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Road Trippin' - Pasadena and Nearby

Yet another roadtrip - this time to Pasadena. Managed to fit in a lot of culture, all in a short day and a half….

When your daughter has a tryout in Arcadia, CA that requires an overnight, it calls for mom to chauffeur and hangout in LA. The home base would be Pasadena with short trips to Silverlake, Los Feliz, LACMA and the Norton Simon Museum. A morning run, a few meals and that would be the extent of the trip.

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences

Happened to arrive 15 minutes before Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (aka VDL House) opened at 11am, so there was time to cross the street to access the trail that borders Silver Lake resevoir. The thought crossed my mind that if I lived nearby, I would definitely be running the trail most days :)

After taking a few photos, it was time to enter the site and take a tour. The tours are given by Cal Poly Pomona students only on Saturdays . The College of Environment Design oversees and maintains the project. Typically I am never in LA on weekends, so the timing for the trip was just right!

It was my guide’s first time giving the tour and he did a great job. Being a tour guide myself at another special architecture site, I could appreciate how he felt. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this midcentury modern space, learning more about Neutra, taking in the views and talking with the volunteers. Now I can have a conversation with my son the architect about VDL house as he visited just last year.

Atrium in Los Feliz

Found the perfect spot to brunch after VDL House in nearby Los Feliz by searching Eater LA online. Atrium, just recently opened, was not too busy for a late lunch. There was nice table seating in the brick alleyway, but since it was a little chilly, I opted to dine in the nicely lit interior space at the beautiful bar. Great cocktail, baeutiful and tasty food. I really wanted to try the biscuit, so ordered one on the side for dessert and was happy for the unexpected, but welcome, sugar on top.

I look forward to returning for dinner as the menu at night offers items not available during the day.

Rauschenber: 1/4 Mile | LACMA

By chance I arrived at LACMA a few minutes before a tour was to be led. by a veteran guide of more than 30 years! Wonderful to have her put things in context and point out things I may have missed on my own.

Created over 17 years (1981-1998), the work is composed of 190 panels that, combined, measure approximately a quarter mile in length.  It is not to be missed! On exhibit till June 9. Definitely worth one or more viewings. I particularly appreciated the mix of materials used: textiles, mass media images, photographs taken by the artist, paint, and everyday objects such as chairs, cardboard boxes, and traffic lights all adding sculptural depth. Even audio was included..

After viewing the 1/4 Mile, I stop by to view a couple of favorites installed on the ground level of BCAM, Richard Serra’s Band and Robert Irwin’s Miracle Mile.

Last stop was to view Rauschenberg: In and About L.A. in the Resnick Pavilion across the BCAM. This exhibit features a selection of works, made in and about L.A., that highlight the city’s impact on Rauschenberg’s creative output.

Campus Run - Pasadena City College

It was a special treat to run to and through the Pasadena City College (PCC) campus located not too far from where I stayed at the Hotel Constance, a contemporary space with nice modern touches. for lighting and control. At PCC, the building architecture, layout and landscaping, including public art, made for a beautiful campus.

Campus Run - Cal Tech

Shown below are photos from a run through Cal Tech. I feel smarter just traversing the campus. Again, I appreciate the mix of older buildings andd newer ones, the serene, formal landscaping and the cohesiveness of the plan.

Norton Simon Museum

Just had time for a short visit to the Norton Simon Museum where the sculture garden is the first place that I always visit when there. Due to recent heavy rain in December, half of the garden was roped off and not accessible. Still, it was nice to lunch outdoors at the cafe and walk partway around the Monet-like gardens.

A special treat was to view Titian’s Portrait of a Lady in White a day earlier than scheduled for viewing. Though my taste skew towards modern abstract art, lately I have been enjoying portraits from earlier periods.

Then off to pick up my daughter in Arcadia, a quick stop at In-n-Out Burger for her and a nice, easy drive back to San Diego. Another fun visit up north :)