Of course I didn't wait for a personal visit before I gave myself the pleasure of making fun of it. But today after jury duty in an LA courthouse I got a bit lost and found myself only a block away from the monstrosity. So I figured as a Catholic I ought to go visit my cathedral.
Honestly, it was even worse than expected. The concrete's uglier up close. Inside it's more like a bunker than anything else, and the approach from the back side of the cathedral is much more forbidding than the front side you always see pictured. The statue of "Mary" looked just slightly better than in pictures (she was leaning forward, welcoming), but it's still very bad. Only the other day an Asian seminarian told me that he's offended by suggestions that the statue will make Asian cultures feel included. "That's my mother you're talking about! My mother does not look like that!"
Against my will, I liked the tapestries in the cathedral very much. All the saints were great. But I wonder why Teresa of Avila and Therese of Lisieux were both wearing all white? They were Carmelites! And St. Augustine's heavy jaw and prominent eyebrows make him look like The Governator. Tell me I'm not the only one who's noticed this. :)
My chief annoyance is that it's supposed to be a cathedral. There's a kind of architecture and art that lifts the mind and heart to God, and our cardinal spent $189.7 million not doing it. No wonder there were so few people there to pray. I saw one person in the Eucharistic chapel and none in the main body of the sanctuary.