Last month, I found myself flying to sunny Los Angeles to spend ten days relaxing and hanging out with my brother. It had been some time since I had last been there, and for the most part, everything was still fairly close to as I remember it. In and Out burger still rocks, the heat still stays in the valley accompanied by brown haze across the horizon, Patrick Swayze from Point Blank look-a-likes still bum around on the beaches of Santa Monica, and the bikini is still the city's official uniform.
In between restaurants and stuffing my face with various delicious foods L.A. is known and not known for, we did manage to get out to the east end and take in some sights in Downtown L.A. Although there's something to be said about street photography and shooting homeless people with copious drug problems, we stayed away from skidrow and opted to take in more of the iconic areas in the downtown area. The City Hall building was calling my name and I just had to grab a classic shot of it.
Just before my trip down, I had been watching a bunch of documentaries on renown photographers, one of which was the great architectural photographer Julius Schulman. He managed to capture the rise of modern architecture in southern California so well that some even say it was through his photographs specifically that helped the modern movement take off in California. I definitely recommend anyone interested in architecture or architectural photography to take a gander at Visual Acoustics : The Modernism of Julius Schulman, it's an extraordinary documentary. Feeling inspired to capture some architecture myself, we also made a stop by Disney Hall, an architectural marvel in the heart of the downtown core.
I had never heard of the J. Paul Getty Museum aka The Getty before, because clearly I live underneath a rock, but once I did some research on it, I knew it was going to have to be a place to visit. The entire complex itself is an architectural wonder and even getting to it is an experience in and of itself. The museum is located atop a hill that is only accessible by monorail, well...at least it's kinda like monorail. In any case, it's a fantastic little coast up the hill to the complex. The museum itself houses a copious amount of different art from different eras. Although I had gone to try and capture some architecture, everything about the place was pretty damn magnificent. Wish we had something like it in Toronto.
Since The Getty was so much fun, we decided to check out the sister complex, the Getty Villa. Like the Getty, the Villa is also a museum / art gallery but is more focused on ancient Roman art. Outside of even looking like a Roman villa, it houses sculptures, busts, artifacts and all other sorts of cultural items from Roman history. It was amazing to see artwork from over 2000 years ago! Oh and Augustus Ceaser's bust was pretty cool too. But then again, I'm a sucker for anything Roman history.
My sightseeing requests not being completely satiated we also ended up at an old abandoned brewery / artist commune which was holding an art walk. I'd never seen anything like it. For Torontonians, imagine having the Distillery District completely gutted and the empty spaces left to be occupied by various artists, then having a Nuit Blanche like day where everyone opens up their apartments / studio spaces and people come take in your art. It was pretty cool! And of course, lastly but not leastly (wait is that even a word?), I wanted to head up to Griffith Observatory to snap some shots of the iconic Hollywood sign. Like any vacation, it comes and goes and never seems to last quite long enough. Nevertheless, I had a grand old time hanging out with my big brother and enjoying L.A. and Californian weather!