Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cold in April, Again

Readers of the 2015 season preview know our April itinerary was a response to several recent trips afflicted by rain. Southern California was a safe bet, we thought, and that was the case for all of our visit except the first night, when we walked to Dodger Stadium.

On Stadium Way, west of Lot 13.

It was the height of stupidity, particularly in my case. We had checked the Doppler radar map and knew the storm was intensifying. We had a car and prepaid parking. There was a television in our motel room and we could have tuned into the game to learn if it would be delayed.

Yet, when it came time to leave for the ballpark, we decided to walk. The rain was light and we agreed, traveling by foot would be more interesting. Halfway there, however, it started to pour. Chris had a raincoat and he lent Melvin his umbrella.

My jacket is rain resistant, but no match for the weather we encountered. Soaked to the skin, I was shaking uncontrollably by the third inning. The air temperature was higher than when Melvin and I saw the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and Boston Red Sox in 2011, but I was even colder than I was that April.

The last rain-out at Dodger Stadium was April 17, 2000, a
message on DodgerVision informed us, 1,200 games earlier.

I was prepared to return to the motel, or buy dry clothes in the team store, but Melvin and Chris wouldn't hear of it. I stripped down to my performance wear, throwing away an old cotton shirt, and layered Chris's raincoat over my clothes.

That made it possible for me to stay but left Chris and me vulnerable to the breeze blowing through the stadium. We had great seats, in the front row of the loge just past first base, but had to abandon them for the concourse. Stupid, stupid, stupid. By the time the Padres finished off the Dodgers in the ninth, we were all ready to leave.

Chris, Melvin and I had traveled from San Francisco, Chicago and New York, respectively, to see the game. Melvin and I arrived in the late morning and after renting a car, went to Seoul Sausage for lunch. I had the namesake sausage and Melvin had "Da KFC," Korean fried chicken.

Flaming Ball and Galbi sausage at Seoul Sausage.

We both had Flaming Balls—no, we didn't spill something spicy in our laps—rice balls served with a garlic jalapeno kimchi siracha aioli. It all sounds great but none of it had much of a kick.

Levitated Mass.

We also stopped by Levitated Mass, a site-specific sculpture constructed by Michael Heizer outside of LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Unquestionably, 340 tons of granite perched atop a 456-foot long concrete slot creates a tension that is perceptible, visually and otherwise.

Whatever its flaws, Levitated Mass is certainly photogenic.

However, on closer inspection the ledges and wedges that were added to the base make the sculpture less powerful than, for example, Double Negative, which we saw in warmer weather in 2011. It is overly mediated.

Neither Levitated Mass nor Seoul Sausage were bad, just not as amazing as we had hoped. In fact, the best part of the day may have been meeting Chris at Union Station, then walking down Calle Olvera, stopping in the Avila Adobe—the oldest residence in LA—and having a drink in a restaurant full of tourists. Sometimes, it's not what you are doing but who you are doing it with.

Street art seen after our visit to LACMA.

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