History Trapped in the La Brea Tar Pits

La Brea Tar Pits with Wilshire Boulevard in the background.

As you step outside Los Angeles County Museum the smell hits you. It’s an acrid odor as if a road crew were patching potholes on nearby Wilshire Boulevard. Minutes ago you viewed art by Picasso or Georges Braque. Now, as you walk toward the parking lot, you pass a dark, brackish bubbling lake where three fiberglass mastodons recreate the image of ancient beasts trapped in a lake of tar.