Saturday, March 03, 2007

J. Paul Getty Center and Museum (Winter) - Los Angeles

There were several events that coincided when I first moved to Southern California almost a decade ago. One of those was the opening of the J. Paul Getty Center and Museum. This huge white monolith perched atop a mountain with sweeping views of the ocean and Santa Monica features American and European art. It's a frequent stop whenever I have out-of-town visitors. So on this particular day and all within six hours, I met up with my friends at the Farmers' Market in Alhambra; stopped for lunch at Golden Deli Vietnamese Restaurant in San Gabriel; shopped for stuffed animals and drank freshly pressed sugar cane juice in Chinatown; did a very, very quick tour round the La Brea Tar Pits (No photos from me, I was driving the car around the block while my visitor ran out snapped some photos and hopped back in.); and ended with the Getty at sunset. Since we got there an hour before closing time, the $8 parking fee was waived. And the Getty charges no admission fee at all anyway. So free! Yippee! Here's the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. I'm standing in front of the Getty's cafe. So yes, there's food available but I can't say whether it's any good. For those looking for romantic-ish date places, I would imagine sitting in the cafe, looking at the sun bedding down for the night after a day exploring art would be give you plenty of fodder for discussion and whatnot. ;) Park at the bottom of the hill, take a long winding tram ride to the top with plenty of views of the always jam-packed 405 to get to the museum. This is the main entrance area, but there's multiple connected buildings.
View looking down at the gardens. The art is nice, but I really love the Getty for its gardens. It's not really at its best in the winter though.
Unfortunately my favorite water feature wasn't turned on. It's rather hard to describe. It's a small stream of water dripping into a tiny hole upstairs that shows up trickling underneath like the inside of an urn when you get downstairs.
In the summer the bougainvillea is brightly fuchsia and crawling over and dripping down from these steel structures.
Looking backwards at the stream. No water here either. :(
The azalea water maze. See the zigzag in the middle above the azaleas? That's the path to go down for a closer look. But it was too windy and cold so we opted to hurry indoors.
The rock garden is in one of the courtyard areas between the various buildings.
My boss at the time when the Getty opened had a boyfriend who was a painter. Not an artist mind you, but a house painter. He painted some of the Getty's walls. So when they toured the museum after it first opened, while most people looked at the art, he pointed out the tricky corners and various walls that he painted. Yes, I always tell this story to visitors as well. :)
So here you go, I'll leave you with some of my favorite art at the Getty.
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Closed Monday
Free admission, $8 parking


  1. Sounds like a perfect day. I LOVE the Getty!!!

  2. The Getty is one of my favorite places in Southern California. The stunning views, the glorious gardens, and the exquisite art collections always make for memorable visits. Thanks for highlighting it!

  3. Hi Deb and Susan,
    I love the Getty too. Can you believe some Southern Californians have never made it out to visit?

  4. My daughter and I really enjoyed the Getty about 24 years ago, but
    I think it might have been an
    older version. Fabulous, though.

  5. Melba,
    This Getty opened in 1998, I believe. The one you visited may have been the Villa? If so, it's recently been renovated.


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