Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Museum of Ice Cream

 Welcome to the Museum of Ice Cream

The pop-up Museum of Ice Cream has come to Los Angeles! Reportedly sold-out when it was in NYC, the "museum" is actually a large art installation spread throughout several rooms of an old one-story building on the far east (i.e., industrial) side of downtown L.A. You know you've arrived when you suddenly see an otherwise nondescript facility that's painted bright strawberry-ice-cream pink.

Not knowing exactly how long it would take us to get there, we left way early this morning and arrived a half-hour before our ticket time. (You have to buy tickets in advance.) So we were invited to play in an adjacent open space setup with hula-hoops and other outdoor games for kids. The rest of our group was mostly young couples and moms with small children.

Waiting to go in: wall painted in milk bottles

 Ice cream cones on the sidewalk

We were invited inside at 11AM. The lobby, painted pink, was decorated in all sorts of candies and desserts. There, we were told the museum rules—we could stay as long as we wanted in each room, but could not go back to previous rooms. We were then set loose to enter a mysterious—yes, pink!—door. (The rest is something of a spoiler, so don't continue if you want to be surprised when you visit.)

Lobby decorations: how many sweets can you find and name?

On the other side of the door was another pink room lined with pink telephones. Following directions, we each picked-up a receiver and listened to a famous actor (my lips are sealed) describe what we were about to experience. He told us to jump for joy, if we were excited, and then asked us to yell out our favorite ice cream flavor.

 Pink telephones!

Awaiting instructions
We then went through a door to another room, where we got to sample our first scoop of ice cream: banana and caramel. Not my thing, but Tim (obviously) loved it (below).

Happy boy!

Pretending to love banana ice cream

I did love the ice cream cone sculpture, though, and
pink-and-yellow tropical wallpaper!

 Funny, ice-cream-related "walk of fame" stars on the floor:
Dwayne "the Rocky Road" Johnson

From there, we turned a corner to find a room—my favorite!—filled with plastic bananas hanging from the rafters. Very clever and so unexpected—I couldn't stop laughing.

Hmmm . . . Not sure what's going on here . . .

But did love the hundreds of fake yellow . . .  

and, of course, pink bananas! 

We then followed a (simulated) waffle cone wall around to a mint room, where we had our second ice cream sample: Japanese mint chocolate chip ice cream, called mochi, covered in ground sticky rice. Tasty but odd.

Fake waffle cone wall

Melting popiscles

Next up: a room filled with (fake) melting popsicles, followed by a room featuring giant plastic gummy bears. A museum employee doled out real gummy bear samples, explaining that only in the U.S. do green gummies taste like strawberry. Red gummies, on the other hand, are raspberry. Who knew?

Tim waiting to go into the next room

The final art installation included pointy cones filled with black  ice cream stuck onto two walls as well as into the eye of Michelangelo's David. The ice cream sample wasn't ice cream, at all, but black raw cookie dough stuffed into a small cone. Yikes! Tim had one, but I passed.

Poor David!

We skipped the pool filled with candy sprinkles—apparently a highlight of the visit, but not very appetizing to us—and instead went straight to the gift shop and our final sample: french toast ice cream sandwiches! Chewy but good.

The entire visit took about 30 minutes. The verdict: kitschy but fun! If you don't live in the L.A. area, I highly recommend combining your museum visit with other downtown sights, because you'll probably end-up standing on line outside the museum longer than you'll be inside. Also, this is a pop-up, so get your tickets fast. The museum will soon be gone.


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