Go Expo to celebrate NHM’s centennial

The Natural History Museum may be 100 years old this year, but it has never looked younger. It has undergone some serious renovations over the years, and this weekend the NHM will be unveiling the new Otis Booth Pavilion, featuring a re-positioned 65-foot high whale skeleton guaranteed to impress. Check out the graphic from L.A. Times to get an idea of what to expect from the new exhibition space as well as the new Nature Gardens that lead up to it.

Go Metro to the NHM this Sunday for their Birthday Bash. The party starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 11 p.m. with activities for kids, nature workshops, musical entertainment and more. After dark, enjoy food trucks, a discussion on the Mars Curiosity rover and outdoor concerts. Tickets start at $25 and include museum admission, first come, first served access to the discussion, DJ Lounges, and concert amphitheater — DEVO is playing (see below)! Don’t hesitate, tickets are selling fast!

The entrance through the Nature Gardens faces the Expo Park/USC Station, making it even more accessible from Metro. Metro Bus 102 and 550 stop in front of the Natural History Museum, and the Silver Line also has a stop nearby. Use Trip Planner for more routes and connections.

If you can’t make it to the Birthday Bash on Sunday, head over to the NHM some other day to see how the place has been jazzed up. Go Metro to get $1.25 off adult admission at the door.

Go Metro Weekends, June 1 – 2

Heading to Make Music Pasadena? Don't forget to bring plenty of water and sunscreen! Photo from MMPasadena Official Facebook

Heading to Make Music Pasadena? Don’t forget to bring plenty of water and sunscreen! Photo from MMPasadena Official Facebook

Are you ready to rock? Make Music Pasadena takes place this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with over 100 bands playing throughout Pasadena. The free event is open to all. Go Metro to get a free soda. Show your valid TAP card at the Tampico truck at the Old Pasadena stage at 1 E. Colorado Boulevard and receive a free 20oz. Tampico beverage. (Metro Gold Line to Del Mar, Memorial Park or Lake Station)

On Sunday, head to the 8th annual Lummis Day Festival, taking place at Lummis Home and Heritage Square Museum. The free event will include poetry readings, dancing and children’s activities, and will last from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Go Metro to receive a free goodie bag at the Lummis Day Welcome Booth at Heritage Square Museum. (Metro Gold Line to Heritage Square Station or Metro Bus 81 to Figueroa/Avenue 43, free shuttle runs between Heritage Square and Lummis Home)

Don’t forget, there’s also the IAMLA history conference on Saturday and Big Family Day at MOCA Grand on Sunday.

Summer weekend beach shuttles are back!  The free beach shuttle runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays, circling Venice, Marina del Rey and Playa Vista. To connect with the free shuttle, hop on Metro 108/358 to Marina del Rey, or Metro Rapid 733 to Venice. Use Trip Planner for more connections and routes.


Join IAMLA for a history conference on Italian Americans this Saturday

The Italian American Museum of Los Angeles (IAMLA) is hosting Hidden Voices: Italian Americans and the Making of Southern California, a public history conference, on Saturday, June 1 at El Pueblo Historical Monument. The event will feature presentations by  scholars, a performance by MusicAntica and educational workshops for youth.

Go Metro and save 10% on all IAMLA memberships and merchandise. Offer is valid the day of the event only.

Hidden Voices will take place from noon to 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, RSVPs are appreciated – call 213.485.8432 or email info@italianhall.org. To reach El Pueblo, walk from Union Station or take Metro Bus 84/64 to Main/Paseo De La Plaza. Use Trip Planner to find routes and connections.

Go Metro and enjoy 2-for-1 admission to MOCA

Photo from MOCA Official Facebook

Photo from MOCA Official Facebook

Great news for those who Metro to MOCA: showing your TAP card at the box office will get you 2-for-1 admission!

MOCA Grand Avenue is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. To get there, take the Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square and exit 4th/Hill; or take Metro Rapid 770 or Metro Silver Line to Olive/General Thaddeus Kosciuszko.

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. To get there, take the Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station; or take Metro Bus 30 to Temple/Alameda.

General admission at both locations is $12. However, this Sunday, June 2 is Big Family Day at MOCA Grand Avenue, and it’s free to for all to attend. The event takes place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Go Metro to get a free museum voucher for your next MOCA visit.

