Still summer, crowds still here, at the beach, and on PCH, and given the inexorable population growth of Southern California, I expect summer to extend to Thanksgiving, and so I comment this week on public radio 97.5 KBU, and websites everywhere
In effect, Fall has fallen from the calendar, so if you want to keep your flame of culture glowing, I fear you must face the traffic, strap yourself in your car, turn on the air conditioning and turn up KBU, and with patience and fortitude, try embracing some motorized meditation.
But if it’s museums you are interested in, as I am, the commute can be eased by avoiding weekends, going early, staying late, and focus on the more accessible venues.
Heading my list is the Getty, where I find myself returning to more and more these summer days. Not only does the Center above Brentwood have an engaging array of changing exhibitions, and an ever-engrossing permanent collection, it is gratefully free, as I believe all museums should be.
But what further makes the Getty Center so attractive in the now extended, simmering summers, is its mountaintop site, with its constant, cooling breezes, and its captivating views.
And to think when the Getty was being planned just a short 30 years ago, I argued then as the LATimes architecture critic for a more urban site, such as Westwood, or Downtown. What was I thinking?
Yes, it would have been easier to get to then by bus and eventually in the future by rail, and especially for the growing hordes of tourists.
But it would not have had the views, and the incentive to stay late on select days and see the spectacular sunsets and have a pleasant, reasonable dinner. It is for these reasons I frankly love the Getty, for myself, for my family and for showing off to friends and visitors.
And then there is the Getty Villa, with its specialized collection, even closer to Malibu, off the PCH. That is for another day,
But meanwhile, it is back to the Getty Center, where for me the feature exhibition at present is a celebration of David Hockney’s 80th birthday.
Make that two exhibitions, one a display of his self-portraits, he had drawn, painted and photographed since his youth. The other, his experiments with photography, specifically Polaroid composites and photo collages.
Fascinating, and they’re on display until the end of the new, summer, past Thanksgiving, through to November 26.