Arts, Beats and Eats in LA

Last week I took a trip to LA. I’ve only ever passed through on the way to NY from Sydney, so I was excited to be leaving the airport this time without being frisked by international customs.

It was touchdown, taxi, straight to the Getty Museum. The delight of the warm sun, and the tame but meditative gardens, melting away the cool grit of Manhattan.

Circle hedge maze and waterfall love.
The beautiful blooms, gardens, architecture and scenery at the Getty is worth it.
A postcard, Blondie by Robert Mapplethorpe and clean modernist lines.

The Robert Mapplethorpe, The Perfect Medium, photography exhibition was phenomenal. He had such a talent for illuminating his subjects own strength, beauty and power. For showing the human form as sculpture, like a classicist would.

The accompanying Samuel Wagstaff collection, now a permanent part of the Getty’s collection made me wish I could have another career as the photography curator. Such treasures.

I could have spent an eternity there but the opening reception of Museums and the Web called me to The Broad. I hear the pre-booked waitlist to get in is a few months long, and this new museum is striking the right chord with millennials and others who may not usually frequent an art museum for fun. Bravo. We were lucky enough to have access after hours with the building all to ourselves, and again, I would have loved to have more time, it was a fleeting visit (this is the theme of the next couple of days to follow).

The rhythmic skin of The Broad, and the colourful Tulips by Jeff Koons.

I fell in love with this multiscreen installation by Ragnar Kjartansson, a long, slow, balled, featuring multiple musicians playing throughout different rooms of a bohemian mansion in Upstate New York.

There are so many great cultural institutions in this city, of all sizes and covering diverse subject matter. A small, quirky gem is the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Go for the tiny dioramas and optical illusions, linger for the tea and biscuits in the rooftop garden with the pigeons.

Seb, Rosemary and Neb are pleased.

A trip to LA would not be complete without some beats and the two-storey club Low End Theory delivered…

Revellers in the backyard at Low End Theory.

…and a late night trip around Downtown in the back of a convertible, breeze through my hair.

So breezy.

I understand now why no one walks in the city. A convertible is essential or forgetaboutit. Thankfully I have nice friends with cars. So before I jetted home on the red eye there was time for an afternoon beachside. First stop, Venice Canals. No sign of David Duchovny aka Californication but loads of interesting water front decorations to make up for it, flamingoes on fences, legs standing to the sky.

The ducks of the canals, living the sweet life.

Then the iconic Santa Monica Boulevard…it’s not quite the clean inviting beach experience that I’m accustomed to in Australia, but this heritage boardwalk, with its bedraggled buskers, game parlours and ferris wheel holds plenty of magic. I couldn’t help but hum Good Vibrations.

And let’s not forget the eats. Fresh Californian fare, you do remind me of home. Just look at this, Spring on a plate with beet tartare and charred avocado, Bass Crudo with citrus, nasturtium and cumquat at Kali Restaurant, and Summer sunrise in a glass juice at True Food Kitchen. I would happily return just for the noms.

Here’s the full list of places I roamed, just in case you’re planning a trip soon and looking for some tips:

LA, L L A, you’re alright.

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