Friday, March 7, 2008

Gloom and Doom: Part II

I don't know what's been going on with SoCal weather lately. It's been sunny during the week for the past two weeks but when it comes time for the weekend, the clouds roll in and the temperature drops on Saturday morning. Last weekend was the second in a row this happened, and I hope that the weather is not planning on a three-peat performance. It's hard to appreciate the outdoors when it is so gloomy but Rene and I dealt with it and visited the Getty Museum.

The Getty Museum opened back in 1997 but this is the first time we've gotten around to visiting it. Back when it first opened everyone needed a reservation to get in. Now all you need to do it pay $8 for parking and the museum is free. The parking structure is on the base of the mountain on Sepulveda Boulevard and you need to ride the tram to access the museum and garden.

I have to say that the Getty staff are dedicated and always make sure you know where you are going. There are guides that point the way to the tram (even though you can see it as soon as you step out of the parking garage elevators) and let you know how long it will take for the next tram to arrive. The tram ride itself was nice – you have a view of the 405 freeway and the houses that dot the hillside.

Once the tram reached the top of the hill, we made our way towards the garden. It’s a decent-sized garden with wide grassy areas (perfect for picnics and naps) and filled with different types from plants, from succulents to flowering trees and bushes. There’s a stream that starts at the entrance and makes its way downhill towards the garden’s centerpiece: a circular lake with a floating maze in the middle. Surrounding this lake is a path filled with more flowers, shrubs, and trees – it’s quite a sight to behold, even on an overcast day. Already a number of plants and flowers were in bloom but the trees were bare. Rene and I will come back in the springtime, when the weather gets nicer and the trees are showing off their new leaves.

(more pictures here)

We didn’t have an itinerary to follow, so after visiting the garden we wandered off to the nearest building. The gallery had a photo exhibit called Goat’s Dance by Graciela Iturbide. Almost all of these images where in black and white and featured scenes from the Sonoran Desert in Mexico, and village life in a rural area called Tlaxcala. It also featured pictures depicting gang members in East LA from 1986, which I liked the most. She mostly photographed the females (Cholas), and it was interesting seeing how they looked then and now – it doesn’t seem like much has changed. It’s all about over-processed hair, heavy foundation and eyeliner, red lips, and eyebrows plucked into a thin line. I think the ladies in the exhibit looked best when they didn’t have any makeup on.

Rene and I can only tolerate museums for about two hours before we get bored and grumpy (ok, I get grumpy), and after visiting another exhibit for decorative arts (read: furniture), we made out way to one of my favorite restaurants, Houston’s, for dinner.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

next time you go, be sure to sign up for one of their guided tours. I took the architecture tour one year and it was amazingly fascinating. The museum was designed to mimic the landscape in to many ways.