Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Summer sunshine followed us on vacation to LA -- with a healthy dose of Angeleno smog.

Good thing the air is always clear at the Getty Center.  Its hilltop perch happily looks down onto LA's carbon blanket.  (For my previous posts on the Getty, see:  Shadows and the Getty and Shadows, Lines and Blue Sky.)

I've been to the Getty several times and love it for the new things I discover with each visit.  This time, there was something desert oasis about it.  The colors of the stone and sky reminded me of some city in a middle eastern kingdom I'd never been to.

Or ruins in the eastern mediterranean, like the ancient Roman Library at Ephesus (which I have been to).

But, these were no ruins.  This is modern architecture at its most stunning, molded into the Santa Monica mountains in LA:  A house for art.  A frame for views.

It actually begins with a sense of anticipation as you ride the Getty train up the steep hill to the Center.  Or maybe go even further back, to the winding drive from West Hollywood, up tree-lined Sunset Boulevard, which takes you through the tony neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and Westwood.  It's a gorgeous drive.

Once at the Getty, I always find fresh perspectives on Richard Meier's (the architect's) lines and geometries.

You may sense the scorching sun in these parts.  They actually lend out shade umbrellas at various points around the Center.  However, I much preferred these Japanese-looking flower parasols cooling the garden.

And this welcome stream which terminates into a waterfall.

Anyway, I was busy looking at the ever-changing exhibits -- from the French decorative arts, to Herb Ritts' sophisticated photography -- so I wasn't out in the garden too much.  Besides, my trusty Panama hat kept me cool.  

Right here, I turned around from the view to discover a reflective window.  Ha, finally a fuzzy self-portrait!  Hmm, there must be some philosophical significance to this.  Like "finding myself" ...?

We were traipsing around LA for several days and the Getty was just one of the stops.  For those who think LA is just about Hollywood, time for another think.  There are really some wonderful cultural institutions -- beyond pop culture -- in the city of Angels.

How is everyone's summer going so far?  I hear England isn't having much of one lately.  So, sending a bit of California sunshine your way.


  1. My brother is an architect and this is right up his alley in terms of style. I love the Japanese flower parasols.
    Great trousers! I'm into loud trousers right now too.

  2. Oh, Jenny, your piece made me want to revisit the Getty. I spent quite a lot of time in California in the late 90s and your recent posts have reminded me of what I liked so much about it.

    I haven't been back since that time, and would be rather afraid to - it must have changed enormously, (and I know that I have) But the Getty is one of the things that might just tempt me back if I ever get offered the chance.

  3. And thanks for the offer of sun. At present, it's hazy sun and rather unpleasantly humid, but that's certainly better than unrelenting chill and gloom So keep the vibes coming!

  4. Have a fabulous time - and thanks for spreading the word about our little corner of the world!!!

  5. the style of architecture is brilliant..paired with those blue skies and your writing the pictures are a delight!

  6. Thanks, All!
    @Veshoevius -- I am really into the loud prints right now too (wasn't a month ago). I pulled out a row of printed trousers deep in my wardrobe, pants I hadn't worn in years!
    @Jenny -- I hope London pierces through its haze and gives you all a bit of sunshine.

  7. I really love all your photos Jenny. (Those ones you posted also on FB) such a keen perspective.
    I swear you make things prettier.

  8. At the risk of being late for yoga class- I'm typing this in haste - I came here simply to thank you for that incredible message, J: uncanny, exactly what I've been thinking and about to do a post on (while swimming yesterday on our ONE warm sunny English summer day ironically!) and was thinking of calilng the post 'for a dancer' and asking to use one of your shots!

    And here is this gorgeous post. I love these photos - this architecture - it reminds me of photos I took another lifetime ago, it seems - at the airport after visiting an ex boyfriend in New Mexico. And the fact that it's the Getty centre, which I've never been to.. and I just spent a few hours with my friend Pia.. and I'm longing to come to California. CRAVING California!

    Also I love what you're wearing - I'm suddenly into bold patterns and bright colours and sharp contrasts, too. Even tho it's so out of place in this English light. I've been in such an Italian head, I guess.

    I'll shut up now because peeking below, I see the most fabulous shot of your feet and I want to check it out! Will email soon - must get dressed for yoga!! xo

  9. p.s. Just quoted you - hope you don't mind - on my very long winded post. I love this title, btw, but I only just realised the reference: it's Bob Dylan, right? Hurricane? He's playing this weekend at a festival in the English countryside - Kent. Friends are going. Patti Smith, too. I've got a story there, too - of course. There's always a story ; )

    Have a lovely weekend, J! Will write soon as well.

  10. The sun is shining on dear old blighty today so thank you for sending some our way. I kept thinking while reading your post "but that sky is impossibly blue, that sky is impossibly blue". It is good to see an alternative side to LA. and the trees with the blossom as stunning and "the sky is impossibly blue" Xxxx

  11. Look at that majestic blue sky!
    I'd always imagined LA to have plenty of real culture. Thank you for showing us some of it.
    Summer is long and brutal where I live - the Gulf Coast, in Texas. Whew! Last week was a killer.

  12. I feel like I'm inhaling sun from these photos. Is that really the colour of cloudless sky?? I've forgotten what it looks like.
    'Flower parasols' - I'd love to hide in their shade; what a glorious image. Lots of glorious images.

  13. I've never been the Getty, but now I feel as if I have. I absolutely love these photo essays you've been posting lately.

    Much love,

  14. Gorgeous photos! Love the contrast beetween the beautiful architecture and the amazing blue sky. We still don't have summer in here it's like raining and grey all the time :( I really need to go to Mexico to get some sun in my sistem x

  15. Gorgeous photos I love the contrast between the beautiful architecture and the amazing blue sky. Our summer here it has been so bad it's grey and rainning most of days! I really need to go to Mexico to get some sun in my system :)

  16. You are sooooooooooooo brilliant.

  17. Beautiful. I feel happy just looking at the pictures. =)


Dear Fellow Aesthetes, I love hearing your thoughts. I think the other readers find them valuable too! Much love xxx

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