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LACMA Rock's Final Journey: A Guide To Levitated Mass' Last Night On The Road (PHOTOS, LIVEBLOG)

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"Levitated Mass," otherwise known as @LACMArock, by Michael Heizer.

LA's biggest rock star will be out on the roads one last time Friday night, and if you still haven't had the chance to watch a 340-ton chunk of history go by (and snap a mean meme photo), now's your chance.

There's no telling beforehand when the rock will be at certain points along the route. At speeds between 5-8 miles per hour, "Levitated Mass" could arrive on the LACMA campus anywhere between 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. Your best bet is to follow the rock's official Twitter account @LACMA for up-to-the-minute updates.

If you want to see the rock roll into its new home (and snag some munchies while doing it), here are LACMA's suggestions:

  • The museum itself will be closed, but the action is on Wilshire Boulevard.
  • Parking will be available in LACMA’s lot at the corner of Wilshire and Spaulding Avenue (free). Our underground Sixth Street lot will be closed.
  • Parking at the Petersen Museum, located on Wilshire and Fairfax, will also be available (10, enter from Fairfax). You can try to find street parking too, but please read all signs in the area before parking.
  • There will be bathrooms available at Ogden and Wilshire, directly across the street from Urban Light.
  • Note that Stark Bar will be open regular hours -- closing at 11 pm. We will have a coffee cart next to Urban Light starting at 11 pm.
  • Food trucks will be parked at Ogden and Wilshire -- No Tomatoes and Waffles de Liege.

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The rock's Twitter alter ego, @LACMArock, is cheeky, fun and definitely an unofficial account. Nevertheless, he's been accurate and helpful to date, and we got in touch with him for tips on how to see the rock show on Friday night.

"A great place to get a glimpse of me as I head down Wilshire Boulevard to my new home at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is from The Roof on Wilshire, atop The Hotel Wilshire," @LACMArock told the Huffington Post. "The view from the rooftop will give rock stars like you a 180 degree view of Wilshire Boulevard and an incredible vantage as my 300 foot long transporter drives past."

@LACMArock even has a cocktail picked out. "While you wait for me, I suggest you sip on The Roof’s signature drink, the 'Tell Her You Saw Me.' " Poetic! Mind you, The Roof on Wilshire will be keeping its normal hours that night, so if the rock hasn't rolled on to Wilshire Boulevard by 1 a.m., you'll have to scramble to a different spot.

Gourmands should note that 13 of Jonathan Gold's 60 recommended Koreatown restaurants are right on the Western Avenue strip that the rock is going to travel on. Nibble on boiled pig's feet at Jangchung-Dong Wong or slurp slithering octopus tentacles at Hwal A Kwang Jang and wait for the show to come to you.

Pro tip: smart "Levitated Mass" fans would do well to take advantage of the Purple Line station at Wilshire/Western, since a lot of streets near the route will be closed to traffic.

Where are you planning to catch the rock show?

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LA Times arts journalist Deborah Vankin wraps up months of coverage with this post about what it took to completely cover "Levitated Mass," from the installation's inception to its arrival at LACMA:

For me, it was the interminable "next week's story," forcing me to cancel interviews, dinner dates and out-of-town visitors at the last minute so I could travel with the rock; then departure dates inevitably turned into false alarms, usually because of one permitting snag or another. That start-and-stop routine reached a hip-hop frenzy by mid-February.

Read more about the cold, the (lack of) bathroom breaks and the Twitter malfunctions at the Los Angeles Times.

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Miranda Carroll, LACMA's Director of Communications, gives a graceful and coherent interview after being awake for 48 hours straight, just hours after the rock arrived at LACMA.

"We're just glad it's here now," Carroll said to CBS.

Now all LACMA has to do is dismantle the transporter and pop the rock into place in its new installation. No small feat!


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We were there when "Levitated Mass" arrived safe and sound at LACMA, and it was so beautiful to finally see it rolling up to its final destination.

You can follow the night's progression into morning at, where we live-tweeted the rock's journey from Koreatown to LACMA. But for now, here are the highlights:

  • The surprising number of dogs and babies that stayed up all night to usher the rock in to LACMA (PHOTO)
  • A unicorn finally gets his wish: to meet "Levitated Mass" (PHOTO)
  • Greeting art with art -- in this case, a giant grapefruit on a toy truck (PHOTO)
  • People getting restless and screaming out into the night air
  • The surprising number of people who parked their cars in the way of Levitated Mass that had to be towed

Browse the photos above to see the rock's journey from start to finish. If you'd like to send us any pictures, tweet them to @HuffPostLA.

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In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, LACMA director Michael Govan reveals how the rock is being protected from scratches and bumps along the road:

It was Michael Heizer who wanted to protect it from scratches, he was treating it very carefully. So he proposed that it be shrinkwrapped. It’s swaddled in high-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, placed between the wood blocks and the rock so as it’s moved it’s cushioned even further. It looks very cool, this white form, at night.

Read the whole interview about how Govan hopes "Levitated Mass" will impact LACMA and Los Angeles.

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@ LACMA : Update: after its early start last night, the transport made up its miles and arrived to Figueroa, north of Florence. #LevitatedMass

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Wednesday night's journey was cut short about 3 miles because of an overlooked utility pole and spots where the road got super-skinny.

The Los Angeles Times has more on what slowed the rock down:

On Atlantic Avenue near Spring Street, the 200-foot-long transporter carrying the rock found itself squeezing through its tightest spot yet. Because of a concrete island in the middle of the road, there was at best only two inches of space between the curb and the transporter's 176 wheels. At times, there was "zero clearance," said Emmert's Terry Emmert.

