Apr 282012

I took a small, unscheduled driving tour of downtown this week on my way to jury duty.  I was pretty sure I knew how to get where I was going.

I didn’t. 

Of course, Maggie, my faithful GPS unit, was in the other car and I don’t have a smart phone.  Luckily, I do have a smart husband who is better than any On-Star system. I had left home with my spirit of adventure, so even the temporary detour was interesting rather than infuriating. 

I strolled into the jury room at 9:30 a.m. having earned this luxury by watching the jury orientation videos online at home.  And then I waited….for hours.  Obviously, I knew this might happen and so I brought my laptop and kept up with work as much as I could. 

Long story short: eventually, I was released for a TWO HOUR lunch break. 

Let the wandering begin! 

My first thought was to head over to the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) since jurors get in free, but I wasn’t sure exactly where it was.  My spirit of adventure had convinced me I could survive on wits alone.  The phrase “We don’t need no stinkin’ map!” kept running through my head, so off I went. 

I soon came upon a collection of strange black lumps outside a newish looking building.  “The MOCA?”  I thought. The smooth black sculptures invited me to run my hand over their curves.  (Which I did not for reasons I may someday explore with a therapist.) 

This is my favorite of the collection:

Favorite Black Lump MED

The building was not the MOCA, but LAPD headquarters.  I’m still thinking about whether that changes how I view the sculptures.  They are the work of Peter Shelton who does, in fact, have work installed at the MOCA. You can read about Police Chief Bratton’s reaction in 2009 when the work was installed here. 

Since I did want to find some food on my lunch break, I pressed on.  I passed City Hall park (under construction), the surprisingly striking CalTrans building, and never found the MOCA. 

I did, however, stumbled upon that rarest of establishments: STARBUCKS! 

Now before you start thinking my spirit of adventure is a corporate shill, let me explain.  This Starbucks had quite a few features to recommend it:

  1. Free wifi
  2. Caffeine
  3. Plenty of outdoor seating in the sun
  4. Live Music 

The live music was the clincher for me.  A mournful trumpeter had set up on the corner opposite the Starbucks and was serenading the whole block with something resembling Johnny Mathis’ “Chances Are”.  You could feel his heart coming through each phrase.  Remarkable! 

As my lunch break came to an end, I reoriented myself and trekked back to the windowless corridors of the courthouse to await my next adventure satisfied for today and determined to wander again. 


* NOTE: Here is a more professional picture of my favorite black lump.

P.S. I also found out the MOCA was closed that day.


 Posted by at 09:11