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
Who doesn’t love 60s neon!?
Had totally forgotten that Larry was working on a beard at one point in 2011
There was a very cool Los Angeles diorama section showing the evolution of LA highways
Sadly, it’s gone, but not forgotten
Couldn’t tell you if this is racist or not
Cheesy, but I still did like the immersion
There was a supercar exhibit back then
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….
Larry on the Lot!
…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
Larry at the Petersen!
The redesigned museum is quite modern now
Steve McQueen’s Jaguar
It’s an interesting museum and very open
Magnum P.I.’s Ferrari
I believe I carved a Ferrari once out of a bar of soap
The Delorean from Back to the Future
Larry’s out of time!
Worth the price of admission alone
It was the one previously displayed at Universal’s mini-museum
Back to the future of 1985!
Zoom into the time machine’s guts
Pretty intense exhaust ports
Gull-wing doors are pretty damn cool
Herbie the Love Bug
One of the villain’s cars in Die Another Day
The Batmobile from Tim Burton’s Batman movies
The pretty intense console
VW Bus from Little Miss Sunshine
A great orange convertible
A fascinating LA mural
Only one made, and restored for 22 years after saved from a junkyard
My command console, or a AAA exhibit
That map progressively changed over time to show how the freeways grew
The EV1, the first mass-produced electric car. Only 40 left undestroyed.
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 sexy silver car exhibit – these cars are legit insane
Love the red lines
Cars certainly aren’t made like this anymore
This car has a central seat for the driver, with two side seats shifted slightly behind for passengers.
ZZ Top’s custom car
The Rest of the Petersen
interesting way to have a turn signal
Larry inspecting his new Maserati
Checking out the engine and transmission of a Maserati
Comfy interior – Maserati probably charges more for these pieces than my whole Mazda
On the first floor were a bunch of great concept old-school Bugatti cars
I personally loved this car the most, for reasons
The BMW art car painted up by Calder
Autopia series – this one was of the 210-605 interchange I’m very acquainted with
Looking out the window and through the new facade
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.
Birthday Dinner & Birthday Cake
Larry at his birthday restaurant, Terroni
And here’s his birthday cake, made by me!
Made it from a recipe and kit from Baked, based in Brooklyn