Having been to Los Angeles countless times on business, my memories include asthma inducing smog, choked freeways, offices and meetings that flow forgettably together and joy at approaching LAX so that I could get back to the sanity of home. Yes there are also pleasant memories of attending Academy Awards, Grammys, Emmys and concerts and staying at The Shutters, Pelican Bay and the Beverly Hills Hotel gawking at bungalows once occupied by Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton and other iconic names from yesteryear. Last week I was glad to re-discover LA at my own pace visiting a dear friend re-located from Minneapolis. Though the choked freeways had not changed 😁, I had clear blue skies and reveled in the cool temperatures. Staying close to Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan beaches sure delivered the imagined LA experience.
I have always been fascinated by surfers. The mastery of the waves through sheer skill and strength is inspiring. It takes vision and determination to plunge into the freezing waters of the Pacific and conquer the surf. I was thrilled to catch the action as a group of intrepid souls readied themselves for action. And then triumphantly rode the waves!
Walking along the promenade I encountered a navy fly-by and was saddened to see a Sea lion washed up on the beach. With scarcity of food this is unfortunately becoming a common sight. The Getty Center sits proudly perched high above the 405 and I have driven by it longingly many times. It lived up to all my expectations when I finally got there. The spectacular location, architecture and art deliver a perfect trifecta of beauty. It’s a must see and I highly recommend a visit for all.
Another discovery was LACMA or the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It’s on Wilshire boulevard in the heart of LA and I was frankly blown away by the treasures that have been donated by all the luminaries of the city. The diversity of art ranges from Asian, American and Meso- American, Egyptian and European and is overwhelming. It’s bold contemporary architecture of grey and red draws hordes of locals and I was delighted at the sight of schoolchildren learning about cultures and places they might never visit.
And of course the LA cuisine is fabulous. Deliberately we stayed away from all the big names and must see places and explored the local mouthwatering ethnic foods:Vietnamese and Thai and the great Ethiopian neighborhood close to LACMA. And it did not disappoint!
So plan a visit to to LA soon and enjoy!
> Plan your trip and events in advance especially in the summer. Google is your best friend.
> The Getty has free admission and LACMA has a free day. All the museums are closed different days of the week.
> The traffic is not easy. Even with six lanes on either side the 405 can be a parking lot. Leave plenty of time to get to your destination.
> Try to move beyond the usual tourist haunts. Explore local restaurants and the ethnic cuisine. It’s delicious and easy on the budget.
> And please help the California drought by your mindfulness.
Adios till next time!