Road trip! We’ve had a stretch of weather so gorgeous here that it’s probably cruel to even mention it to all you East coast Polloplayer readers, but in the interest of art education, share we must. Thanks to Alexandra’s and Victoria’s willingness to watch over the menagerie, we set off for a Getty weekend last Saturday morning.
Neither of us had driven south on PCH 1 of late and we were thoroughly struck by its beauty.
Our biggest challenge was finding the entrance to the Getty Villa (if you go: 1) you must purchase tickets in advance and 2) the museum can only be accessed from the northbound lane of PCH; go to http://www.getty.edu/visit/ for info) but once there, we feasted on the Greek and Roman antiquities with a fervor that only a pair of geeks like ourselves could muster. The CE, as you know, has a passion for ancient bronzes, and I had just wrapped up a re-reading of The Iliad and was looking forward to mingling with the gods and goddesses of old.
We were not disappointed. Here are a few of my favorite things:
My favorite find of the day was a small terracotta piece that caught my eye as we walked past a glass case in a hallway. I had one of those moments of transcendence that only art, and poultry, can provide: this depiction of a woman feeding her chickens made me smile. I love the way she stands, reaching out so tenderly to the hen, and the way the baby chicks huddle beneath their mama. Centuries may pass, but the quotidian rhythms of life remain the same.
We treated ourselves to a stay at the Peninsula Beverly Hills, where we always get a kick out of their signature tradition of embroidering the pillowcases with guests’ initials:
Dionysus would have smiled approvingly upon our dinner that night. If you’re ever in Beverly Hills and haven’t eaten for, say, a week or two, Mastro’s is the place to go http://www.mastrosrestaurants.com/ Unless you are a vegan, in which case, you be unmoved by steaks the size of a breadboard and seafood towers that arrive in a trail of dry ice vapor. The key to the experience is to somehow leave room for the famed Butter Cake for dessert.
Not having realized what we were getting into for dinner, I had made reservations for brunch the next morning at the landmark Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge.
We weren’t all that hungry, but ended up being glad we kept the reservation, as, mid-way through our meal, none other than Marky-mark Wahlberg sat down at the table next to ours.
I could not bring myself to snap a photo, but we heard him discuss his love of golf- he apparently has a 5 handicap. The CE was tempted to approach him for a part in his next film but we thought better of the idea and proceeded with our plan for the day, which was to complete our sweep and visit the Getty Center.
Like the Villa, the view and the grounds of the Getty Center are by themselves worth the price of admission (which is free, by the way)
But there are also jewels like this Van Gogh inside:
All in all, a great LA getaway. Can’t wait to do it again!