Getty Up!

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.

PCH at Pt. Mugu

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 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:

Venus (Aphrodite), Roman, from Rome, AD 100-200

Apollo and his twin, Artemis are featured at the center of this terracotta vessel

Spitting image of Dodger, don't you think? Entitled "Winged Feline, from Spain, 700-575 BC. Makes you think - just how hellish would our lives be if cats had wings!

It's worth a trip to the Getty Villa just to wander the grounds.

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.

Statuette of a Woman Feeding a Hen and Chicks. Greek, made in Boiotia 500-475 BC

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:

If only they'd known to stitch his with "CE"!

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 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.

Yes, that is a skillet filled with whipping cream in the background.

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.

Pretty in Pink: The Beverly Hills Hotel (photo from

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.

Yes, THAT Mark Wahlberg!

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)

Getty Garden

But there are also jewels like this Van Gogh inside:

All in all, a great LA getaway. Can’t wait to do it again!

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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3 Responses to Getty Up!

  1. Katherine says:

    Aaaaahhhh – if only I’d known. My mom (a goddess herself) is a docent at the Getty on the weekends so I could have hooked you up with your own private tour guide.

    She has no connections to helping you meet Marky Mark, though.

  2. citymama says:

    it’s a toss up- the iris painting and mark’s ab’s- which one made me gasp louder…
    love it.
    enjoy what you are close to! it’s all about that. see you on the E coast soon. xo

  3. CE says:

    The pictures do a very nice job of conveying the wonderful weekend in LA. The antiquities were great and the food was outstanding. It is amazing how a short weekend getaway can rejuvenate a person and get you ready for that next round of cat sandbox sifting. Plenty of fun with the chicken lady, and the picture of the terra cotta chicken lady is truly timeless as here in SB, 2000 years later the same process goes on.

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