Los Angeles area trip report

Old May 23rd, 2023, 09:01 AM
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Los Angeles area trip report

This is the summary of my trip to the Los Angeles area in December 2022.



Saturday, December 24th, 2022: Flights from Detroit to Burbank, CA. My plane arrived at 12:25pm. I had plenty of time to pick my rental car up and drive to REI where I wasted about $58 on a sun hat because I left my other hat at home, and Ralphs. Yea I know I may seem nuts for saying I am afraid eating a lot of restaurant food is unhealthy. I stayed at Orange Drive Hostel. Yeah I made a sacrifice on privacy for the sake of saving money and/or to have a place where I could prepare some of my own food. After arriving at the hostel, I walked on part of the Hollywood walk of fame.



Sunday, December 25th: I drove to a parking lot 0.7 miles from Griffith Observatory. I started walking from my rental car to the plaza outside the observatory, approximately before 8am. On a sidewalk by the observatory, I was able to see the Hollywood sign from approximately a 45 degree angle with the H farthest away from me and the D closest to me. From there I walked on various trails through Griffith Park. At various points I was able to see the sign and views of Los Angeles. I arrived back at my rental car at or before approximately 2pm. At that time I decided I would have time to drive to Santa Monica Pier. I expected it to be closed or deserted if it was open. It was packed, totally crowded. I saw the Pacific ocean, a sign marking the end of former US route 66, souvenir sellers, buskers (2 guys singing and playing steel-stringed guitars, a guy dressed in a costume who I put a dollar in his donation box and took a picture of, and somebody I couldnít see because of the crowds but he might have been doing stunts with a soccer ball).



Monday December 26th: I had an advance ticket/reservation for the Getty Villa museum. It is supposed to be a replica of an ancient Roman villa found at Herculaneum near Mount Vesuvius in Italy. A collection of ancient Greek vases and various ancient Greek and Roman artifacts occupy the rooms. Also there was a special exhibit of jewelry from ancient Nubia, on loan from the Boston museum of fine arts. It wasnít as spectacular as I expected or maybe I underappreciated it. I had arrived before 10am. The museum occupied me for about 4 hours. Then I decided I might have time to drive to Solstice Canyon in Malibu, near the coast northwest of the Getty Villa. I walked on a path that was flat that was between mountains. I gave up on that trail and going back the same way I came without seeing the waterfall or the ruins of Keller House. Near the entrance I went up some stone steps and followed the trail until I ended up seeing the Pacific in the distance between mountains.



Tuesday, December 27th: I had an advance ticket to the Getty Center. I arrived just before it opened at 10am and finally left at about 4:35. I didnít make time for the photography gallery. The place has a good collection of old Dutch drawings, some old Dutch paintings, old European paintings, statues, French decorative objects and furniture from about the 1700ís, and so on.



Wednesday, December 28th: I had an advance ticket to the Huntington Gardens, museum, and library. The library had a display of old or rare books in display cases; there was a building with two floors and a decent-sized collection of old European paintings and French decorative objects Ė some overlap with or similarity to the Getty Center. The American art collection seemed to be closed. The desert plant area was pleasantly extensive. And the plants are all growing right in the dirt outside, not inside a building, because the climate there is that good. Among other plants I saw three that I own Ė jade plants, a stacked crassula, and a haworthiopsis Ė and all 3 were flowering. I never got my jade to flower but I got my 2 specimens of those other 2 plants to flower in my apartment.



Thursday, December 28th: I had an advance ticket to the Norton Simon museum in Pasadena. The place was open from 12 to 5. Before driving there I drove to the Hollywood reservoir trailhead and walked partly around the reservoir. I saw the Hollywood sign straight on from a bridge, two deer through a fence; a spot where I saw downtown Los Angeles through some trees, passed the bottoms of mountains, and so on. The Norton Simon was more extensive than I realized, maybe not as big as some art museums I have been to. The basement level has an extensive collection of old stone and bronze statues from India, and a special exhibit of abstract drawings from the 20th century by 6 women artists, that I didnít care much for. The ground floor Ė there are only the two levels, has 6 Van Gohís, at least two Renoirís, a few small old Dutch paintings, and multiple ďold masterísĒ (old European paintings from before about 1800) Ė At least 2 portraits by Rembrandt van Rijn and one or more by landscapes by Solomon van Ruisdale; one or more by ZurubŠn, Edgar Degas; a few detailed realistic landscapes of canals in Venice Italy, and so on; some other paintings from the 1800ís; some Picassoís (Iím not even a fan of Picasso; he is the one who drew and painted highly distorted splotches that sort of resemble people with the noses and eyes not aligned right).



Friday, December 29th: I had an advance ticket to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I arrived in time to enter right when they opened at 10am. They are reconstructing or renovating parts of the museum; maybe not everything normally viewable was on display. They donít have any old European paintings or drawings. I saw three floors of modern art including works related to slavery, Korean paintings from the 1088ís to 1900ís; works I wouldnít consider worth anything like one or two by Jackson Pollock that are just splatters of paint on canvas, a Korean version of a Jackson Pollock splatter of paint on canvas, a painting of a can of Campbellís soup by Andy Warhal that I have no clue how it deserves to be in a museum; some modern abstract works by a group of artists working in New Mexico in about the 1930ís to 1960ís; some Picassos and European works from about the 1800ís to 1900ís, a few pieces of pottery from East Asia and England and France from about the 1700ís to 1900. I left approximately just after 2pm. I wrongly thought I would have time to go to Avila Adobe /the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical district. I drove there, paid $10 to park, found Avila Adobe, but it had closed at 4pm. I thought I read that it would be open until 5.



