Weekend Outings at the Getty

With midterms just around the corner, I thought I would take advantage of this past weekend to do some off campus exploring and ended up at the Getty.

The Getty is a beautiful museum right on the other side of the 405.  By bus, you can get there in as little as 10 minutes!  It has magnificent gardens, breathtaking architecture, and an impressive collection of artwork.  Several notable pieces include works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Manet, and Degas.

It is the perfect place to hang out, walk around, or study.  There are gardens, cafes, fountains, and an outstanding view of LA.  It is always a treat to see the beaches of Santa Monica, the sky scrapers of downtown, LMU’s campus and all of UCLA.  There are vantage points all over, making it a great place to overlook the city.

Of all my experiences in LA, the Getty has consistently been one of my favorites.  I go there whenever I get the chance.  It is the perfect location for any UCLA student because it is free, easily accessible by public transportation, and has a little something for everyone (including Wi-Fi)!

This past Saturday, My friends and I found a quiet table away from the main walk way, I bought the most delicious chai latte I have ever had, and read some for my class.  As an extended study break, my friends and I walked around the extensive painting exhibits and the special gallery on the Renaissance depictions of Jesus.  We even found some pictures that depicted scenes from the Gospel of John (which we had all been studying right before)!  It was a very moving experience!

(More) Los Angeles Visit

I recently returned from a five-day farewell UCLA trip. I mentioned in my last post that I went to the Getty Villa, but I got to do so much more fun stuff after that!

This included more museums; one really isn’t enough. I’ve already been to both LACMA and the Getty, but I’m always in the mood to look at pretty things and both of them were running exhibits I hadn’t seen yet. On Saturday, my friend Mariam and I went to LACMA. I’ve always thought of LACMA as having primarily modern or contemporary art because I’ve always spent most of my time there in the western half looking at Warhols and those fun Serra sculptures you can walk through. But LACMA also has a large section filled with older art (from slightly less recent to like… really, really old), that I pretty much have only wandered through quickly a couple of times. This time, bored with the new stuff, Mariam and I went to check out the eastern buildings of the museum. There was a ton of really cool stuff! Granted, not all of it was super old (they did have an exhibit on the opening credits of Bond films), but we got to see bunches of beautiful art. We even saw a mummy (which you, if you’ve read my last post, would know was the second mummy I had seen in two days). We got to see some paintings, statues, and some decorative tea sets.

The next day, Mariam and I went to the Getty early in the morning. I had never really been to the Getty before noon and having a Getty coffee drink in the morning was seriously blissful. Right now, there’s an exhibit featuring some of Gustav Klimt’s drawings that we got to see (uhhhhmaaaazing). We also had a lovely sit in the gardens – the flowers were spectac – and paid a visit to the sketching gallery. So fun! We both got to sketch a nude statuette and practice drawing faces.

Besides museums, my visit included many more campus walks, stops in the Kerckhoff tour guide office, card games, eating at fun places around LA, and lots of and lots of good catch-up times with friends I won’t be seeing for a while. It was kind of weird seeing people knowing that they would be having their next UCLA year without me but promises of Skype calls and the fact that studying abroad will be, objectively, one of the best experiences evER made me feel better. I’m still going to be friends with everyone and the campus will still be as beautiful upon my return.

I’m still riding the good vibes from that trip, and I’m also feeling great knowing I’m going to be in France in a week! I’ll miss you, UCLA! But I’ll be seeing you before we both know it.

Princeton Ly – Photography

Century City----Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/borjamatic/4958850742/

Los Angeles has lots of cool art museums to visit, from the Hammer (literally five minutes from UCLA) to the Getty (also literally five minutes from UCLA) to the LACMA (please do more than just take pictures with the lamps) to the MOCA (the Geffen of the Geffen Contemporary location is the same Geffen of our medical school!).

But one underrated and often overlooked cultural treasure of our great city is the Annenberg Space for Photography, located just a short drive from campus in glittering Century City.

