Friday, March 1, 2019

Los Angeles: Rails, Art and Lunch

Despite its car culture, Los Angeles offers escapes from stop and go traffic.

Our family recently took an enjoyable trip on Metrolink, from the suburbs to downtown LA - - and back.  Metrolink is the regional commuter railroad serving the Los Angeles area.  In addition to LA County service, it’s seven lines and 534 miles of track extend into Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura Counties.

Photograph courtesy of Metrolink
A Metrolink consist, “consist” is the term for the locomotive and railroad cars in a train, includes a front and rear locomotive with up to six double-decker passenger coaches in between.  Passenger seating is basic but comfortable.  Coaches are accessible to people with disabilities.  Each train has a quiet car and a car whose lower level is configured to carry bicycles.  Some coaches even have space for surfboards - - but not on the roof.

A Metrolink train ride is usually smooth and quick.  The ride feels even quicker if the train is traveling next to a freeway at rush hour. 

Photograph courtesy of Metrolink
When you purchase a Metrolink ticket, that ticket allows you to transfer from Metrolink to buses in other transit system or Los Angeles’ subway or light rail lines.  Before you go, check if the transfer is free or requires added payment.  For example, a Metrolink/subway transfer is free; a Metrolink/express Metro Bus transfer requires an added fare.

We took Metrolink on the way to the Broad, a contemporary art museum in downtown LA.  According to the museum’s website, it has over 2,000 works of art, comprising “one of the world’s most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art.”

Admission to the Broad is free.  However, it’s best to make reservations in advance.   The Broad also has a standby line for walk-up museum admission on a first-come, first-served basis. However, I do not know how soon a standby visitor can enter the museum. 

We went to the Broad to see a vivid and different work of art, Infinity Mirrored Room, The Souls of Millions of Light Years, by Yayoi Kusama.  This Room is one of two at the Broad. 
This “work of art” is a small room that holds up to three adults.  Its walls are lined with mirrors; small colored lights, the size of those on Christmas trees, are suspended in the room. 

Once inside the room, the lights come on and, for several seconds, flash and then stop.  Time in the room is limited to 45 seconds per group. 

The combination of lights and mirrors is amazing.  It appears that a person is landing at an airport near a big city at night with the lights beneath or it appears that a person is standing on a summit and seeing an infinite number of galaxies and stars. 

The museum website cautions, “If you are uncomfortable with flashing lights and/or enclosed, dark spaces, please bypass this experience.” 
After seeing this installation and other works of art, we went down the street to lunch.  We chose Lemonade, a chain of 28 restaurants throughout California, which sells an appealing variety of foods, lemonades and other beverages.  Lemonade's menu has something for everyone, for omnivores, vegetarians and vegans.
Photo courtesy of Lemonade Restaurants
Lemonade has a cafeteria-like serving layout.  Diners take a tray and walk down the line choosing from a great variety of salads, “bowls,” hot entrees, sandwiches, desserts and many lemonade flavors.  

Lemonade Restaurant on Flower Street, Los Angeles.  Photograph courtesy of Lemonade
Food at Lemonade is fresh, appealing and served quickly.  The menu includes traditional food, such as macaroni and cheese or barbeque brisket, and newer recipes such as red quinoa and Fuji apples or kale and faro. 
A Lemonade bowl and, a lemonade.  Photograph courtesy of Lemonade
At the Lemonade on South Flower in downtown LA, manager Rockey Dominguez and his staff were efficient, welcoming and happily answered questions about the food on offer.

A person dining at Lemonade can order as large or small of a meal as they want.  One is not compelled to order one of those super-sized meals that will leave you stuffed until bed-time. 

The ride home on Metrolink was smooth, fast and on time.  As an added bonus, our seats on the upper level of a coach offered a great view of the San Gabriel Mountains and the big weather that they generate.
Thanks to Paul Gonzales, Scott Johnson, Rockey Dominguez and Kelly Hansen for their help in preparing this post!




  1. Well written and very informative. If you were to reflect on the existential aspects you take it to the next level.

  2. Thanks for reading and for commenting! Whichever level we are on, it was a great day.

  3. My friend Dave read this post and wrote back, via e-mail, "All Aboard." Thanks for reading and commenting Dave. I also heard from my friends Laura, Chris, Don and Bob. Glad to hear from all of you.

  4. Very well-written and very informative. Well done Mr. John!

  5. I love this post! You did such a great job describing Kusama's work!