The Getty Center: Los Angeles’ Utopian Oasis
Almost the whole time I’m at L.A.’s Getty Center, a single thought keeps looping through my brain:
This place is perfect. That is all.
It feels like something out of a Star Trek episode, a Utopian vision of earth sometime in the 24th century where poverty no longer exists, war is no more, illness is all but eradicated, and people live in peace. Futuristic architecture notwithstanding, I feel as though I’ve stepped from my time into another more enlightened era.
The Getty Center is simply incredible. Home to one location of The J. Paul Getty Museum and its extensive collection of paintings, drawings, photgraphs, and other artwork from both Europe and the Americas, it is as though each element of the campus was deliberately designed to defy reality and inspire awe.
The tram escorting visitors from the parking garage below to the hilltop. The soft pink gleam of sunlight illuminating the earthy stone buildings. The impeccably manicured lawns and gardens. The central pond with its labyrinthine landscaping anchoring the idyllic scene. The stunning view over the city and beyond to the Pacific Ocean. Each and every component seems engineered to render speech superfluous.
Words cannot do this Utopian oasis justice. I’m uncertain that the finest photographs could. You simply have to see it and experience it for yourself. Until then, here’s the next best thing.
What you need to know about the Getty Center
Cost: As unbelievable as it sounds to gain access to all this loveliness, admission is free. Parking, however, comes with a $15 price tag. Totally worth it. You can also access the Getty Center via public transportation.
Make a day of it: Pack a book, a blanket, a basket of food, and enjoy an al fresco picnic lunch on the lawn.
Bonus: Take a tour of the gardens or the buildings with a docent or check the Getty Center’s event calendar for special events like family programs and concerts.