The modernistic space itself, while new, is rather small, but the curators really do make the best of it. There is typically one coordinated exhibit being shown at any given time, with pieces from both established greats and up-and-comers. The first time I went, the theme was the socially oriented “Water: Our Thirsty World“, and focused on the future of our earth’s fresh water – a very relevant topic indeed. More recently, they have been displaying photographs from their series titled “Digital Darkroom“, an exploration of photography in the digital age. The central gallery, modeled after a irising camera lens, usually shows a documentary or movie shot just for the show at hand, with artist interviews and the like.

The next exhibit looks especially promising: “Who Shot Rock & Roll” (starts June 23rd), so be sure to check it out!

Oh, and did I mention it’s free!? All the more reason to visit!

College Nights!

It’s that time. It’s spring quarter. It’s college night time.

Every year, both the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Getty Center throw huge-o parties, creatively titled “College Night”s because they are for college students and happen in the evening time. College nights are so so fun. There’s art, there’s fellow college students, and (most importantly) there’s always gobs of free food.

LACMA and the Getty each do their college nights a little differently.

LACMA’s was during the first week of the quarter (before anyone had any homework, good one, LACMA!). The bus ride over was nice – I always like busing down Wilshire. My friends and I got to the museum (which is really easy to spot because of their lamp post installation in the front) a little after the event had started, and we immediately got in the first line for food we could see. It turned out that the line we were waiting in was for coffee and tea, which was fine, but we wanted some real food!

I thought I saw people walking around with vanilla ice cream and figured that there was a make-your-own sundae bar. After waiting a while in what I thought was the ice cream line, I realized that people were actually carrying around cups of mashed potatoes… not ice cream. This was OK by me, I like mashed potatoes and they had some fun fixin’s to go along with the spuds. I got cheddar cheese, chives, butter, and bacon bits. I did feel really weird eating mashed potatoes at a semi-fancy event (especially out of a plastic cup), but hey, it was free food.

After our munchies, my friends and I went to go check out the art. There was a really cool sculpture called “Metropolis” that was essentially a gigantic hotwheels track with hundreds of cars zooming around miniature buildings on plastic roads. There was also an exhibit on American and Mexican women surrealists, and I got to see some pieces by Frida! Cool!

Getty’s college night was less art focused and more party party party focused. The group I went with got there as the event was starting and first thing we did (of course) was jet straight to the food. This year they had tacos! I had three total – two pork and one chicken – and ate a couple of the brownies as well. The brownies might have actually been the best part (which is hard for me to believe considering how obsessed I am with tacos) but this is because they had ~ancho chiles~ in them. Spicy and chocolate was a perfect way to finish off the meal.

Instead of looking at art after we ate, my friends and partook in the many party-related (and non-party-related) activities at College Night. We went up on balconies for great views of LA, we took pictures in the photobooth, we listened to bands that were playing, among other things.

For both nights, my friends and I stayed until closing – everything was just way too fun! I love College Night and I love even more that I get to go to two of them a year!

The Getty, Ladies and Gentlemen

Now I know that we have mentioned the Getty before on this blog. But. It deserves more than a mention. The Getty Center is my favorite place in Los Angeles.

And let me tell you why.

  1. It is gorgeous. Like just strikingly beautiful. The architecture, the view, the tram, the gardens (the gardens!). It all just makes you want to plant yourself at the Getty and not leave until you get proposed to and married on the terrace level.
  2. It is a representation of what L.A. is good at. It gets that whole let’s-manicure-the-crap-outta-this-area thing down. If you haven’t been to LA, one of the first things you will notice is that they like to go super crazy on the manicuring in small sections of the city. Beverly Hills is a pretty good example. The Grove is a great example (it looks like Disneyland…). But the Getty is the only place that gets it just right. It’s not annoying. It’s nice.
  3. The iced mochas. Are. So. Good. Better than Starbucks. Way better than BCaf. The best. I try to get one every time I go.
  4. The photo-ops! There are oh-so-many opportunities to take amazing pictures (I have multiple profile pictures that I took at the Getty). There are so many levels and backgrounds and spectacular things to pose by (sculptures, cacti, best friends).
  5. College Night! This year it is on April 16th (so expect a post about it around that time). College Night may be the most exciting night of my year. Basically, the Getty throws a huge party for college students. And it’s a completely free party. And it has completely free food. Last year, the served:
  • two types of sandwiches: goat cheese with roasted vegetables & ham with brie
  • the best french fries with two dipping sauces: red bell pepper ketchup & garlic aioli
  • sodaaaaa
  • meringues. freaking meringues. so delicious and simple and they came in chocolate and vanilla

Of course, the art is very fun to look at, too. They have a permanent collection of old-timey French home furnishings and a sketching gallery where you can draw busts. But, the art almost doesn’t compare to the magnificent atmosphere at the Getty.

