I am posting this, courtesy of my Treo, from the middle of one of the most beautiful and intriguing places I have ever been in my life.
I am at the Getty Center in LA, sitting in a patch of sunlight on a bench in the middle of the Central Gardens, and I am happier than I've been in weeks. I came here around noon today to meet some CT friends who are on vacation in the area. We had a delicious lunch in the cafe and wandered a bit before their two-year-old son hit his expiration date and needed to head back to their hotel for a nap. They took off, but I stayed and have been enjoying some much needed solitude in this gorgeous environment.
This entire place is a work of art. The achitecture is stunning, the gardens spectacular, the views amazing. Everything here is sculpture: the paths, the stairs and towers, the way the stones are laid out in the stream that leads down to the waterfall in the central sunken garden. There are architecture and garden tours every day, as well as individual pamphlets describing them for those who don't have time to take the tours, and it's easy to see why..
The Getty Center is only a few years old, but it already has a soul. It feels like Europe. It's vast and filled with visitors, yet it is peaceful and uncrowded. It's bursting with color and also stark white towers jutting into the sky, stairs winding around the outside and up. You can see the ocean from here (though the marine layer makes it difficult at the moment) as well as all of LA.
Now here's the scary part to this rant:I haven't even been inside yet. I'm too enthralled by the courtyards and gardens to leave them. I'm sure I'll rave about the rest in another post considering the impressive art collection housed here.
In any case, the day is too gorgeous and the view too incredible to spend more time on this little machine. If you live in or are visiting the LA area and haven't been here yet, you really need to visit. Schedule yourself a day and bring a book. I plan to make this one of my favorite haunts.