InstaFun at Museum of Illusions

Do you love to take Instagram worthy photos that wow your friends and attract more viewers? One block west of the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex is the whimsical Museum of Illusions offering a variety of fun photo opportunities.

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Visitors get to participate in over 30 imaginative murals painted by talented and creative artists. Go with friends and family to take eye-popping photos where you are in the exhibit. It’s your opportunity to be a street artist-

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There are photos on the wall at each exhibit to guide you on where to stand to get the optimal photo producing believable illusions. Unzip a bag of M&M’s and capture a sweet treat –

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Some of the murals illustrate current events that include a boxing match with President Trump. This comes with a set of boxing gloves as a prop so visitors can pretend to throw a punch at him.

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Pick up a clear umbrella, similar to one a man is carrying in a mural and pose beside him. Another mural offers larger-than-life flowers.

Movie buffs can pose with some of Hollywood’s famous movie stars, including surfing a wave with JAWS and peeking at an amphibious creature similar to The Shape of Water.

I recommend purchasing a VIP ticket to skip the line (if there is one), and receive your own personal photographer. It’s $100 for two guests. We had Al lead us through the exhibit and tell us the optimal spots to stand, sit, and lie down to get the best photo. Not only did he take our photos, but afterwards edited them and emailed them to us. VIP’s also get a special keepsake gift at the end.

This family-friendly museum is the only one of it’s kind in Los Angeles. Crack open a piggy bank filled with Bitcoin-

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Participate in three-dimensional artwork where participants can re-enact dangerous stunts similar in Hollywood movies-

IMG_4257and survive natural disasters including earthquakes and volcanos erupting –

Foodies will enjoy a few fun murals that include wrestling with an octopus in a take-out box, and stomping on a ketchup bottle to enhance a giant burger and getting  into a tomato fight with a duo dressed in ketchup bottles.

Group Discounts are also available at the front desk with 20% off your transaction. In order to get the group discount there needs to be 6 or more adults in the group. Children do not apply.

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Museum of Illusions tickets are priced at $25. Children between 6-12 years old are $10. Admission is FREE for children 5 years old and under. Strollers are allowed inside the museum. Military/Student/Senior Discounts are only available at the front desk on the day of your visit with a valid ID.

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Location: 6751 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Hours: 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily. Last Entry 11 p.m.

Phone: (800) 593-2902

Email: lamuseumofillusions@gmail.com

King Tut’s Guardian unveiled at the Farmers Market on August 30, 2018

The Original Farmers Market is debuting its tallest visitor in history – a 32-foot tall, 2-ton replica statue of King Tut’s Guardian, from the KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh exhibit at the California Science Center. This supersized replica flanked the sealed the entryway of King Tut’s tomb when it was discovered 1922. The public can come see this statue for the first time next to the iconic Farmers Market Clock Tower from August 30 through Sept. 27 to celebrate Metropolitan Fashion Week.

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As part of Metropolitan Fashion Week from Sept. 27 through Oct. 7, designers will showcase one masterpiece gown or costume inspired by KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh. The original Guardian stands about six-feet tall. The larger reproduction was recreated in detail to stand guard around the world during the final tour of his treasures.

The completion of the 3-story statue is on display on the morning of Thursday, Aug. 30. Councilman David Ryu, Miss California USA Kelley Johnson, and 160 Hancock Park Elementary School students from third, fourth and fifth grade will be in attendance.

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Visitors who post photos with the statue to their social media platforms and enter a sweepstakes to win prizes including exhibition tickets, signed catalogues from world-famous Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, Original Farmers Market gift certificates and passes to the Metropolitan Fashion Week Closing Gala and Fashion Awards at City Hall.

Photos must be posted to Instagram or Twitter from August 30 to September 27 using #KingTutTour, #Sweepstakes and also tag @farmersmarketla & @kingtuttour. Terms accessible at: https://www.kingtutexhibition.com/en/terms.php/

The statue will be located in the Farmers Market Plaza next to the Clock Tower, adjacent to the Fairfax parking lot. Media parking will be validated for the Farmers Market surface parking lot or The Grove parking structure. The Original Farmers Market – 6333 W 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90036

Click here to read my review of the King Tut Exhibit featured now at the California Science Center.

