Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Getty Center

Saturday, July 23, Anaheim, California

This morning, we left our hotel located just outside the Disneyland gates at Anaheim, and set forth on a marathon journey to the J. Paul Getty Center near Brentwood. Anywhere else, a trip like this would have been a trivial affair. In the Los Angeles area, no travel is trivial. Pack a lunch, a cooler filled with liquid refreshments and a pee bucket, just to go to the corner store. For any trip longer than that, take a tent, just in case.

The nearly two hours it took to make an otherwise forty-minute trek was still worth it. The J. Paul Getty Center was everything that the Hearst Castle was not. These buildings were strong, tall, solid, uncompromising and above all, coherent. The Center housed much of the best that man is able to create, from early pre-Gutenberg hand-lettered manuscripts to paintings by ‘real’ artists, to wonderful sculpture and photography. No Jackson Pollack here. No Piss Christ. No garbage. Everything was as it should be. No triflers or pretenders allowed.

The view from the Center, high on a hill, is breathtaking in every direction. Just as the architecture of the Center is beautiful, so is the landscaping, from the perfectly groomed lawns to the sycamore trees and the predominantly Californian flora. Many visitors sat on benches and at tables placed around the perimeter of the property and looked away from the Center, down the hill in every direction, in awe of the stunning and serene surroundings. The natural beauty surpassed even the man-made beauty of the architecture, of the landscaping and of the art inside the Center.

As we walked about, I discussed with my son the duties and tactics of SWAT teams. As mentioned in my last post, he was wearing a T-shirt he had purchased with ‘SWAT’ emblazoned on the back. He thinks its ‘cool.’ I wanted him to understand that while policing is necessary in an orderly society, it often becomes a way to control anyone not in favour with the ruling party or class.

I think he gets it now. But he’s not giving up the T-shirt. Still, I have much faith in him. I think he is going to turn out just fine.


  1. Thanks for sharing your Getty visit. I've got to make the trip someday. It sure is amazing what you can do with an unlimited supply of bucks, even when you have the reputation of being a miser. Wild Bill

  2. For a guy your age, find a cool place to have a happy birthday drink on me. Wild Bill. Can you believe it? Sixty big ones and counting.

  3. Why, you nasty old codger!! Here I am trying to have a nice relaxing time and you remind me that I am getting old. I'm really going to enjoy that drink, though.

    Thanks for the birthday wish, Bill.