I’ve been naive and unprepared before when it came to visiting The Broad in LA, but not this time. This time, I did my research online, got up at 6 AM, stood in a well-formed line two hours before opening time next to a coughing guy, all for a chance to catch the Yayoi Kusama exhibit before it ends. The whole experience wasn’t that bad. There was a silent camaraderie shared among these dedicated art-lovers in the line, there was a guy walking around with a pet hawk on his arm, and there was the churro cart. Is there anything better than a warm churro while waiting in line on a chilly morning? No, it was the best churro in the world.
The exhibit was an amazingly designed experience, where despite the hype and the crowds, each of us was able to have our own private moment in these magical worlds that Yayoi Kusama has created. It makes me a bit jealous of her–what kind of crazy, fun lens does she see the world through? I have read that she has checked herself into a mental hospital after returning to Japan and still lives there to this day. I couldn’t help but think about the Cheshire cats taunt of “We’re all mad here” as we blinked in awe in a sea of psychedelic polka dot phalluses and pumpkins.
We spent the rest of the day and a few other days exploring our favorite ethnic pockets of LA. I realized after all these years that I’ve never properly walked through LA’s Chinatown. I guess I feel like most of the Valley is essentially Chinatown. Downtown’s Chinatown felt like a Hollywood movie set, and sure enough, as I was about to cross the street I see this restaurant’s proud signage: Foo Chow Restaurant A Best Seller Movie by Jackie Chan RUSH HOUR Was Shot Here.