King Tut now at the California Science Center in Los Angeles

King Tut visits Los Angeles for the third time. The first time was in 1978, and the second time was in 2005. This time, his exhibit offers Los Angelenos a peek at some of the most beautiful objects with 66 artifacts never seen before now. The exhibit brings “blurry history of the Boy King into sharp focus,” said Jeff Norman Managing Director CEO, California Science Center. “It begins with the discovery from a waterboy, said Dr. Zahi Hawass, Esteemed Egyptian Archaeologist.

Celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, the California Science Center is the first of the 10-city tour to host KING TUT: TREASURES OF THE GOLDEN PHARAOH. It’s the largest King Tut exhibition ever toured. “You learn about how Howard Carter, lacking the skills of an archaeologist, is appointed Inspector General of Monuments of Upper Egypt. On November 5, 1922 he made a wonderful discovery in the Valley of the Kings – a magnificent tomb of King Tutankhamun,” Hawass said.

Here are 10 things to look for in the exhibit:

1.The dramatic new presentation, begins 34,000 years ago in 1336 B.C. during the height of Egypt’s glory. Ticket holders watch a short film about the history of this exhibit and King Tut, before seeing the first of over 150 authentic artifacts in various rooms. There is a dazzling multimedia experience guiding guests on an immersive journey of the pharaoh’s quest for immortality.

2. Discover a culture immersed in magic in the Preparation area of the exhibit and learn that priests prepared Tutankhamun for his passage through the tomb with everything he would need on the journey, and later in the afterlife. Egyptians believed that the afterlife was just like Egypt, only even more perfect. To get there, the deceased first had to pass through 12 gates of the Netherworld, a place filled with danger and evil forces. This could only be controlled by magic. Magic was essential to Egyptian life as air, water and food.

3. Inside this painted calcite box researchers found two bundles of human hair that may have belonged to King Tutunkhamun and his half-sister and wife Ankhesenamun. He died at the age of 19.

4. Because Tutankhamun was only 9 years old when he became king, furniture and weapons were made smaller for him. He also had a collection of 130 walking sticks in the tomb. Researchers discovered Tutankhamun had a club foot and must have walked with some difficulty. Walking sticks may have aided his stride, and represented wisdom and status. The walking stick above has never been out of Egypt. This walking stick has a display of a submissive prisoner on the handle. Holding onto this stick was like choking the neck of the prisoner, demonstrating his control of his empire.

5. Look for blue items. The color blue represents the sky,  a symbol of rebirth that would occur in the afterlife. These “open mouth” water vessels were poured into one’s mouth.

6. Enter the Danger! room. Learn how each of the 12 gates of the Netherworld represent one of the 12 hours of the night. Images of lions, jackals and snakes ruled the treacherous place. The Book of Dead was a collection of almost 200 spells gathered from the earliest Egyptian civilization. It was a roadmap for the deceased to guide them through the Netherworld to the afterlife. Magic spells were written on papyrus rolls, on tomb walls in pyramids and on the walls of the royal burial chambers in the Valley of the Kings. The king’s ability to dominate the panther in this statue above is described as one who carries Tutankhamun to safety through the nocturnal darkness of the Netherworld.

7. Next is the Guardian room. As Tutankhamun reaches the end of his dangerous journey, the first ray of light begins to break through. See Gilded Wooden Statue of Ptah wearing a cobalt-blue glass skullcap. On his scepter are three hieroglyphs – life, stability and sovereignty.

8. One of the most dramatic artifacts is this Wooden Guardian Statue with piercing volcanic obsidian eyes. His sandals and forehead are made of bronze. Other metals include gold.

9. Venture into the Rebirth area of the collection when Tutankhamun is reborn. For the rest of eternity, he will join the other gods and sail across the sky each day. His nights are spent traveling through the Netherworld. He triumphed over death and attained immortality.There were 413 workers buried with Tutankhamun that included 365 small workers, one for each day of the year. Their were 36 larger overseers, roughly one per week (Egyptian week was 10 days long) and 12 foremen, one for each month.

10. Jewelry fans will enjoy examining the exquisite rings found on King Tut’s fingers, opulent jewelry that adorned his body, and the gold sandals placed on his feet upon burial.

Discover how the scientific analysis of King Tut’s 3,300-year-old mummy has revealed new information about his health and lineage, and how cutting-edge technologies have played a role in discovering new tombs and analyzing existing ones in ways never before imagined.
Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition! Click here to purchase a ticket today – https://californiasciencecenter.org/exhibits/king-tut-treasures-of-the-golden-pharaoh.

