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A love letter to LACMA’s entrance plaza

A love letter to LACMA’s entrance plaza
Photograph: Stefanie Keenan, Courtesy LACMA

Dear LACMA,

I hope you don’t mind me being blunt: I’m in love with your entrance plaza. Sorry, I know it’s technically the BP Grand Entrance, but we’re better friends than that, right? There’s just a feeling I get underneath that flat-topped pavilion that I can’t find anywhere else in LA; it’s serene but alive, stately yet approachable.

I know, I know, I’m beginning to sound obsessive, but you’re so persuasive. Maybe it’s those bold red columns, calling me toward the contemporary art campus like a siren. And you don’t need a monorail to let me know that I’ve found something special—no, there’s a palpable buzz that fills the space. You’re a bridge between the car-driven Wilshire and the tree-lined Sixth, the ‘60s William Pereira complex and the aughts Renzo Piano campus—just don’t go changing when Peter Zumthor’s black amoeba takes over the old buildings. Eager museumgoers line up to buy tickets while coffee drinkers greet the morning in those chic shell chairs. You’re a place to exhale, a warm public plaza in a city that can sometimes be cold and private.

Maybe that’s what I admire most about you. I’m not into partner swapping or anything, but I respect that you’re not just for me—you’re for everyone. The adults clinking cocktails at Stark Bar, the teens taking portraits in front of Urban Light, the families spilling over from the Tar Pits and the park, the jazz concerts, the World Cup watch parties—nobody feels unwelcome here, and that’s a rare thing to find in LA.

Thank you.

- Michael

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