Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Checked out: NHM's new Dinosaur Hall

Last month on Off-Ramp, Ilsa Setziol took you inside the Natural History Museum's brand new Dinosaur Hall as they were putting the finishing touches in place. You might also remember when Off-Ramp toured the recently renovated Beaux-Arts Building with two junior reporters and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas--that was the last time I visited.

This past weekend I got a chance see the NHM for a long-overdue, microphone-free visit. The first since I was a kid, probably. It was great! Of course, the dinosaur is beautiful--unlike the older wings of the museum, there's plenty of natural light--which surely keeps the power bill low and makes the statues much easier to photograph. To wit:

Just look at how open and bright it is! The three t-rex's are the stars of the show, of course: recently excavated Thomas is one of the most complete specimens on earth with only 30% of his bones synthetically made. But I'm partial to the 150 million year old stegosaurus, too.  The new hall also lets kids get more involved by bringing in a series of interactive displays with info on diet, habitat and more. 

To prevent overcrowding, the hall is available for viewing by appointment only. But entrance is included with your NHM admission--and it's worth the wait.