Category Archives: Los Angeles

LA – Walt Disney Hall, Broad Museum and Warner Bros Studio

We had read about the Broad Museum of Contemp Art in downtown LA. Good news – it was free, bad news was only standby available and a two hour wait. I don’t do line-ups calmly (yes, even though I’m a Brit), so we decided on the spur of the moment to go and do a tour of the Walt Disney Hall next door which consists of 4 buildings and theatres and houses the LA Phil, Opera, Choral and theatre. The building is designed by Frank Gerry and is super cool – tried to show this in pics below – the tour reminded me of the Sydney Opera House tour. The building is amazing and photos don’t do it justice. This tour was free and lasted two hours – we definitely lucked out. 

Views of Walt Disney Concert Hall


Afterwards we headed back to the Broad (pronounced Brode- I only know this as heard someone else on the staff talking about it). Queue was right down by then so we got in there too – lots of Koons, Murakami (thanks to Emma D I know who this is –  see the bright cartoon style pic and the “I’m Mandy fly me” sculpture), Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein etc).  Fab place which really shows off the art with huge ceilings. 

Final day I visited Warner Bros for more serious studio tour than the more fun Universal one. Saw the original set of Friends, some super heros, facades (the one with the steps and ajar door is the one that the original TV Batman and Robin used to run up to visit Commissioner Gordon to find out he latest drama to hit Gotham that they had to solve. That scene was shown in 70 plus episodes but was only shot once:). And I don’t care what anyone says – Adam West did the spandex best!) and also some more Harry P – can one ever have enough of him?

The Broad and Warner Bros


Next stop – “Godzone” – aka New Zealand (part one) 

In which I spend a day in the land of make believe and get a photo taken with one of my idols – that will make sense mostly to my ANZ HR colleagues1

Back to being a kid for the day with a visit to Universal Studios – studio tours, gut wrenching rides (what they can do now with graphics on rides is amazing but a bit daunting when your body is doing one thing but your brain is seeing another). I fear I may be getting to the point where some of these 4D rides and my stomach are no longer in sync. I much prefer a good old roller coaster where brain and body are doing crazy things but they are real! Harry Potter’s Wizarding World was pretty fab and a primary reason for visiting. All in all a good day out notwithstanding the wobbly legs…

Jaws, Hogwarts, The Simpsons

More Hogwarts, Sherlock and a beefeater who sneezed causing this effect – it would never happen in real life!

And who did I meet that got me so excited?

Dora and Susie – fellow Explorers!

A Day in West Hollywood

Long walks around the local area – this is a treat as there are not many parts of LA that are walkable but West Hollywood is one of them. Joined Karen and some other longstanding friends of ours – Paul and Murray – and had a very enjoyable dinner at La Boheme. The pics below show our very cool hotel – the Mondrian – where we are trying our best to be cool too – and probably not succeeding too well but having fun trying.

Some images of the Mondrian Hotel and the four of us on the communal swing in the lobby!


Today Karen and I did the open top bus tour – a must just about everywhere I go and stopped off at the Farmers Market and Grove for some shopping and lunch between the sightseeing. This included a stop at American Girl – a place that my friend Leon helped me to discover some years ago on a business trip. The phenomenon of these dolls is something else and worth looking up but one of the pics below shows the place where you can leave your American Girl doll at the hair salon to have her hair set -not the mini hairdressing chairs. Awesome. 

Amidst the glam and glamour and fun (note the mirror in my room that becomes a tv (and that’s the Golden Globes we are watching right now) – there are also some sadder examples of real life as can be seen in the final pic of this montage

Los Angeles – West Hollywood

Finally on dry land and staying in West Hollywood. Have required full 24 hours to stop walking in a swaying fashion – or at least if I do that now it can no longer  be blamed on the ship listing! Very happy to have reconnected with my old pal Karen who lives in Vancouver who I’ve known since the early 90’s when we both worked together for HSBC (or was it still Midland Bank in those days?) in Jersey. 

Sunset Boulevad, Sunset strip, Mel’s Diner (our brekkie spot) and me and Karen


Today we visited LACMA – first time for me and a must see collection of amazing art in even more amazing buildings. Loved it. 

Some cool pieces of art at LACMA and me in front of the “yellow spaghetti” installation