Exploring Los Angeles: Getty Center Picnic

Getty Center Fountain

When we moved back to California, Matt and I said that we wanted to treat Los Angeles with a tourist point of view: try new things, visit museums, and explore all aspects of the city. Truthfully, we haven’t been doing very well with this goal. But since our time in the Los Angeles area is limited, I want to start making it a priority. Last week we finally checked off an item from our Los Angeles bucket list when we adventured out to The Getty Center for a friend’s birthday picnic.

Getty Center Picnic

The Getty Center

The Getty Center grounds are absolutely beautiful. It features stunning architecture, lush gardens (where we set up our little picnic), and beautiful views. The gardens, made up of more than 500 varieties of plant material, are a great place for a picnic, to read a book, or roll down some hills (slash hope that people rolling down hills don’t hit you). The artwork featured in the museum is obviously another highlight. The top floor displays paintings and sculptures from the Renaissance and Impressionist periods. While that is beautiful, I prefer the photographs featured on the bottom floor of the museum. The Getty is currently showing a special selection of Ansel Adams photographs that are gorgeous.

Getty Center BuildingGetty Center Gardens

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Ben Gibbard at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles

Do you have a singer or a band that just moves you? For me, it is Ben Gibbard, and just about every band or project that he has been involved with.
I began as a Death Cab For Cutie fan, and started my love affair with him back in 2001 with the release of the band’s record The Photo Album. Then came Transatlanticism and I was hooked for good. In addition to Death Cab, Gibbard has been involved with a couple of other (amazing) projects including the Postal Service, ¡All-Time Quarterback!, and teamed up with Jay Farrar for the album of Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur. Truly epic stuff.
This concert was like no other. I’ve seen Ben Gibbard … a lot (4-5 times with Death Cab, 1 solo – with a surprise Jenny Lewis duet! – and 1 time with Jay Farrar). This show, however, was all about the music. Just Ben, a guitar (or two) and a grand piano for close to 2 hours. He played a lot of the ‘oldies’  as well as some of the new stuff off his most recent solo album. The venue, the Whilsire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, provided an amazingly intimate experience (I could hear every toe tap or silly side comment Ben was making – without the mic).
All of it was amazing.

I always do a bad job of remember set lists (my job is to have fun, not sweat the details) but here are the songs he played – minus the new stuff – that I remember. They are listed in chronological order, because I’m particular like that.

  • Cleveland (¡All-Time Quarterback!) 
  • You Remind Me of Home (Home) 
  • Blacking Out The Friction (The Photo Album) 
  • Title and Registration (Transatlanticism) 
  • Lack of Color (Transatlanticism)
  • The District Sleeps Alone Tonight (Give Up – The Postal Service) 
  • Such Great Heights (Give Up – The Postal Service) 
  • Recycled Air (Give Up – The Postal Service) 
  • Soul Meets Body (Plans)
  • I Will Follow You Into the Dark (Plans)
  • Crooked Teeth (Plans)
  • Cath … (Narrow Stairs) 
  • You Can Do Better Than Me (Narrow Stairs) 
  • Grapevine Fires (Narrow Stairs) 
  • One Fast More or I’m Gone (Kerouac’s Big Sur) 
  • Unobstructed Views (Codes and Keys) 

As a side note, I was kind of disappointed that he didn’t play Why’d You Want to Live Here. I mean, he was playing in LA so I felt like it was only appropriate  Maybe it would be too obvious? Well, here is a video of him doing it live in 2007. Enjoy.

La Brea Tar Pits & Lego Land

As I mentioned yesterday, I was able to spend the weekend with Matt’s family in Los Angeles and San Diego. Have you been to the Tar Pits or Lego land? Because you totally should.

Tar pits! // hundreds of Dire Wolves skulls // real excavation site // giant!

rolling rolling down the hill // I wish somebody would carry me around!

Lego land bathrooms // monkey! // dino! // creepy man // Star Wars scenes. Highlight of the trip

digging for dino fossils // sprinklers // race to the top // extreme ride too intense for me

my outfit for Lego land // my very very wet outfit after the water rides // Lego Golden Gate // Lego Vegas! // Lego NYC // HP & LotR … I wanted them all!