Take a trip around the world on Metro this weekend. All you need is a $5 day pass

Korean barbecue at Taoe Galbi. Photo by Kim Upton/Metro

Korean barbecue at Taoe Galbi. Photo by Kim Upton/Metro

Planning a weekend away? Or with gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon — maybe not planning one? Don’t despair. Metro can be your ticket to new countries, customs and cuisines. And the cost? Just $5 for an easy-to-use Metro Day Pass.

Like all truly international cities, Los Angeles is a rich blend of cultures that have produced variegated neighborhoods and world-class cuisines. You may have explored some neighborhoods but do you know them all?

Take Ethiopia. The Metro Local 217 Fairfax Avenue bus, which stops at the Metro Red Line Hollywood and Highland Station, cruises west on Hollywood then south on Fairfax. A  few blocks beyond Wilshire Boulevard is Little Ethiopia: a neighborhood of delicious restaurants (Meals by Genet) and lovely, colorful shops selling clothing in colors as bright as the African sun.

Or how about Cambodia? Admittedly, there’s neither jungle nor Angkor Wat in Long Beach but if you close your eyes just a little you can pretend to be in the steamy Southeast Asia country tucked between Thailand and Vietnam. It’s easy if you’re dining at one of the many restaurants (Sophy’s Fine Thai and Cambodian Cuisine) in Cambodia Town. So hop on the Metro Blue Line and hop off in what could be Phnom Penh — except for the great Southern California weather — and dine on grilled fish, rice, noodles and coconut soup prepared with fresh herbs and veggies.

What about Japan? Everyone knows that Little Tokyo is in downtown L.A., just a short walk from Union Station. But does everyone know that it’s possible to reach it easily aboard the Metro Gold Line to the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station? Not only are there dozens of good restaurants (Suehiro Café). There is great shopping for clothes, shoes, gifts, computer accessories and Asian foods of all kinds in one of the many markets. At night there’s karaoke for the brave of heart.

Then there’s Mexico, of course. There may well be hundreds of Mexican and Central American neighborhoods around Los Angeles and they are filled with shops and entertainment venues and supermarkets and restaurants. Along the Metro Gold Line in East L.A. there are many great places (Al & Bea’s Mexican Food for bean and cheese burritos and Cinco Puntos Mexican Foods for hand-made tamales). So find your way to Union Station and board the Metro Gold Line toward Atlantic Station. Nearly every station on the East Side Gold Line offers something delicious to eat.  

Or take the Metro Purple Line to Korea Town for barbecue. (Tahoe Galbi is a few blocks west of the Wilshire/Western Station.) Think of Korean barbecue as thin strips of beef, pork, chicken and seafood grilled at the table and served with half a dozen or more vegetable side dishes. Think of it as an excellent way to overeat.  

And what about Chinatown, just off the Metro Gold Line Chinatown Station. There are dozens of restaurants and shops selling goods from all over Asia, often at excellent prices. The restaurants are like that too, with Chinese and Vietnamese (Via Café) standing shoulder to shoulder for our dining pleasure.

Are you adventurous? The Metro Green Line to Norwalk connects with Metro Local bus 173 south to Artesia and Little India. Along several blocks there are restaurants and shops with authentic Indian goods and foods (Surati Farsan Mart). Samosa, puri, dosa, thali. It’s worth the ride.       

Have you explored Little Persia in Westwood? Don’t wait until the Metro Purple Line is completed in 2039. Hop on Metro Rapid 720 down Wilshire Boulevard to Westwood Boulevard. There are a number of shops and restaurants (Shamshiri) there to enjoy. And near the Metro Red Line Hollywood/Western Station — between Western and Normandie Avenue — there is Thai Town.

All this can be yours for the price of a $5 Metro Day Pass. And you don’t have to wait in line to clear airport security.

Late night service extends to Sunday for Memorial Day weekend

Monday, May 27 is Memorial Day, which means Metro buses and trains will be running on Sunday/holiday schedule. It also means that Metro will run extended late-night service on Sunday, May 26.

All Metro Rail, the Metro Orange Line and Metro Silver Line will run until 2 a.m. on Sunday, so it’ll be easy for you to make the most of your three-day weekend.