Category Archives: L.A. Life

Explore LA Through Art

By Erika Gomi

I’ve come to realize that going to school in Los Angeles is not so bad (despite the heat). LA is a huge city just begging to be explored. There will always be a new restaurant to try or a screening to go see. One of the many things to do in this city is to visit some of the many museums. I, sadly, have not visited many of them, but the ones I’ve been to have all been fun experiences.

One of the most famous museums is probably the Getty Museum. There are two campuses: the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. The Getty Center is a huge museum at the top of a hill and has rooms dedicated to art like old renaissance paintings and ancient sculptures. What I remember most from my visit was the garden. While the museum is famous for its art pieces, it also has a beautiful garden full of flowers and some meandering dirt paths. There is also another part of the museum called the Getty Villa out by Malibu. It’s much smaller than the Getty Center, but if you go on a sunny day, LA does not get more beautiful than this. The Getty Villa is off the Pacific Coast Highway, up a long winding road in the hills off the highway. Once there, your view will open up to an expansive villa that overlooks the ocean; it will feel like you’ve been transported to a summer vacation home in Italy. The museum is filled with Greek and Roman art and even houses an actual mummy. The Villa also has a garden in back with big columns and a beautiful view of the ocean. I highly recommend going on a sunny day.

In addition to the Getty, there are museums like LACMA, MOCA, and the Broad. These museums exhibit more contemporary art unlike the Getty’s classical pieces. I’ve only been to LACMA, but I’ve heard amazing things about all three. LACMA is probably the most famous out of the three with its iconic streetlight sculpture out front. When I first went, I didn’t realize how huge the museum was. LACMA is made up of several buildings and it takes hours to get through even one. It was fun when I went though because they had a special exhibit on the famous movie director Guillermo del Toro. The exhibit was full of his inspirations – all very creepy. There were even life size models and costumes of characters from his films like Crimson Peak and Pan’s Labyrinth. I want to go to LACMA again so I can explore the rest of the museum. You definitely need more than one day.

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Summer Doldrums

By Gina Samec

While some of your friends may be vacationing in Italy or Mexico,  with the pictures on Facebook to prove it, others, like me, are stuck at home with less desirable things to do. I truly wish I could be writing an article about my trip to Spain but that is not the case. Summer is moving at a snail pace for me which is a shift from my summers as a kid where they never seemed to be long enough. I never travel, I don’t have a driver’s license, and oftentimes distance and schedules make hanging out with friends challenging. Due to these misfortunes, I have resorted to other means of keeping myself entertained. If you find yourself in the same boat, hopefully some of these suggestions will help you pass the time.

This first suggestion may seem very obvious but it is no small feat for some of us. Read a book! I know many people who detest reading and would rather watch paint dry. Although I don’t dislike reading, I haven’t been reading as many books for fun as I used to. I realized recently that I miss that feeling I had as a kid, when I could not bear to put my book down because I was so engrossed in the story. Though it falls lower on my list of summer activities, I decided to pick up a nonfiction book last month. I promise you will feel a sense of accomplishment after finishing a book, not to mention, if you’re reading in English, you’ll be practicing the language. Here is a list of popular English language novels that are great for second language learners. 

If you truly hate reading, try making a list of movies you’ve always been meaning to see. I did this and ended up discovering some of my current favorite movies. I mention movies over television shows because it’s only two hours of commitment. If you can’t think of what to watch, choosing from AFI’s or IMDB’s best movies of all time lists are good places to start.

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Architecture Guide to Los Angeles

By Yume Nishi

As an architecture student, I love exploring Los Angeles and all the various landmarks it has to offer! Here are a few of my favorites:

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Griffith Observatory: Located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, the Griffith Observatory is a must see, especially at night. They offer telescopes for star-gazing in the evening, or you can enjoy the view of the Hollywood sign during the day. You may have to park below and walk uphill, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes!

Walt Disney Concert Hall: Perhaps one of the most iconic buildings in all of Los Angeles, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, by Frank Gehry, is one you can’t miss. Take advantage of their free tour, or go enjoy a night of philharmonic music. Fun fact: there are hidden fish all throughout the design scheme; try and find them during your visit. Also, be sure to check out the Broad Museum next door while you are here!

Getty Museum: You’ll enjoy a beautiful view of Los Angeles at the Getty Museum, located in mountains above Sherman Oaks. The limestone architecture, designed by Richard Meier, can be enjoyed on a beautiful sunny day, and you can have a nice picnic on their grounds. Head inside for an eclectic collection of art, like the Iris by Van Gogh. Admission is free but parking is $15 (or $10 after 3pm).

Bradbury Building: This one is a hidden gem and a quick stop on Broadway! You’ve seen it in the movies Blade Runner and (500) Days of Summer. You’ll be transported back to the late 1800’s, surrounded by ornate iron work, marble staircases, and caged elevators. Walk across the street and grab a bite at the Grand Central Market afterwards. There is an amazing variety of cultural foods but my favorite is a breakfast joint called Eggslut (yum!).

Happy Exploring!

Yume is a USC graduate from the School of Architecture. She was born in Japan and moved to the U.S. when she was 5 years old, and has lived in Orange County, CA since. Yume studied abroad in Barcelona and enjoyed learning about the cultures and languages of the various countries she traveled to during her weekends. In her free time, she loves to explore new places, cook (or attempt to!), hang out with friends and family, and cheer on the USC Trojans at football games.