Hopefully, "Levitated Mass" can make up for some lost time tonight!

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ArtInfo asks, "Has LACMA’s 'Levitated Mass' Boulder Become a Meme?"

This adorable picture of a little "Levitated Mass" fan holding the rock in the palm of her hand says yes.

Photo by Katrina Serrano.


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Video by Thomas Naccarato shows a cheering crowd waving to "Levitated Mass" as it left La Mirada.

h/t LA Observed.

The rock is now stationed on the corner of South Street and Palo Verde Avenue. @LACMArock tweets, "There are strip malls on both sides of the street with PLENTY of parking! Come out for a visit and tweet your photos!"

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Now that the rock will be crawling into the more trafficked-parts of Los Angeles, road closures and timing are going to become more critical for Angelenos.

LA Weekly breaks down LACMA's route day-by-day (from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.):

Monday: Leffingwell Road > Valley View Avenue > Rosecrans Avenue > Carmenita Road > Moody Street > Del Amo Boulevard > Studebaker Road > South Street.

Tuesday: South Street > Paramount Boulevard > East Del Amo Boulevard > Atlantic Avenue.

Wednesday: Atlantic Avenue > West Ocean Boulevard > Magnolia Avenue > Pacific Coast Highway > Avalon Boulevard > East Carson Street.

Thursday: Vermont Avenue > West 190th Street > Normandie Avenue > Artesia Boulevard > South Western Avenue > West Florence Avenue > South Figueroa Street.

Friday: South Figueroa Street > West Adams Boulevard > South Western Avenue > Wilshire Boulevard > South Fairfax > West Sixth Street > LACMA.

The Department of Transportation has released this list of rolling road closures throughout the week, but since LADOT only deals with the roads within the city limits, this list of impacted streets only applies from Wednesday night to Friday night.

Pacific Coast Highway: from City of Carson limits to Vermont Ave.

190th St.: from Gardena city limits to Western Ave.

Florence Ave. & Figueroa St.

Adams Blvd. & Western Ave.

Wilshire Blvd. & Fairfax Ave.

LADOT's list of streets make up stops 7-9 on the LACMA route map.

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Photo by Twitter user ChiaAnnie.


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@ FakeDeitch : It's times like this weekend when I'm happy I'm not Michael Govan #levitatedmass #bigrock #lotsofpaperwork #imtelaxin'

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The journey of "Levitated Mass" has spurned interest in its destination: LACMA. From LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's blog:

Many of the visitors say the spectacle has made them aware of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for the first time; this has especially been the case at the early Inland Empire and East San Gabriel Valley stops. More than 60 percent of LACMA’s visitors come from within Los Angeles County, according to museum statistics, and so far, not one of the congressional districts The Rock has passed through has more than 500 paid LACMA members. By contrast, the Mid-Wilshire-to-Malibu congressional district in which LACMA is situated has more than 17,000.

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Joshua Chow uploaded this video that sums up the massive undertaking that is "Levitated Mass." Enjoy!

#LACMArock in Chino Hills from Joshua Chow on Vimeo.

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The rock is rolling right now to La Mirada, where it'll stop at a prime viewing location. The LACMArock tweets, "There are strip malls on either side of Leffingwell Road with ample parking at my location tomorrow"

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@ LACMARock : Really enjoyed my stay in Rowland Heights! Tonight I'm headed to La Mirada and will spend the day on Leffingwell Rd, west of La Mirada Blvd

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@ LACMARock : Anyone planning to come and keep me company this weekend? I'll be in Rowland Heights on Pathfinder Rd, across from Pathfinder Park.

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"With all the attention the rock is getting right now, we think it's time to meet the slot," says Curbed LA. Head over to Curbed for photos of "the slot."

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The video is by NBC LA, but Simone Wilson from LA Weekly has the best take on it:

Ramone Vasquez' big question-pop to his girlfriend Maria yesterday may not be the most romantic proposal in the history of our romcom capital... but we're fairly sure it sets the record for number of rock puns employed while asking the woman you love to spend the rest of her life with you.

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In order to ensure no difficulty when resuming the journey again tonight, "the hauling company says it will bring in another engine to add push from behind," reports AP.

The rock stopped prematurely early Friday morning due to a transmission issue.

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@ LACMARock : Not very much convenient parking where I am today, but great to see some onlookers made it out for some pictures!

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@ LACMA : LA County Supervisor @ZevYaroslavsky: "Yes, it is art. Thoughts on a rock star." #LevitatedMass

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Good to know. For the whole story, go to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

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@ LACMARock : Congratulations to the lovely couple that just got engaged in front of me! Looked like he gave her a huge rock! #LevitatedMass

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@ LACMARock : @amandajcobb @CHPsouthern My entire move was paid for through private donors!

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Any relation to Emmert International, the heavy-load hauler transporting the LACMA rock?

@ BethanyEmmert : hope my dads project is going well down in LA! #levitatedmass

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@ LACMARock : Spending the day near the southwest corner of Ontario Airport @ the intersection of Mission Blvd. & Grove Ave. Who wants to keep me company?

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@ LACMARock : @HuffPostLA Spending my day sightseeing around Glen Avon. Got any suggestions?

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Just as the rock took off, the Los Angeles Times published this article about the scene at the Riverside Quarry. Interviews with heavy haul transportation company Emmert International reveal that last night has been a long time coming.

The move, which is being handled by Emmert International, is nearly half a year behind schedule -- largely due to permitting delays as it will travel through 22 cities and four counties. But that's nothing compared with how long Emmert's director of operations, Mark Albrecht, has been working on the project. "Three years now," he said. "The anticipation is killing me!"

For more, check out the Los Angeles Times.

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