Saturday, December 31st: I drove to Avila Adobe in time to enter when it opened at 10pm. It and the Sepulveda Museum a few feet away, occupied me for a total of about 45 minutes. From there I drove to Manhattan Beach. The Pier and areas around the downtown area were about 10% as crowded as Santa Monica Pier on Christmas Day. The aquarium was rather small, maybe less than half the size of Bell Isle Aquarium in Detroit. After walking off the Pier, I wish I had stayed near the ocean or tried going to Petersen Automotive museum. Instead I thought the most memorable thing to do would be to drive to Topanga State Park and see mountain scenery. That was a mistake. It started raining on my way there. When I got to the parking lot, it was raining and 53 degrees. I couldnít see any mountain scenery because visibility too low because there was too much fog, clouds, and/ or smog. I walked on one narrow path for 20 minutes and another path for 5 minutes before I gave up and drove back to the hostel. I sat at the hostel for an hour and then walked on the Hollywood walk of fame again. I want to think of the street as safe enough but I did walk past: at least 3 police cars and about ten officers standing on the sidewalk; they seemed to be dealing with somebody who was at least acting calm; a lady who was screaming and crying to high heaven and talking to people who were not there, oblivious to who was observing her; I saw about 5 people sitting or laying on the sidewalk who were either catatonic or sleeping; there were no tents on the sidewalk; there were street food venders and food trucks, souvenir sellers with carts, souvenir stores, the L. Ron Hubbard museum, somebody trying to pass out brochures about scientology, I walked past madam Tussards wax museum, thought about going in for half a minute but I skipped it because it cost $32; a museum about medieval torture devices that costs $29 ( I didnít go in either); Grauman's Chinese Theatre (the sign says TLC Chinese Theater Ė maybe I could have seen a movie but the movies playing didnít seem appealing enough, which isnít necessarily an excuse I like).



Sunday, January 1st: It was 48 degrees when I drove back to the airport in Burbank. I had to switch planes just once, in Phoenix.



Overall observations about the hostel because some of you seemed interested: The hostel worked out mostly ok except for: the first room I was put in smelled like cigarette smoke. I gently complained and fortunately I was put in a different room that didnít have any noticeable smells. In the room unfortunately there was some snoring, but this is a risk I know I am taking staying at a hostel. The kitchen had utensils and a gas stove that I used to prepare steel cut oats and split peas but I know I could have eaten something else, not that this is all I ate. The room, bathroom, and shower and other areas were clean and working; none of the other guests caused any trouble. There were lockers in the basement level by the kitchen, which was an inconvenient location instead of being right in the room but not a deal-breaking inconvenience.
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Old May 23rd, 2023, 09:04 AM
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Moderator: I forgot to add a tag for this as "California", maybe add this.
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Old May 25th, 2023, 10:36 AM
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Added Trip Report and California tags. In future, if you need to contact the moderators, it is best to click the orange triangle. We don't have the opportunity to read every thread so contacting us directly using the triangle works better.

Last edited by Moderator1; May 25th, 2023 at 10:38 AM.
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Old May 25th, 2023, 01:43 PM
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Nice, detailed report! You seemed to fit in quite a few museums during your time there. Too bad about the weather, but probably better than the weather in Detroit at the time. I always wanted to visit Detroit.
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Old May 29th, 2023, 07:55 PM
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You can't understand Pollock without reading Nietzche.
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Old Jun 11th, 2023, 09:43 PM
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Is it worth visiting the Getty Villa museum? I am thinking about visiting over there with my friends this weekend.
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Old Jun 12th, 2023, 08:33 AM
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Whether anything is "worth visiting" depends on your interests and (in L.A.) the logistics of getting there. If you have a car, you need a parking reservation. Without a reservation, you need to arrive by other means... bus, taxi, Uber/Lyft, bicycle. If you have little to no interest in ancient Greek and Roman art and artifacts, you might not find the exhibits worth your time. But the setting, the architecture, and the pool/garden area are unique, and the ocean views are beautiful. Luckily, the weather forecast for Malibu for the coming weekend looks good, but that will also mean more traffic on the coast road. If you drive and get a parking reservation, give yourselves lots of time to get there.
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Old Jun 12th, 2023, 12:08 PM
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Short answer is YES. But the main Getty is more important and completely astounding. So that's the first one I'd hit.
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Old Jun 12th, 2023, 04:48 PM
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Yeah, you should see the Getty Villa Museum. With the addition of subtle modern details like the bathrooms, modern glass doors, descriptions of the artifacts on display, and so on, the Getty Villa is a replica of an ancient Roman Villa found at Herculaneum in Italy, displaying rare ancient Greek black and red figure pottery, ancient and Rome artifacts, replicas of statues, and so on.

Last edited by michaelpianko; Jun 12th, 2023 at 04:49 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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