Tag Archives: Museums

Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museum — San Francisco, California

Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museum -- San Francisco, California

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A Contemplative Drive and iPhone Photography of the Getty Museum — Los Angeles, California

Perched atop the hills of the Santa Monica Mountains, I can see it from a distance. It's a blue sky and sunny day, the kind that only Southern California knows in the middle of a January winter. Winter? Eh, sure. No doubt there's a snowy blizzard in some other part of the world, just not in these here parts of 79 F degrees Los Angeles.

What I see from the distance is the Getty Center, one of two locations where the J. Paul Getty Museum resides. I'm about five miles away in my car, but it'll take at least another half an hour to get there. So close, but yet so far. I contemplate what's worse -- sitting at home in front of the fireplace stranded by a snowy blizzard somewhere in Alaska or sitting in a parking lot on the 405 Freeway on a beautiful warm LA day constrained by a seat belt. Yes, Los Angeles is notorious for the worst traffic in the universe and galaxies beyond and afar.

With its notoriety in commute woes and lack of easy public transportation, the city of Los Angeles redeems herself with the many fun and cultural activities to see and do. After almost two hours in the car, I finally arrived. My painstaking contemplation between snow and sun had ended as I handed my ten dollars parking fee to the attendant. I was happy to be in a real parking lot.

I had been to the J. Paul Getty Museum a couple of times before, usually for the educational and inspiring lectures about various artists. This last Thursday was a lecture about storytelling and photography, how artists introduce their own narrative into images. I had invited my fellow travel writer friend, Barbara, who as an out-of-town visitor experienced the wrath of the LA traffic gods for the first time.

Perhaps, I may be dwelling on the unpleasant commute a bit. But this is only to illustrate that even in the worst traffic, it is still worth a trip to visit the museum. As I walk up the steps leading to the museum lobby, I am greeted with a sleek and magnificent structure designed by renown architect Richard Meier. Surely I wonder whether the curvilinear elements in the building is designed to resemble the snake-like grid of the city's congested freeway system, which can be seen from above the museum grounds.

It really is worth the trip. With a collection of world-class art, stunning architecture and panoramic views of the city, ocean and mountain landscapes all woven together, the museum is a place I'd gladly revisit again and again. Barbara and I sat in the garden area for a little while sharing our thoughts and dreams on life because this is what one does at a place that awakens the senses and inspires the mind.

But if all that doesn't do it for you, well, there's the thrill of the leisurely tram ride that takes you from the parking lot up to the museum. And don't forget about the ride back down. No constraining seat belt required here.

The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Drive (map)
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 440-7300

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