I had visited the Getty Centre in 2014 on one of my previous visits to Los Angeles but there is soooo much to see and of course the exhibitions change all the time. I also wanted to challenge myself to use the public transport system just to see how it compared to other cities I have visited.
The journey from Los Feliz was going to take about two hours by my reckoning, so set off fairly early – also to miss the heat a bit. The weather has been cool in the mornings building up to a pretty intense dry heat in the afternoon and pleasant but warm evenings. Blessedly no mosquitos or flies! I walked the mile or so to the nearest Metro train station – Vermont/Sunset – the underground services a fair bit of Los Angeles, supplemented with Metro buses. I could have got the DASH bus from Los Feliz to the station, but enjoyed the walk.
The train stations are modern and clean, you buy a TAP card and load it up at a ticket machine, I got the day pass, $USD7.00, you then ‘tap on’ at the entrance to the platforms or on the bus, no need to ‘tap off’. Took the train to UniversalCity/Studio City, where you can get a shuttle bus to Universal (went there with the family in 1989, when we took Owen aged 11 and Alex aged 8 and had an absolute ball). I would quite like to go again but it’s expensive at $USD87, and the queues for rides are long, I am told.
There is a bus terminal right outside the station and there I hopped on the Metro Rapid 750 to Ventura/Sepulveda Blvd intersection. Again, the buses are clean and efficient, pretty full of people but managed to get a seat each time. A bit tricky to find the correct bus stop to change, but then got on the 734 which took me right to the gates of the Getty Centre. It took just over two hours, but I spent some time making connections and would do better next time.
This amazing arts hub, endowed by the famous ‘richest man in the world’ J Paul Getty (or he was when I was young), is free to everyone, is built on the top of one of Los Angeles’ barren hills and is a ‘must see’ for anyone visiting LA. In fact, go every time you visit! A tram takes you to the top of the hill and it’s a great view.
My first stop after a well earned cafe latte was the sketching gallery. Love that! There are exhibits from the museum set up around the gallery as well as easels. The ‘Docent’ gives you paper and a selection of pencils and you can draw anything you like. I was there for about an hour and a half and drew a statue and some figures from a painting. During that time some older children visited and one young boy with his grandmother and some college freshmen with their lecturer. I had quite a chat with the docent about art and it’s importance in the creative development of children and also in the rediscovery of creativity in the adult.
One of the college freshmen had a chat too and the lecturer explained that he was encouraging his World History students to also explore other sides to their learning by drawing and looking carefully into some masterpieces. Afterwards I visited the European Paintings after 1870, the Illuminated Manuscripts and the fascinating gallery that takes a few pieces and gives their history from making to exhibition.