The Getty Center – A Jewel In L.A.’s Crown

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travels
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When I visit the OC, meeting up with my undergraduate friend Sissi in LA has become a sort of tradition. And in every one of our meetings, there is always food involved. We would eat our way through LA, trying out the relatively newer restaurants and dessert places that have popped up while we were away in far, far lands learning the craft of medicine.

In between eating, we would try to pass time occasionally by sightseeing. This time, we visited the Getty Center (1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049) on the West side of LA. Despite living in LA for four years as a UCLA undergraduate, I never had the chance to visit this place. Go figure!

I was really excited to see the gardens and architecture. And I was not disappointed.

The Getty Center sits on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains, just off the San Diego Freeway. To get to the center, you take a tram that elevates visitors from a street-level parking facility to the top of the hill. We waited about 30-40 minutes in line to get onto the tram, and from there, were off to explore the place!

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The mind behind the open and modernist design is Richard Meier, an American abstract artist and architect (per wiki) whose geometric designs make prominent use of the color white.

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I absolutely adore the simplicity and natural light that permeates the center.

One of the more remarkable elements of the complex is the the beige-colored, textured Travertine stone–1.2 million square of it. Meier had chosen this stone because it is often associated with public architecture and expresses qualities the Getty Center celebrates: permanence, solidity, simplicity, warmth, and craftsmanship.

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At the heart of the Getty Center is the Central Garden, created by artist Robert Irwin. The 134,000-square foot area includes a walkway that winds through a variety of plants and gradually descends to a plaza with bougainvillea arbors and a pool that contains a floating maze of azaleas. Don’t forget to throw a coin into the pool to make your wishes come true!

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On the southern end, at the hottest and driest point of the Getty Center lies the cactus garden, with a backdrop of smoggy West LA for enhanced viewing pleasure. 😉

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That about sums up our short visit to the Getty Center. I had spent most of it outdoors. Next time, we’ll have to check out the indoor museum, too.

As for the food we feasted on, we ended having Korean food at Seongbukdong (3303 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020). The medium spicy level was perfect for my tofu soup! We then ate injeolmi (Korean multigrain powder) bingsoo (Korean shaved ice) and the green tea toast at Sul & Beans (621 S Western Ave, Ste 208A, Los Angeles, CA 90005). The shaved ice felt like amazing, fluffy, soft snow. And finally the four of us shared two delicious Miyagi-san burgers (wagyu beef, chili mayo, fried egg, furikake caramelized bacon, crispy onion rings) and an order of Oxtail chili fries at Bachi Burger (2030 Sawtelle Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90025).

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[All pictures were taken on Sunday, December 27, 2015]

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