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LACMA's boulder is drawing crowds in downtown Bixby Knolls

March 7, 2012 |  3:59 pm

LACMA rock in Bixby Knolls

The massive transporter hauling the 340-ton boulder wrapped in plastic that eventually will be the centerpiece of Michael Heizer's outdoor sculpture "Levitated Mass" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is parked until Wednesday night in a commercial strip of Bixby Knolls, a Long Beach neighborhood just up Atlantic Avenue from the 405 Freeway.

The massive transporter takes up the center two lanes of the four-lane street. The boulder hits the road at 10 p.m., headed for Vermont Avenue north of Carson Street. 

Meanwhile a block party, extended until 7 p.m., is under way.

PHOTOS: Giant rock rolling toward LACMA

At lunchtime there was a DJ, a live band, food trucks, a taco stand, a booth selling T-shirts ("Bixby Knolls Got Rocked"), street artists spray-painting on cardboard sheets, several TV cameras, many still cameras, lots of cellphone cameras, a makeshift table display labeled "Pop Art" (stacked cans of Rockstar Energy Drink), some buskers, dogs on leashes (including mine), pontificating actors from a local theater, plenty of security guards, plenty of slowly moving traffic (although no actual traffic jams) and a steady stream of hundreds -- no, probably a few thousand -- looky-loos filing along the crowded sidewalks.

The boulder, quietly suspended within the transporter's industrial cradle amid the hubbub, seemed positively petite.

Michael Heizer' "Levitated Mass"


Full coverage:  LACMA's rock

LACMA Rock: trouble with hills

Interactive: Getting the rock ready to roll

-- Christopher Knight

Photos: Bixby Knolls, the transporter and the boulder. Credit: Christopher Knight / Los Angeles Times