Best Nighttime Sights While LACMA's Urban Light Is Half Dark

Urban Light, fully litEXPAND
Urban Light, fully lit
Photo by Quan Ha/Flickr

The plan was that on May 1, Urban Light, the installation of 202 restored cast-iron street lamps outside LACMA, would go dark for two months for restoration. Then, much to the relief of Instagrammers everywhere, the museum announced that the sculpture that launched a thousand selfies would only go half dark — they'd work on repainting and repairing half the lights while the others remained illuminated. Selfie crisis averted, but still, keep in mind that there are lots of other #lit options for nighttime and twilight shots. Here's a luminous list.

Vista Hermosa ParkEXPAND
Vista Hermosa Park
Photo by Corona/Flickr

The view of DTLA from Vista Hermosa Park
Vista Hermosa is wedged right between downtown and Echo Park in Historic Filipinotown. Because it’s fairly tucked away, it doesn’t get much tourist traffic and the views of downtown are perfect. There’s a wide open grass space where you can hang out with the neighborhood pups, and you can sit on the picturesque bench and watch the sun set and the buildings downtown start to light up. It's Create Your Own Light Installation 101. 

Best Nighttime Sights While LACMA's Urban Light Is Half DarkEXPAND

The light-up bunnies that are supposedly coming to L.A. in June
This is not a drill. There really are LIGHT-UP BUNNIES coming to L.A. in June. They will be 20 feet tall, lit from the inside and, according to We Like LA, “While bunnies are a cute and inviting subject, they are used specifically to call back to the introduction of rabbits to Australia by settlers in 1788, an introduction that has been an ecological nightmare for the country.”

So these are bunnies with deep meaning. They can replace Urban Light in your heart from June 5-11, and you can find them at Bank of America Plaza (333 S. Hope St.), Wells Fargo Center (330 S. Hope St.) and Figat7th (735 S. Figueroa St.).

The Circus Liquor sign
If you've never seen the truly timeless scene in Clueless where Cher gets robbed in the parking lot of Circus Liquor in the Valley, you should really watch it right now. If you go to gaze at the sign at night, you can plan an entire Valley day beforehand that involves popping into the local Shakey’s and parking anywhere you want.

Best Nighttime Sights While LACMA's Urban Light Is Half DarkEXPAND
Courtesy Michael Hayden

The "Generators of the Cylinder” installation in DTLA
If you’re missing illuminated works of art by notable artists, Michael Hayden’s light-up installation is hanging in the pedestrian walkway on Hill Street, outside the L.A. International Jewelry Store downtown (550 Hill St.).  Hayden is known for creating “Sky’s the Limit,” the light tunnel at O’Hare Airport, which is one of the best experiences you can have on a moving walkway between airport terminals. The 270-foot-long installation in L.A. uses holography, in that the movement of the lights can change based on a pedestrian’s movements. Think: a mood ring come to life — only better.

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