative Museum, so that was one thing to put on the list easily enough. For dinner, he wanted to go back to Terroni, where we had thought of having the rehearsal dinner at one point, and again, that was easy enough to accommodate.
I started the day off by making waffles for breakfast, in a turn from the normal order of events, as I’m not usually the cook. They turned out alright. One day I’ll remember the small details like keeping the plates warmed, having butter soft for the waffles, etc. This was not that day. Regardless, the food was good.
We headed out to the museum around 2pm, and it was happily not a heavy traffic day on the roads. I think people still hadn’t come back from vacation yet. Anyway, we had gone and visited the Petersen back in 2011, and when looking at my archives, I see that I didn’t post the pictures from then. So why not rectify that now, and give you a sense of what’s changed, as it certainly has changed!
Pics from Oct 2011 at the “old” Petersen Auto Museum
Okay, so the whole museum was shut down for most of 2015 to do the extensive renovation, and in December reopened. Larry & I have driven by the museum a few times as well as walked by it on our wedding day and the new exterior is wild. It is certainly eye-catching, although I know that some aren’t big fans of it.
The New Petersen Auto Museum’s Facade
It’s across the street from LACMA and the under-construction Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts & Sciences museum behemoth, so it’s perfectly positioned in the fun museum area. Also a great place to park if LACMA is mobbed. As you’ll see in the pictures below, the renovation cleaned up and opened up the museum space quite a bit. It’s very modern-looking. There used to be a cheesy-but-still-awesome exhibit of the evolution of Los Angeles you could walk through as seen in the “old” pictures. I miss that, but the cars on display are pretty damn cool.
We started at the top, as recommended, and there are unique cars in automotive history mixed in with famous cars from TV and the movies. Of particular note: the DeLorean from Back to the Future, which of course is probably worth the price of admission. We had previously seen it on the Universal Studios’ mini-museum where they display movie memorabilia….
…but as you can see, the DeLorean was behind glass there. Happily, the Petersen puts the car out there and you can really get a better look. Still can’t touch it or sit in it. 🙁 Anyway, lots of great things to see at the museum. The lower floors had some cool exhibits of the various and slightly crazy ways we’ve tried to use alternate fuels, looking back all the way to the 1910s up to and including of course a Tesla. I personally liked when they strapped on giant tanks of some vaporous gas on top of the car. Real thing that was there, I swear! On the bottom floor was an exhibit of various concept cars built by Bugatti, all of them wildly glamorous and so of their time (1920s & 30s). So great to see. All in all, still a wonderful museum.
The Petersen in the Here and Now! Top Floor Exhibition Cars
The Petersen’s “Sexy Silver” Second Floor Section
There was an exhibit on the second floor that just basically shoved glamorous and sexy silver cars at you and made you feel bad for not being rich and being able to even consider getting in one of these cars, let alone own one. But damn, I was okay with that – these cars were fucking gorgeous. I’ll take one of each, please?
The Rest of the Petersen
After the museum, it was time for some dinner at Terroni, so we drove up a few blocks to the Grove to park there, as we were going to be there a bit before the restaurant’s valet was going to be open, and I wasn’t sure if parking was gonna be a bitch or not. Anyway, when parking at the Grove, I thought I knew where I was going when leaving the lot, but I was wrong. Hahhahahaha, good times. I made us walk pretty much the longest way possible and so we got a bit of a walking tour around the Grove, Farmer’s Market, and CBS Television City. Happily, it was a nice day. We finally did make it to the restaurant and proceeded to have a wonderful dinner, starting with an antipasto platter that had lots of prosciutto and burrata cheese….YUM. The main courses were also wonderful, as were the glass(es) of montepulciano we delighted in. Dessert was NOT to be had here though as I had made a birthday cake the night before, and damn, that was/is a good cake. Made it while watching The Force Awakens on blu-ray, which is still a great movie.