DRAGO Ristorante at The Petersen Automotive Museum

 

Recently we visited the Petersen Automotive Museum to admire the special Hollywood car exhibit, featuring the iconic 1982 red Ferrari 308 GYSi driven by Tom Selleck in the hit television show Magnum, P.I., They also have the 1989 Batmobile in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), and the 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible featured in the movie Thelma and Louise. Click here to read about these celebrity cars

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Walking into the entrance of the museum, I noticed it got even better than my last visit, now that Drago Ristorante opened on the concourse level. It’s a grand collaboration with all four Drago brothers – Celestino, Calogero, Giacomino and Tanino. They are known for their fine dining Italian restaurants, bakery and catering throughout Los Angeles.

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Drago Ristorante is a colorful fusion of the museum’s art theme and the chefs well thought out dishes. Designer Stanley Felderman and co-designer Nancy Keatinge from Felderman Keatinge + Associates, compliment the lines of the Petersen Automotive Museum with colors of red, light blue, black and mauve in the restaurant. It’s an exciting melding of contemporary elements that include 65 indoor seats with a eye-catching infinity light fixtures in the center of the dining room.

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Officially open in December 2016, we were welcomed by the Francisco Ojeda, the Executive Vice President & Executive General Manager at Drago Culinary Productions/ Celestino Drago Enterprises. This handsome blue-eye man has worked with the Drago company for seven years. He told us that the restaurant’s patio along Fairfax Ave. will soon have 100 seats for al fresco dining in the Spring. We also learned we that tables and chairs will be placed out on the concourse, just outside of the restaurant. Guests can sit near an exotic 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe that was given to actress Rita Hayworth by Prince Ali Khan.

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During lunch service, museum visitors and nearby office workers enjoy a casual dining experience with a variety of salads that include a burrata salad; calamari salad and a vegetarian option.They also make a trattoria burger topped with caramelized onions, portobello mushrooms and fontina cheese that comes with truffle fries. Heartier fare offered includes a pan-roasted Atlantic salmon and a pan roasted chicken breast with mustard seeds and sautéed green beans and shallots.

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In the evening, dinner service is slightly more formal and elegant. Our professional server Gabriel from the Amalfi Coast, enthusiastically suggested a few of his favorite dishes and recommended two glasses of white wine to pair with our starters. Gabriel brought a glass of a fresh and fruity Bibi Graetz “Casamatta” from Toscana. The wine offered a citrus lemon and lime character that was crisp and made with a blend of 90% Vermentino and 10% Moscato Bianco.

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I enjoyed sipping this wine with the pan roasted octopus served with a chick pea tart. The creative tart was similar in consistency to a flan. The octopus plate was beautifully decorated with a variety pickled vegetables and polka dots of olive oil.

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Gabriel recommended a glass of earthy Rocco del Gelso Chardonnay “Sietvignis” from Fruli, Italy to enjoy with one of the wood fired pizzas. These pies are really popular with children visiting the museum. Families enjoy sitting on high stools at the pizza kitchen viewing counter to watch the pizza makers flip dough in the air, sauce the top, and add ingredients to make four different varieties. We ordered a roasted vegetable pizza that arrived with a thin crust, fresh tomato sauce, mushrooms, onions, eggplant and sprinkling of herbs. Other pizzas on the menu are a shaved Pecorino cheese with ground black pepper and a little frisee. Elevated pizzas include a smoked salmon with arugula, pickled onions, dill, capers and salmon caviar. They also make an Italian favorite Parma pizza with prosciutto, mozzarella Bocconcini pearls, frisee and basil leaves.

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Still hungry, we ordered one pasta from a multitude of pasta offerings and one risotto dish. The pasta arrived in a bowl with wide cut housemade ribbons of fettuccine topped with sliced roasted pheasant and morels. It was brightened even more with a mushroom sauce.

The slightly sweet butternut risotto had a tempura butternut squash flower on top. There were a sprinkling of slightly roasted hazelnuts to give this smooth dish a touch of crunch.
My favorite dish was the braised short ribs on a layer of silky smooth polenta and flavorful cipollini onions. My husband enjoyed the Lomita di Vitello – large pan roasted veal chop served on a plate with creamy truffle potato puree and tangy roasted mushrooms.

