Tag Archives: Museums

Museum Day Part 2

I’ve already posted about going to the Japanese American Nation Museum on ‘Free Museum Day’ but my partner-in-crime and I found ourselves up to a few more shenanigans that day…

Walking around, we found ourselves outside of the Chinese American Museum. We only had a few minutes inside before it closed but it was enough to see that we needed more time. I want to go back as soon as I can!

Japanese American National Museum

At the end of January I met up with one of my favorite partners-in-crime in Little Tokyo to take advantage of Free Museum Day and visit the Japanese American National Museum. Little Tokyo was beautiful and I didn’t get enough time to explore. (I’ll have to go back soon!)

Right now the Japanese American National Museum has a special display on temporary exhibition called Only the Oaks Remain: the Story of Tuna Canyon Detention Station. Have you ever heard of Tuna Canyon? Did you know there was a “detention station” in Los Angeles during WW2? I love learning history and I grew up in the area, but this was all new info to me… We can both go to TunaCanyon.org to learn more.

Large display boards list the names of over 2,000 people who “passed through” Tuna Canyon.

The following facts were posted among the artifacts:

America’s Concentration Camps

When the last American Concentration Camp closed in 1946…

  • 120,313 Japanese Americans had been incarcerated
  • 4 were killed by U.S. Army soldiers
  • 1,862 died while in camp
  • 2,355 left camp for the Armed Forces
  • 4,724 were deported to Japan

It is not possible to make an accurate calculation of the value of property and potential income lost by the inmates. Estimates range from millions to many billions of dollars.

When the government finally had to move out the last inmates, primarily the elderly and the destitute, they were given $25 and a train or bus ticket.

Most chose to return to the West Coast, where they often found situations even more difficult than life in the camp.

I am terrible at selfies.

The Adamson House

If you ever have the chance to visit the Adamson House in Malibu I highly recommend it. Not only are the coastal views gorgeous, the house itself is stunning. The history of the house and family is fascinating, but it is the use of Malibu Potteries tile that gives the house its ‘historic landmark’ status.

A word of warning to those who use mobility devices: part of the garden tour won’t be accessible to you. The gift shop won’t be a accessible to you. The entirety of the second floor of the Adamson House won’t be accessible to you. You might not be even be able to enter the Adamson House at all, depending on your tour guide. Our assigned tour guide was okay with abandoning me, my walker, and my friend in her wheelchair outside the house with no advice when the tour group went inside. (Really… we asked, he just shrugged.) Thankfully a very sweet museum docent saw us wandering the perimeter of the house looking very lost and took it upon herself to take us to a different entrance with a ramp. We ended up getting a private tour of the first floor of the house, the amazing pool, and the museum. I’m so glad someone took it upon themselves to make sure that we were able to enjoy as much of the house and grounds as possible, it was truly an experience not to be missed.

Wells Fargo History Museum

I’ve been wanting to visit the Wells Fargo History Museum in downtown Los Angeles for a while now, and Monday I finally made it happen. (Thanks Susan!)



Griffith Park

Photo Post: San Diego


The Dead Sea Scrolls at the California Science Center

Every time I visit the California Science Center I love it just a little bit more…

The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition is currently at the Science Center…

There was no photography allowed inside the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit, but I couldn’t stop myself from taking this one. The is me touching a three-ton stone from Jerusalem’s Western Wall. Not even close to the same as being there of course, but an emotional moment all the same.

Pompeii: The Exhibition (Part 2)

Remember when I went to see Pompeii: The Exhibition at the California Science Center? (If not, that post is here.) Well, after the #GoForPayload event the other day I went back to the Pompeii exhibit. I don’t think my pictures are particularly different than the ones I took before, but I was able to go back and look at items I’d wanted to get a better look at which was nice. (And I did manage to get pictures of things that I didn’t post the first time around!)

#GoForPayload at the California Science Center

Social media has been good to me lately. Really good. So you remember that I just got back from a NASA Social at Kennedy Space Center? Still recovering from that trip, I was selected for another social media event, this time to go to the California Science Center. (This one involved significantly less travel!)

From the press release:

“Go for Payload” is a delicate operation that will install a flown SpaceHab and other equipment into Endeavour’s Payload Bay. The installation of the SpaceHab will take place on the day of the news conference.

