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.