By Karina Levitas, 16, Monroe HS
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Photo by S. Frances Esto/ Courtesy J. Paul Getty Trust

My friend Ana was the one who first told me about the Getty Museum. She made it sound so interesting that I was eager to go and take a look for myself. So I went and spent an afternoon there. It’s full of great architecture and amazing art pieces. It overlooks beautiful gardens and offers breathtaking views of Los Angeles.

But the best part about the Getty is that it’s FREE. Yep, absolutely free. There are even places where you can park for free. When you take the tram, which is another great part about the Getty, you can see amazing views of Los Angeles during that five-minute ride up the mountain. On a clear day, you can even see Catalina Island. That simple tram ride makes you feel like you’re being lifted away from the hectic Los Angeles lifestyle to a higher and more enlightened place.

One of my favorite parts about the Getty was the photography gallery. Different artists are featured there. You can find out more about the special exhibits from the information desk at the museum’s entrance, where there are several pamphlets and mini- tours.

Little snack carts sit all around the central plaza. There’s also a restaurant, but it’s quite expensive and I don’t recommend it. I think as far as food goes, bring a sandwich and $5 for a drink and a snack.

The Getty is definitely a place where you can experience the best of both worlds. It has a relaxed setting and an awesome collection of art pieces from different places around the world. What’s great is that you don’t have to be an art fan to enjoy it there!

You can spend a stress-free afternoon there reading or soaking up the sun. You know, that has to be the second-best part of the Getty—the tranquility. I’ve gone there two more times after I first discovered it, just to lay on the grass and relax. I’ve even brought some friends there.
I now think of the Getty, not just as a museum, but as an experience. I’m going to have to thank Ana for suggesting it.

Getting there

Driving: The museum is located near Interstate 405 and Interstate 10. From the 405, exit on Getty Center Drive and follow the signs for parking.
Public transportation: The bus lines serving the Getty Museum are the MTA Bus 561 and the Santa Monica Bus 14.

For more info, contact The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90049 (310) 440-7300; Hours: Tues.-Thurs., Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Free for museum. $5 for parking. (it was in 2001, it’s $7 now in 2006.)