If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I really enjoy the planning process of traveling and figuring out fun things to do wherever I’m going. Since I recently retired I can travel whenever I want to, so I decided to stay home this summer because I live in a beautiful area near the beach, and Europe (or anywhere for that matter) is so hot and full of tourists. Why not plan some fun things closer to home?!
I’ve been on the email list for Rooftop Cinema Club for what seems like years! Every time I go to NY I look at their website to see if a movie night might coincide with my trip, but it never works out due to a conflict with other plans or for whatever reason. When the list for LA came out at the beginning of the summer I thought “this summer I’m going to do one of those!” and found The Devil Wears Prada was going to be playing. I love that movie! I’ve also had the Huntington Library and Gardens on my “to-visit” list forever. This was the summer to cross both off my “bucket list!”
My friend, Jan, and I timed our drive up to LA to minimize traffic and arrive just in time for lunch and a stroll around Grand Central Market, a cool multi-vendor food emporium that’s been in existence since 1917.
My friend, Courtney, has an awesome loft in DTLA Arts District that she generously offered to me for an overnight stay. We dropped off our stuff and went up to the rooftop to read and enjoy the view.
The movie venue is on the rooftop of a “new-ish” industrial complex called Row DTLA, with a mix of restaurants and shops. It’s a quick walk from the loft, so we went over a bit early to grab dinner before the movie was to start at 7:30. I was curious how they were going to do an outdoor movie at 7:30 in the summer, when the sun would not have set yet. Well, I don’t know what sort of screen or technology that they use, but it was a sharp, crystal clear picture.
I loved the experience of sitting outside watching a movie as the sun set over LA. The movie choices are older, but I’d recommend it if you want something fun and different to do. They have popcorn, snacks and a bar too!
The next day was a scorcher, so we headed out at 9:30 to get to The Huntington in order to beat the heat. The extensive 130 acres are a beautiful mix of various themed gardens … japanese (with a tea ceremony demonstration), extensive rose garden, camellia, and desert, to name a few … as well as sculptures, stunning pergolas & pergodas, and of course art.
…. but one of my favorite things at The Huntington that day was the exhibit in the European Art building of the famous Blue Boy painting, (c. 1770) originally titled “A Portrait of a Young Gentleman,” juxtaposed with a painting by the talented Kehinde Wiley also called “A Portrait of a Young Gentleman.” He reimagined Blue Boy as an African American young gentleman in modern day clothing. The Huntington holds a special place in Wiley’s heart, as it is where he fell in love with art, but didn’t see anybody that looked like him. As it says on their website, “It is at once a love letter to art history—and a critique of it.” Just brilliant!!
Here are a few other pics I enjoyed …
It felt so good to be a tourist close to home and take advantage of a couple of the many opportunities that are available to us as Southern Californians. Hmmmm, what to do next?!
You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!