Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Getty Center in LA

Well. I think I’m finally maybe about to start to begin to get my life back in order. Funny that I should decide that while I’m in LA for the weekend and about to launch into a week that sees me flying back to Texas Monday, having guests Tuesday and Wednesday, and leaving for Minneapolis on Thursday! But the worst of the work on the house is over and it’s starting to feel more home-like. There are still things to be accomplished there, but they no longer feel as pressing and urgent. So, when we get back to Texas after Minneapolis I’m going to start to figure out what I want to do with my life. I can’t sit around waiting to see if we stay in Austin or move somewhere else.

Since the last time I posted we’ve moved into the house, I’ve gone to Missouri for Passover for a week, come back to Texas and worked. I’ve unpacked, put things away, cleaned and cleaned again, sorted, tossed, planted, put birdseed in the bird-feeder and generally worn myself out. That’s been part of the problem. I’ve spent so much time everyday working around the house that I just don’t have the energy to do much of anything else.

But yesterday I woke up at 4:30 am, drove to the airport, and flew to LA for the weekend. Lee is here all week working on a project so I decided to join him. It’s nice to get away from everything without any pressures at all to do anything except have fun! After Lee picked me up at the airport we drove him back to work and then I took the car and drove to the Getty Center. When the Center opened several years ago I read a review of it in the New Yorker and ever since then I’ve really wanted to see it.

To get to the Getty Center you take the freeway – 101 to 405. I can drive the LA freeways as long as I understand exactly where I want to go and plan out my driving so I know well in advance what lane I need to be in. I drive in the slower lanes and just pay attention. The Getty Center is right off of 405 and easy to find. You drive right in. Parking costs $10 but the museum itself is free. You take a nice tram to the top of the hill and there you are.

The museum(s) are situated around a beautiful courtyard, on a high hill overlooking LA. The buildings are modern, tan stone, blue windows, curved walls, straight walls….many interesting angles and lines of sight. I had a lot of fun playing with my camera, trying for interesting shots. I had read recently about making landscapes more interesting by putting something in the foreground to give perspective. I don’t know how successful I was but it was fun trying!

The buildings were labeled North, South, East and West Pavilion. Sometimes they were linked and sometimes you had to walk out into the courtyard to get from one to another. There were walkways leading off into the sides of the hills, where views and gardens, cafes and seating areas surrounded the pavilions on the outside. This made it easy to spend the day there without getting bored. I would look at art for awhile, then go outside and sit in the courtyard, or walk on a path and take in a view, or enjoy a garden.

The art was a mixture, with nice permanent exhibits and great temporary ones. My favorites were the French tapestries and furniture, the photo exhibit, the Japanese lacquer furniture exhibit, and the impressionists. The French exhibit was, I think Baroque and Rococo. It was over the top in colors and richness and detail. The photos were beautiful, strange and funny. A woman photographer was featured – Jo Ann Callis. There was a wall filled with pictures of confectionery by Callis that just cracked me up. No photographs were allowed in that portion of the exhibit so I bought a t-shirt with the pictures on it instead!

The Japanese lacquer furniture had a strange effect on me. It was beautiful, very ornate and of course, very Japanese. As I wandered through the exhibit I suddenly started crying! It really caught me by surprise. I know it’s because I miss Asia and Hong Kong…its okay. This repatriating thing is just kind of odd. It’s a little like grieving…no it’s a lot like grief, what am I saying! I’ve lost something, I have to mourn it, and eventually I will be able to just remember it fondly. What great memories! I’m looking forward to getting to that point, but I know I can’t force it.

Last night we went out for sushi – it was very, very good; that’s a great thing about LA. Today we’re going to Chinatown for dim sum and then we’re heading down the coast to San Diego to visit an old college friend of Lee’s. I think the sun is even shining now!

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