The payload being installed is a similar configuration to the load carried on the STS-118 mission. Former NASA astronaut Barbara Morgan, who served as STS-118 Mission Specialist, will be present at the news conference. The operation takes place from now to October 25, 2014. This will be the first time the payload bay doors of an operational orbiter have been opened anywhere except at the Kennedy Space Center or the Palmdale assembly facility. The doors are made of very lightweight composite material and were not designed to be operated on Earth under its gravitational influence. As a result, it requires specific equipment and procedures to operate safely. This will also be the last time a payload is installed in a space shuttle.

Walking in, Endeavour was as awe-inspiring as she always is but there was a little more ‘oomph’ to her this time as she was all open and ready for the SpaceHab to be installed.

Endeavour with her payload bay doors open (click for full size)

Astronaut Barbara Morgan speaking in front of Endeavour (click for full size)

Astronaut Barbara Morgan and Dr. Kenneth Phillips in front of Endeavour (click for full size)

Brief clip of Astronaut Barbara Morgan during her Q&A

In front of Endeavour

In front of SpaceHab

Also really cool: Allen Chen was at the event as a social media participant. You might remember him from the night Curiosity landed on Mars. Yup, he lands things on other planets for a living. If not the coolest job ever, definitely in the top 5! It took a little bit of effort not to follow him around and pester him with a zillion questions about what he does, thankfully there were other things happening to distract me. 😉

The hashtag for the event was #GoForPayload if you want to search social media and see other people’s photos and video. The California Science Center can be found on twitter here and Facebook here.

When you’re at the California Science Center you can’t not go visit your favorite exhibits.

Other people’s photos:

Click the photo for a great LA Times article about SpaceHab’s installation in Endeavour

Photo credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

Click for a really great series of photos on CollectSpace.com

(Can you find me?)

(I’m in this one too!)

(The back of my head is twitter-famous!)

(Okay clearly I’m mostly interested in the pictures where you can see me, but can you blame me? I’m in the same photo as a space shuttle, that’s never getting old!) 😉

A great picture of SpaceHab’s final location, inside Endeavour

When Endeavour’s permanent home is built she’ll be displayed vertically with a fuel tank and boosters, as though on the launch pad ready for take off. I can’t wait!

Pompeii: The Exhibition

Thanks to a very sweet friend I was able to see Pompeii: The Exhibition at the California Science Center. Now I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about Pompeii and most of what I know came from TV and movies, so most of it is probably wrong. There is a brief summary of what happened in Pompeii here if, like me, you need to refresh your memory. (Or just verify what is fact and what is “Hollywood.”) In the grand tradition of museum exhibits, the room was not well-lit and almost everything was behind a reflective surface so please don’t judge the photos too harshly.

At first some of the artifacts seemed almost… underwhelming until I realized why. Without knowing I was doing it, I was expecting things that looked really old. Like, really, really old. But the items on display have been so well-preserved that it’s almost hard to believe they are as old as they are. Once I figured out that my expectations were flawed each and every piece overwhelmed me for how perfect it looked.

Just a small warning, there was some erotic art on display and a few pictures of it below. I’m pretty sure there are five of you who read this website and I know you all by name and how old you are so it’s nothing inappropriate for you, but if I’m wrong and human bodies or expressions of sexuality offend you, well… consider this your warning.

The casts of the victims were more emotional than I was expecting. (I’m not sure what I was expecting to be honest.) If you don’t know anything about them there is a good explanation here of what they are and how they are made.

I was describing them to a friend later over the phone and her reaction was “how creepy!” It was creepy on one level, yes. But it was also really personal in a way I wasn’t prepared for, and almost heart-warming in a strange way. 25,000 people dead heartwarming, you say?! Yeah, I know it sounds really bad/weird. When I was standing in the room with the casts I just kept thinking that everyone who died there probably died along with everyone they’d ever known. We were told earlier in the exhibit was that within a few years of the loss of Pompeii no one remembered where it had been. These people were basically erased, completely erased. It may have taken 2,000 years but now I was standing in front someone, looking at his face in surprisingly good detail. I may not know what his name was or if he were kind, if the kid liked sports or music better, if the pregnant woman was hoping for a boy or girl, but in that moment I was seeing them and grieving them and by extension all 25,000 victims. I think every human being deserves to be mourned no matter who they are at least for a moment. It took a really long time but these people are not erased anymore. So yes, it was creepy and sad and felt good all at once.

And of course we had to visit the shuttle while we were there. (Because, ya know, I don’t have enough photos of Endeavour here and here, to say nothing of the hundreds I have that aren’t on this site!)