I didn’t just visit The Getty while I was in LA. I also had a chance to wander through LACMA. While I’ve been to special exhibitions I’ve never spent the time to just see what’s in the main collection. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to give it a proper runthrough so I only have what’s in my notes.

The German abstraction stuff is great. Especially the prints which oddly remind me of a lot of the 1970s book illustrations I grew up seeing.

I enjoy the Kandinsky, Klee, and Feininger room. But it really weirds me out the way the galleries are grouped by collector. Seeing that plaque about whose collection in in each gallery immediately makes me think that the museum hasn’t curated anything beyond maybe the wall text. Still as with at SFMOMA, it is nice to have dedicated galleries for each artist. So at least the collectors featured have enough pieces for that to work.

It’s always a joy to see Bay Area Figurative on display outside of the Bay Area. I wish SFMOMA would feature it more in its new building.

I really want to see an exhibition of John Chamberlain’s sculptures get mounted across the street at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

The Oldenburg Pool Balls appear to be a big instagram magnet based on the number of photos I saw people taking of them. I found myself incredibly bothered by how they’re not the correct colors/stripes for actual pool.

I got really confused on the top floor of the Ahmanson building. They had Roman objects installed with 18/19th century French and English objects. Took me wandering through multiple galleries before I realized it was intended to show inspiration. That the modern galleries don’t do anything like this with any of the primitivism pieces really bothers me now.

I do however enjoy the Salon hangs. There’s only so much white cube I can handle.

Hawai‘i fragments

As with my Vegas trip, random thoughts from Hawai‘i which would fit on Twitter if I were the type of person to tweet while traveling.

  • How did kids travel before iPads existed?
  • I miss the smell of Plumeria in Honolulu airport.
  • I love the smell of entering a Hawaiian home.
  • The windward side of O‘ahu is vastly superior.
  • What kind of weirdo takes black and white film out to photograph tropical sunsets?
  • A waterproof camera would make it a lot more comfortable to stand in the surf while taking photos.
  • Hawaiian roads and road signage are designed to encourage you to stop driving and just hang out at the beach.
  • Kim chee sausage is a revelation.
  • Seriously. It’s fantastic in a “where has it been all my life?” kind of way.
  • There must be a way to get the Kukui Sausage Company to ship to the mainland.
  • Three-winged hotels do indeed all look the same.
  • Ko‘olina is scary.
  • But the service at the Ihilani is great.
  • So is the food.
  • Li hing mui is still the best shave ice flavor.
  • The lychee at Island Snow comes pretty close.
  • As does the Kona Coffee with snowcap.
  • I really need to find a source for malasadas.
  • Walter does not like natto.
  • More for me.
  • If your flight is going to be delayed, it may as well be a non-stop homebound flight leaving Hawai‘i.

Vegas fragments

Random thoughts from my Vegas trip. These should probably have been tweets but when I’m traveling, I do not like to be connected to the web at all.

  • The approach to McCarran is best experienced by remembering Sam Kinison’s world hunger routine.
  • The way Vegas handles cabs is fantastically brilliant—particularly the cabstand at McCarran.
  • Three-winged hotels all look the same.
  • Most architectural details (e.g. mansard roofs, roman columns, crenelations, etc.) look silly when they’re 40 stories tall.
  • Gold does not equate to classy.
  • Neither do diamonds.
  • Nor money.
  • I’m an inveterate snob.
  • As legal as it may be, it just feels wrong to walk outside with an open container. I’m not the only one who feels this way, many of us ditched our drinks before leaving the hotel.
  • Cigarette smoke doesn’t bother me as much as I would expect, but it weirds me out to have someone light up right next to me—especially when I’m inside.
  • I prefer crab to lobster.
  • When the server is dressed too sexily, only the douchebags pay attention to her. The rest of us don’t know how to act.
  • If every building has its name on the side in multiple-story lettering, there’s no need to point out and name each building to me.
  • I can keep my sense of direction inside a casino.
  • Ribeye is always a good choice.
  • Outdoor muzak is an abomination.
  • The Wynn has fantastic service.
  • I cannot stand bad acting.
  • If Los Angeles is “one great big festering neon distraction,” what does that make Las Vegas?
  • Everyone I met professed to dislike the Vegas scene.
  • No free Wifi? What the hell? Google should have chosen Vegas for that project.
  • I finally purchased something from Starbucks after managing to avoid doing so for 20 years. Not surprisingly (to anyone who knows me), I ordered a tall cup of milk.