Sunday, May 15, 2011

picture perfect 3

There is less than one more week before I leave! While I didn't get a chance to do everything on my Los Angeles bucket list, it was worth while getting to see as much of what the city had to offer.

It's definitely a strange feeling revisiting West Hollywood, not as a resident, but as a guest. Going to the local grocery store or bar or even the neighborhood has a different vibe and it's a little unsettling, but I should get over this perception, as I'll be a guest everywhere I go. Rather than think about how I'm an outsider, I should just enjoy being there.

A new friend of mine told me he thought of me as the type of person who is always thinking ahead, planning the next few steps in life, not really enjoying the moment of being with good company. I agree with this assessment, but I do hope to just take a deep breath every now and then and just smile and be satisfied, taking a pause in life to just exist. Not everything needs to have a specific purpose that we have to understand.

While I have this urge to meticulously plan every day of my trip, I hope I'll just let go and enjoy and appreciate the chaos and spontaneity of it all.

The Museum of Contemporary Art - The Geffen Contemporary (Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA) - There is a new exhibit called ART IN THE STREETS that will continue to be shown until August 8, 2011. This is the first major U.S. museum exhibition of street art and graffiti, which traces the roots of the movement in the 70s to the present day. I'm not too familiar with most of the famous street artists, but there was quite an extensive collection for you to acclimate yourself with. They had many works by Banksy (two of which are shown above), Keith Haring, Spike Jonze, Terry Richardson, and there was also a special focus on local movements like the "cholo graffiti" and "low rider" movement in Los Angeles, as well as the Dogtown skateboard culture. Even if you aren't a street art fan, I think anyone can appreciate the visual overload of colors when they visit. Admission is $10 general, $5 with student ID, or free every Thursday from 5p-8p.

The Getty Villa (Pacific Palisades, CA) - I've always gone to the other Getty museum near the 405 freeway but never took the time to check this one out until now. This museum was originally built by John Paul Getty to house his permanent collection of ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art. The museum was built as a replica of the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum (located somewhere in southern Italy). Sadly, Getty never was able to see the final product before his death in 1976. The museum is free with advanced reservation, although parking costs $15. It's worth it just to walk around the premises just to sit and relax and appreciate the architecture of the building itself.

Langer's Delicatessen (Westlake, CA) - I tried my first pastrami sandwich at a Jewish deli about three years ago and have been curious to find out where I could find the best pastrami sandwich. Would it be in New York? Los Angeles? I came across this deli on the eaterLA website and there were over 1,000 reviews with a 4.5 star rating! I expected big things with this deli, but for some reason, I was underwhelmed by it all. The sandwich looked small (see first picture) compared to something I got at the 2nd Avenue Deli in New York City (see second picture)... I can't really compare the two, since the sandwich I got in NY was half corned beef and half pastrami, but look how ginormous it is compared to Langer's! It was just so much more fatty and juicy compared to Langer's...

Peace Awareness Labyrinth Gardens (Los Angeles, CA) - Situated in the middle of the busy streets of Los Angeles is this place to retreat, relax, and meditate. Located in the back of a renovated mansion, guests are free to roam around, walk the labyrinth, or sit in the gardens in the back. The property is owned by the MSIA (Movement of Spirtual Inner Awarness) group, although they don't try hard to push their beliefs onto you.

The labyrinth was designed after the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France. It is about a third of a mile in length to walk to the center and back out. People use the labyrinth for different reasons. Some people use it as a kind of walking meditation, seeking to empty their mind of whatever problems they are facings. Some people use it to determine where they are in life, what questions and concerns they have, or what goals they have at that moment. Some people use the labyrinth as a metaphor for how they live their lives. They use it as a self-reflective tool.

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