Before I went to Los Angeles last month, a friend told me to be sure to check out the view from the Griffith Observatory.
Here it is. That’s downtown Los Angeles to the right and, yes, a full moon to the left.
I first read about The Getty in a magazine article, well before it opened, and knew I had to see the place if I ever made it to Los Angeles. And so, during my first-ever visit to Los Angeles some years ago, I made a beeline for The Getty. I was so enamoured with the architecture that I barely made it inside to look at the art.
Last month, on my second-ever visit to Los Angeles, I made a beeline for The Getty. This time I did make it inside, where I enjoyed some fine art, but, once again, I was awe-struck by the architecture of this world-class art museum.
The Getty sits atop a hillside in the midst of the Santa Monica Mountains (well, Angelenos refer to these hills as the Santa Monica Mountains, but, you know….). It overlooks the San Diego Freeway and offers a spectacular view of downtown Los Angeles. Look west, and you see the Pacific Ocean. Look east, and you see the San Gabriel Mountains.
Richard Meier was the architect and it was The Getty that catapulted him into the starchitect stratosphere. It was built from 1.2 million square feet (that’s 16,000 tons, folks!) of Italian Travertine stone. There are five pavilions of galleries, linked together with exterior courtyards and terraces.
I expect on my next visit to Los Angeles to yet again be making a beeline to The Getty.
Question: What do Los Angeles and Vancouver have in common?
Answer: Both cities have beaches. (But the beaches in Los Angeles are a lot bigger and the surf is a lot higher.) Both cities have palm trees. (But the palm trees in Los Angeles are more varied and much taller, and the palm trees in Vancouver ― well, I am being kind when I say they look a little ridiculous. I mean, palm trees do not belong in Canada. Right?)
And both cities are surrounded by mountains. (Here, I think we win, as our mountains are a lot closer. I think ours are taller, too.)
But there is one area where Los Angeles and Vancouver have absolutely nothing in common. Hands down, the weather in Los Angeles is waaaay better than in Vancouver, and a whole lot more dependable. I know this because I spent last weekend in Los Angeles, soaking up some badly needed Vitamin D.
And now I can’t wait for summer to arrive in my home city.