And I can tell you that this Getty magic lives on every single time you go. I went just this past weekend, and it still blew my mind. And perhaps the best part of the Getty is that is super duper close – just a fifteen minute bus ride from UCLA! I seriously recommend going to the Getty if you are someone who loves beauty and fun and soaking in L.A. You shan’t be disappointed.

Parent’s Weekend!

This weekend is Parent’s Weekend! The best weekend of the year! (Maybe not, but I love my parents, and this weekend is the first time I get to see them, ok?)

My parents are getting here early Saturday morning which means I have to get up even earlier to get showered, dressed and clean up my room because it is a total mess right now. Once they get here, we are going to have a ~delectable~ brunch / dining experience in Royce Quad, with food provided by UCLA Catering.

Let me just say, UCLA Catering’s food is super freaking good. Every time they have big events like this, there are always strawberries and whipped cream. Last year, they had a donut stand where, get this, they were making fresh donuts with powdered sugar or cinnamon (or both). Basically, Parent’s Weekend = UCLA Catering = caloric overload 2011.

After we finish up eatin’ and greetin’, we are going to tour around L.A. on our (less than) fabulous public transportation system. Perhaps we’ll stop by LACMA or head on over to Santa Monica. Whatever happens, I know I am going to be supremely happy – my parents will be here!

At night, my roommate and her mom are going to pick us up and we are all going to go to the Getty Center. If you have not been to the Getty… go now. Right now. I feel like I have said this before, but the Getty is the most beautiful place is Los Angeles and needs to be experienced by everyone.

On Sunday, we are going to my friend’s house for brunch. I am really excited for my parents to meet my friend’s mom. It’s been so long (high school days) since my mom and dad knew the moms and dads of the people I am friends with.

Unfortunately, Parent’s Weekend is just a weekend, and I eventually have to say goodbye. But… I already know that this one will be a whole lot better than last year’s (for one thing, we aren’t going to the football game). I am a little more mature and a lot more comfortable. I am really looking forward to running up and giving my mom and huge hug.

Parent’s Weekend – just one of the many awesome events you get to take part of at UCLA!

College Mobile

First and foremost I am writing this piece as a warning to all out there: YOU DON’T NEED TO HAVE A CAR AT UCLA! Ok yes, I’ll admit it. I have a really cool ride. Some might even say an envious one: a smooth riding, luxurious, Nissan maxima ‘98 edition, and despite what many have said, a very feminine car. (just look it up to imagine how cool I look) And yes, while I do love being able to get up and go whenever I want, I didn’t have a car until my senior year in college, and I am warning once again, DRIVING IN LA SUCKS!

“Now that’s a little harsh”, you might be thinking to yourselves, but I stand by it and nothing you can say can make me change my opinion! I held two internships this summer: one in downtown LA, and one in Santa Monica. In one week I would be driving on average, 9.5 hours. WHAT?!?!?!?!  9.5 x 15 weeks……That’s like wasting 6 WHOLE DAYS OF MY LIFE DRIVING IN LA TRAFFIC?!?!?! Ok I am having a minor panic attack right now.

My point is, that despite what people may say, you don’t need a car on campus. You will be saving yourself a lot of time (traffic moves slowly), and money (parking tickets), and avoid a lot of aggravation (people can’t really drive in LA).  And besides, there are so many wonderful, cultural, and beautiful things to do locally! For example, the Getty!!!!

The other day I took my friend from home on an LA adventure, and her favorite thing that we did was our picnic at the Getty. The beautiful gardens set along side the architectural genius makes it the perfect place to kick back and relax, or catch up on some studies. Free to the public, we took advantage of the exhibit on Cuba and soaked up some cultural goodness.

So now I ask, “what have you learned from all this?” And your answers, I am sure, are that 1) Maddy is crazy, and 2) No need for a car when culture is near by!