We’re back from our Los Angeles trip, only to find the weather even more beautiful up north. A spring heat wave has rolled into California, which made it pretty easy to spend the entire weekend in the garden. I have lots of catching up to do this year, after nearly neglecting the yard last summer, when it was buried in scaffolding and all the complications of a major home construction project. I spent most of this weekend out there, and we ate dinner outside on both Saturday and Sunday. Ah, spring.
We had a few more fabulous days in Los Angeles. Took a tour of USC, including the new School of Cinematic Arts, built courtesy of a $175 million dollar donation from George Lucas. The outside of the building is just stunning; the inside, with all the makings of an actual Hollywood studio, is enough to give a film-loving 16-year-old serious college-lust.
Wish him lots of luck and scholarships when he applies in December.
We also spent time at The Getty Center, one of my favorite places in Los Angeles.
I admit to enjoying the buildings and the gardens perhaps more then the art itself. I’m not sure how J. Paul Getty would feel about that. I’ve been reading Joan Didion for My Year of Excellent Essayists project–what a joy it is to read her words–and in her essay, “The Getty”, she writes, “He refused to pay for any ‘tinted-glass-and-stainless-steel-monstrosity’.” The travertine stone used in the Getty is a far cry from stainless steel; still it’s a very modern structure. It was built after Getty died–who knows what he would have thought.
The gardens are gorgeous, and always make me want to get back into my own yard. I love those oversized allium.
Last time we were in Los Angeles, we visited The Getty Villa, which was the original site of the Getty Museum. A few years ago it was completely refurbished, and it too is amazing. It’s modeled after a Roman Villa, complete with open-air courtyards. If you’ve ever studied the Romans and the Greeks with your kids, the museum is a particular treat. Both museums have nice education rooms for families.
Oh, and did I mention that both are free?
If you’re considering going to the Getty Center, you must read Going to the Getty by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh. (Whenever I see the book I have to sing the title to the tune of the Rolling Stone’s version of “Going to a Go-Go.” I was careful to only sing it quietly as we took the tram up to the museum.) The book is a little wacky, very informative, and illustrated by one of our favorite kid book artists. Very fun.
City of Angels is another great book about Los Angeles, illustrated by Elisa Kleven, who also did the art in The City by the Bay. Lots of info about places to visit, plus detailed, whimsical pictures.
It was fun to be away together for a few days. I was little sad to see Chris off to work, and H off to school yesterday. But the So Cal weather here the past few days is making it seem a little like it’s still vacation.