Words. They are always in my head, meandering in my synapses. Some have more urgency and I visualize them; others continue to form; not ready to be written or voiced. That’s where photos can succinctly tell a story. I am always in awe when someone can convey a message with art or photography; the brush strokes bold and harsh or the lens soft and fuzzy. They can evoke mood and motion whereas words are very black and white.
The weekend began with books, specifically, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and bookclub. I love how words carry the characters in this story and I liken it to myself. I have always kept a journal of thoughts; mostly unimportant things, from age 11 onward. When I found these adolescent journals, in my 20s, I promptly ripped them to shreds. Then my journals became: health/weight diaries, restaurant blogs and lists to cope with transitions. Everyone should write their own life story, just for themselves. In my case, it’s in the hope that history doesn’t repeat itself. With my scatter-brained, busy self it gives me direction and lets me know if I am regressing or progressing. This is my own way of self-assessment. For me, pictures portray my story and are worth a thousand words.
It’s a nice reprieve when the words don’t clutter my head. Walking clears my mind as I gaze at the green hills in our suburb, the sun rising over the valley or the moon brightening the night sky. The temps were idyllic, today, as our kids ran the LA Marathon course at Dodger’s Stadium; to complete the last 1.2 miles of a progressive marathon. Over the past few weeks they have stayed after school and accrued 25 miles, running. This is the fourth year that one of our kids has participated in Rod Dixon’s Kids Marathon. The adrenaline runs high as wave after wave of children begin the last leg of the race. The physical release is welcome and each child feels a sense of accomplishment. Finishing is winning…Winning is finishing is the motto.
Each year, after the marathon, our family remains in the city and makes a day of it. First on our list: a place to eat. In years past, Dave has chosen establishments from Guy Fieiri’s Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and we have had mixed reviews. So this year, we used our YELP app and lo and behold, found a gem near, of all places, USC, called Jacks N Joe; rated 4.5 stars. Over the years downtown Los Angeles has gone through a cosmetic renovation after the Staples Center was built. We were unprepared for the 50-60 minute wait and thus, headed west.
After the marathon we usually choose a museum to visit. Last year we went to the Natural History Museum, the years before that, the Science Center; back-to-back. Our destination for today was to be the Getty Center.
So after leaving the very Trojan packed, Jacks N Joe (we will return here another time ) we found ourselves, once again, in Palms. Last year we tried Gloria’s Cafe (from Triple D) where two of our boys promptly vomited outside; we think, due to a stomach bug. We decided to go to the original Versailles (Cuban) Restaurant. In the 90s Dave and I had gone here, together, and have craved their garlic chicken ever since. We laughed since Gloria’s Cafe was in the shopping block next to it. We seem to gravitate to this neighborhood. One of my most distinct memories is that one of my roommates ran over a pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk. I shudder to think of it and I wasn’t even in the car (poor Pam, the passenger, was traumatized). So I gazed at that exact same intersection from Versailles. The neighborhood has gone upscale, a bit, from our college days and I smile at the memories we made here. Weirdly enough, the large group of males that sat behind us were USC NROTC; talking about PrTs. I stared at Dave in wonder. We had come here, twenty years before, newly graduated, and here we were, today, with our three kids listening to 14 ROTC guys talk about college life. Did we sound like them at that time?
Finally we arrived at the Getty. I have wanted to come here for quite some time but Dave felt the boys weren’t at the ages where they could appreciate what it had to offer. We had been surprised that our middle son chose to come here but we really shouldn’t have been. He’s enjoys drawing and anything art related. The cool thing about the Getty was the iTouch museum guide. The kids could choose guided tours or, if an article on display had a number assigned to it, type the number on the iTouch and get history and background information. They loved it! We did too. The last time I had been here Nate was less than a year old and cried in his stroller. Today, as we took the tram back to our parking structure, he requested that we return soon so that we could “finish” the museum (ha! That would take years!); especially the Medieval/Renaissance period. Apparently this is what he is currently learning in World History; he being my history afficionado. Even Charlie enjoyed the experience. Giving the control to the kids, via the iTouch, was truly genius! We didn’t have to stand over a placard; we could listen and step back and enjoy the art (or lay as the boys sometimes did lol). I stood before one of my favorite paintings; “Irises” by Vincent van Gogh and gazed appreciatively. I’m already plotting to go to LACMA and MoCA.
“I certainly consider a great appreciation of painting to be the best indication of a most perfect mind…” (Leon Battista Alberti)