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For dessert we ordered the Panettone-Nutella bread pudding and plate of tiramisu. With one bite, I posted a photo of the tiramisu on Instagram giving it the honor of best tiramisu in 2017. It’s made in a circular shape with exquisite mascarpone cheese, Lady Fingers illuminated with sugar crystals, and espresso coffee. The top layers include chocolate, a scoop of ice cream and sliced raspberries.

Before leaving, Ojeda visited our table and talked about the new Academy of Arts and Science set to open across the street. Guests can park in the museum’s multi-story parking lot, walk through the concourse, pass Drago Ristorante, and out to Wilshire Blvd. The new location will have a 1,200 seat theatre for the Academy Awards.

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Besides Drago Ristorante on the ground floor, they also have a spectacular Penthouse area on the fourth floor for parties, fundraisers and award show dinners that can seat up to 450 guests. The views of the city from this level are as dazzling as the food the kitchen prepares.

The lunch menu at Drago Ristorante is served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dinner service runs 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday to Friday and until 11 p.m. on Saturdays. 6060 Wilshire Blvd. (323)800-2244.

Exploring The Broad in LA

When in Los Angeles, there are a multitude of fun events to see and do. One of my Top 5 favorites is The Broad museum – It’s FREE. Here are 10 Things to Know Before Exploring The Broad –

  1. The museum is closed on Mondays. It opens at 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursdays through Saturdays it stays open until 8 p.m. Sunday is opens at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Photo by Jill Weinlein
  2. Make a reservation online to get a free ticket – www.thebroad.org. You can go there spur of the moment, however lines are long on the weekend for stand-by. While you are online, make a reservation to eat at the new contemporary American restaurant Otium before or after your visit. Enjoy wood fired meats, vegetables and pizzas, a full bar, indoor and outdoor dining space. There are other restaurants nearby. On weekends there are usually three to four food trucks.

    Barbara Kruger 1995
    Barbara Kruger 1995
  3. The Broad has more than 2,000 pieces of work by over 200 artists. Eli and Edythe Broad have been collection postwar and contemporary art for the past 50 years. Once inside log in to see Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. When I visited, there was a four hour wait to enter the room. Go early when the museum opens.

    The Veil - Photo by Jill Weinlein
    The Veil – Photo by Jill Weinlein
  4. The architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Benfro collaborated with Gentler in designing The Broad. It’s titled, “the veil and the vault.” The veil is 2,500 fiberglass reinforced concrete panels on the outside of the building.  The vault walls are made of Venetian plaster and 36 million pounds of concrete. Viewing windows allow guests a peek into the vault area where many of the Broad’s collected pieces are stored.

    Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Anselm Kiefer – Deutschlands Geisteshelden 1973, Photo by Jill Weinlein
  5. There are 318 skylights in the ceiling of the third floor gallery allowing diffused, natural light.

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    Jeff Koon’s colorful mirror-polished stainless steel tulips are a popular piece
  6. Outside of The Broad are 100-year-old Barouni olive trees offering a park-like setting.

    Twenty Jackies, 1964 by Andy Warhol
    Twenty Jackies, 1964 by Andy Warhol
  7. On Level 3 is an Andy Warhol Exhibit with Campbell Soup Cans – Clam Chowder-Manhattan Style, Two Marilyns, and Twenty Jackie Kennedy.

    Photo by Rick Weinlein
    Photo by Rick Weinlein
  8. Kids will love the huge Takashi Murakami – Hustle ‘n’ Punch By Kaikai and Kiki, 2009. This artist not only has his art displayed in The Broad, he also has exhibited his works at the Palace of Versailles in France, filling 15 rooms and the park with his sculptures, paintings, a decorative carpet, and lamps.

    Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Photo by Jill Weinlein
  9. Stand under Robert Therrien’s – Under The Table, 1994. The artist takes ordinary items and gives them an Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland spin. It’s to bring back the memory of when you were a small child and could stand under tables during family gatherings. Another fun Therrien piece in on the ground floor of ceramic epoxy on fiberglass stacked on top of one another.
  10. See some classic pop art Roy Lichtenstein pieces – I…I’m Sorry, 1965-66, and a stand-alone table with fish in water, titled Goldfish Bowl. These were radical in the 1960s.