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Photo Friday: Los Angeles, California

I’ve never been that big a fan of art museums. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to them, but when I travel, I like to be out and about exploring a place by foot or from high up in the air or even from beneath the surface, not indoors.

In fact, as of next week I’ve been living in San Francisco for three years and—BIG REVEAL HERE, PEOPLE; this could potentially jeopardize my job and, more importantly, street cred!—have yet to step foot in the SFMOMA or the Legion of Honor or the Palace of Fine Arts, all museums I frequently advise visitors to this city to hit up. (I have, however, been to the California Academy of Sciences on numerous occasion, as that is totally my kind of museum experience.) But I really couldn’t head to Los Angeles one more time without paying a visit to the Getty—or risk being disowned by my friend China, art enthusiast and employee of the museum.

So I went. And I loved it. First of all, there were two amazing photography exhibits—Photography from the New China and Felice Beato: A Photographer on the Eastern Road—and for as much as I’m not wild about wandering through hallways of paintings, I certainly dig aimlessly exploring walls of pretty photos. And the ancient texts! Wow. China ran me through this exhibit, Imagining the Past in France, briefly after we ate, and being such a fan of the written word, I was enamored with these collections of hand-drawn and illustrated books from the 1200s through 1500s. (Obviously, I couldn’t take photos inside, so you’ll just have to head down there and check them out yourself!)

And the grounds, oh the grounds. Have you ever seen more perfectly manicured lawns at a museum?

Oh right, I guess I should address the panorama, too. I mean, it definitely doesn’t suck.

Looking east, you can see the entire downtown Los Angeles skyline, snow-capped peaks in the distance.

Looking west, the Pacific Coast in all its smoggy LA glory.

My biggest error of the day was, once again, underestimating how time it would take me to drive from Beverly Hills out to the Brentwood Hills area, park, then take the tram up the hill; once I’d done all that, I had just short of an hour to explore the premises before meeting China for lunch.

But that’s OK. After all, I need to leave some things to explore on my next trip down the California coast.

*All photos taken with a Canon G11.

**For more Photo Friday fun, visit Delicious Baby.

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Comments ( 38 )

  1. The reflection of the buildings in the windows. WOW. I love the distortion.

    I love the long pillars. The feeling of space. Love how you managed to capture it all.

  2. Wow, Los Angeles is indeed photogenic through your lens!

  3. Next time you’re in LA and in the museum visitng mood you should check out the Getty Villa – it’s lovely as well, and in Malibu. I love the space you captured, I’ve never seen it so empty!

    • There were a good number of people milling about, but they all seemed to scatter when I arrived in a particular area….maybe I smelled? =) Also, it was Friday morning. But yes! Getty Villa! I hear it is divine.

  4. I love the Getty! Sadly, when I visited it was long ago and my pictures are not digital and I cannot find them. These are fantastic pictures!

    • Mary, that’s the story with all my pictures during my time living in Europe (at least, the first time). I would love to know where they all went so I could scan them in and use them for future Photo Fridays (and maybe eventually do a scrapbook, too)!

  5. I actually love art museums. I’ve never been to the Getty though.

    It’s interesting that you say that “obviously” you couldn’t take photos inside. In many museums you can.

    • Caitlin: I meant you can’t in the ancient text room, as there are these massive books from the 13th through 16th centuries protected in heavy cases. Though maybe you could? I didn’t actually ask… Regardless, it was so dark in there, photos wouldn’t have come out even if I did.

  6. I’ve been there! Very cool place, and an even more amazing view!

  7. Gorgeous! I’m a sucker for museums, but have never been to the Getty. It’s on the list for next time I’m in SoCal, cross my heart and kiss my elbow.

    xox

  8. I’m a bit of an art freak, although I often like galleries better than museums. I’m a big fan of the Getty, though. I like that you can go there with someone who isn’t all about art, and they will still have a good time enjoying the architecture and grounds. Great pictures!

    • I envy you, Chris. I’ve always wished I could be that girl who truly appreciates and “gets” all kind of art. I do dig modern galleries and any sort of photography exhibit, but some of the other types of more antiquated paintings styles just don’t appeal to me!

  9. I’ve driven past the Getty Museum hundreds of times when I was attending University in San Diego and driving home to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit my family but NEVER have I stopped inside. I always told myself that I would one day, but never got around to it. It’s still a place I want to visit. It just looks like such a cool place to spend an afternoon!

    • The weather was so beautiful while I was there–80 degrees in January!–that it took all I had to not just lay outside by the fountain all afternoon and go inside to admire the exhibits instead! There’s hardly a prettier setting in all of LA. Put that on your to-do list if ever you make it back to the States ;-)

  10. WOW! I love your pictures. I’m embarrassed to say it too, but I haven’t been to either of the Getty Museums. Maybe I need to go and see China for lunch too :)

  11. Yes, you need to come here again! Next time we can hit up the Getty Villa – that is my favorite of the two Getty museums, and is next to the ocean. It’s like visiting an Italian villa in Malibu.

  12. I kinda feel the same way about museums, but have been to the beautiful Getty.

  13. I adore the Getty!!!

  14. We did the architectural tour there! I really loved it.

  15. Hey Kristin,

    I will be definitely hitting the Getty in a couple of weeks. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous pictures.

  16. Trippy looking building. Almost make the egg-shaped building I work in look normal!

  17. I LOVE the photo of the reflective windows!

  18. Next time you’re in Chicago you should hit up the Museum of Science and Industry. SUCH a fun museum.

  19. Fantastic! this might be one of my favorite posts of yours :) I’m just dying to go here. It would be the main reason for me going to LA. Oh and YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE SFMOMA ! :)

  20. I never thought i would like LA until I spent a few weeks house sitting with my wife in West Hollywood. It didn’t make me want to abandon Seattle straightaway but I was taken by its sheer expanse, weather and vicinity to the ocean. There are so many towns, neighborhoods and districts that you could spend your whole life exploring LA.

    Still might move that direction someday…who knows?

  21. Geez, I live 15 minutes from the Getty. Next time you’re in town, I’ll take you to the Villa, it’s an equally lovely but very different experience.

    • Jennifer, I will most definitely take you up on that offer! I love Malibu (and hear the Villa is even more impressive), though I didn’t make it there this trip down, thanks to Friday + holiday weekend traffic!

  22. Rebecca (Bearca) February 1, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I love the gardens at the Getty. So beautiful!

  23. Just discovered your blog. I’m inspired and I love your stories. Currently living in your beautiful state of TN (Chattanooga).

    I am a huge museum fan. I was at the Getty Museum last April and fell in love with the place – the building, the view, and the landscape, and of course, the arts. I visited the High Museum in Atlanta last weekend, and was so disappointed with it. The shape of the building looked familiar. I learned that it was designed by the same architect – Richard Meier – who designed the Getty.

  24. This is cool! I kind of am a museum girl —well, the good ones. SFMOMA is pretty cool. I was really impressed. You should go! (Tsk!). No museums in LA for me though. Maybe next time if I can peel myself off Santa Monica beach. Love that beach.

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