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Aztec Exhibition at the Getty Villa

The Aztec empire has been resurrected in—of all places—the mansion-riddled cliffs of the Pacific Palisades.

Since March 24, the Getty Villa, located in the namesake’s mega-estate, has been featuring an exhibition entitled “The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire.”

The modest-yet-enjoyable exhibit boasts in its collection such relics as a cuauhxicalli, a masterfully detailed offering vessel in the form of an eagle, a slue of god-depicting monuments made from vivid minerals, and Spanish artwork documenting their particular point of view of the conquest.

Of singular interest is the Florentine Codex, the post-conquest pictorial manuscript compiled by friar Bernardino de Sahagún and native elders with aim to document the Aztecs and their imperial culture and religion. The codex contains more than 2,400 images, including detailed descriptions of the chief Aztecan deities. According to the exhibit’s curators, this will be the first time in over four centuries that the Florentine Codex will be found in the Americas.

The exhibit avoids mere showcasing, and provides a thoughtful thesis that juxtaposes the Aztec empire and the empire of the ancient Romans—much like the Spanish did when discovering the new, prolific culture in the 16th century. The exhibit shows the importance that religion, art, and imperial conquest played in both civilizations citing that “to many Spaniards, the Aztecs were the Romans of the New World.” This notion itself warrants a visit to the beautiful museum.

If you are particularly worried about whether you’ll fit in amongst the typical affluent, older crowd at the Villa, have no worries, you most definitely will not (if you are anything like me). But this should hardly discourage anyone from taking advantage of these illuminating and conveniently nearby relics. “The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of the Empire” will run through to July 5 and is a free exhibition, excluding the $15 dollar parking fee. LA Gente recommends you carpool, Latino-style!

More than a Night on the Town

Sometimes it’s not feasible to plan an exotic excursion out of the country, let alone, out of town. Have no fear, we have a guide for the non-travelers too. The best part? These activities are FREE!

Art & Museums:

Los Angeles offers a broad range of events to make you feel inspired and get creative with your summer nights and days out. This city offers free walking tours of everything from the bustling downtown Los Angeles to the rich historical panorama of the Great Wall of Los Angeles. The Getty Center in LA has an impressive collection of Western art, while the Getty Villa in Malibu showcases the art and culture of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Downtown Los Angeles is the only museum in the city dedicated to contemporary art. Both the Fowler and the Hammer are located in Westwood, but their collections differ greatly. The Fowler explores global arts and cultures while the Hammer displays different forms of artistic expression through the centuries. There is no reason not to check these places out!

Downtown Art Walk The tour takes place on the 2nd Thursday of every month and it’s a great way to explore a different side of Los Angeles.

www.downtownartwalk.org

The Great Wall of Los Angeles This has been a part of L.A.’s landscape since 1974. Under the direction of muralist Judy Baca, it continues to be a work in progress. Driving directions are available on the website, make sure you don’t miss out!

www.sparcmurals.org

Getty Center LA Admission to the Getty Center and to all exhibitions is FREE—no tickets or reservations are required for general admission. The museum is closed on Monday and Parking is $15.

Getty Villa in Malibu The Getty Villa in Malibu showcases the culture and art of ancient Greece and Rome. Tickets are free, but they require booking in advance. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and Parking is $15.

www.getty.edu

Fowler Museum Admission is FREE

www.fowler.ucla.edu

Hammer Museum Free on Thursdays for all visitors

hammer.ucla.edu

MOCA Admission to MOCA Grand Avenue is free every Thursday, 5–8pm.

www.moca.org

Attractions:

There are many different attractions in the LA area that will satisfy your curiosity! At the La Brea Tar Pits visitors can learn about Los Angeles during the last Ice Age, when animals such as saber-toothed cats and mammoths roamed the Los Angeles Basin. The Griffith observatory is an icon of the Los Angeles area and offers a beautiful space for public star-gazing and telescope viewing. Do you want to see other kinds of stars? The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a great way to get close (sorta) to legendary movie stars, both dead and alive. The California Science Center, offers a wonderful hands-on learning experience.

La Brea Tar Pits Admission is free on the first Tuesday of each month.

www.tarpits.org

Griffith Observatory Admission and Parking are free, but be aware that parking is very limited, especially on weekends.

www.griffithobservatory.org

Hollywood Walk of Fame FREE–minus the dollar that the Marylin look-alike suckered out of you.

www.hollywoodchamber.net

California Science Center Admission permanent exhibition galleries is FREE. Parking is $8.

www.californiasciencecenter.org

Culture:

Los Angeles is a city full of diversity and with many different ethnic enclaves it makes it the perfect city to learn about the different cultures! Chinatown, Historic Filipinotown, Koreatown, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia, Little Tokyo, Thai Town, and Olvera Street provide examples of the diverse character of Los Angeles. Each of these areas offers many delicious cultural eats, interesting shops and historical and artistic spaces.

Concerts:

If you like music, being outdoors, meeting people, dancing, the summer and free things, summer concerts are for you! There are various concerts going on all summer long like the Farmers Market Summer Music Series one of LA’s most popular and exciting free music series. Don’t know what to do on a beautiful, summer night in Southern California? Don’t have a lot of cash to spend? Love the beach and music? Check out the Twilight Dance Series at the Santa Monica Pier! If you love listening to Brazilian Samba, Rock en Español, Hip Hop and Afro-Cuban sounds, then Grand Performances Summer Festival is definitely for you! Venturing out to Pasadena might not be a bad idea. Take advantage of the Levitt Pavillion Free Music Under the Stars summer series of 50 free music concerts at the historic Memorial Park band shell in the heart of Old Pasadena. Long Beach also offers a three month festival called Summer and Music, which includes the Long Beach Funk Fest, Gospel Fest, and musicians performing at various outdoor venues.

Farmers Market Summer Music Series

www.farmersmarketla.com

Twilight Dance and Music at the Santa Monica Pier

www.santamonicapier.org

Grand Performances Summer Festival

grandperformances.org

Levitt Pavillion Free Music Under the Stars

www.levittpavilionpasadena.org

Summer and Music 2010

www.summerandmusic.com

Fun in the Sun:

Beaches

LA has one of the world’s best weather so why not enjoy the summer out in the sun with various FREE activities at our fingertips, or should I say toes too?! First there is the amazing array of beaches! Do you love observing people? Then Venice Beach is for you! This is one place where the eclectic Venice Ocean Front Walk can upstages the actual beach. Want to feel like you’re a star at the beach? Manhattan Beach is where you need to be, as scenes from many television shows have been filmed there. Love surfing? When it’s time to get out the surfboard and zip on the wetsuit, there’s no better place to be than Malibu Beach. Love long stretches of sand or even going on a Ferris wheel on the pier, then head over to Santa Monica State Beach. Are you looking for a more romantic experience? El Matador Beach is located about 10 miles northwest of Malibu; this secluded pocket beach is the perfect place to enjoy a sunset dinner in one of the hidden coves. Are you looking for a beach that offers something during the long summer nights? Dockweiller Beach offers fire pits for beach barbecues and bonfires.

gocalifornia.about.com

Hiking

For the nature lovers, Los Angles offers a selection of places to satisfy your hiking needs with multiple trails. There are various trails that fit both your likes and endurance, so please check them out and select the one that best suits you.
discoverlosangeles.com

Gardens

Stop and smell the roses! If you do not feel like being out in the direct sunlight you can always find some shade in these beautiful gardens. The Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Gardens is located on our wonderful campus. It’s a little oasis in the middle of south campus. The Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden is one of the perks of being a UCLA student because there are some really marvelous pieces displayed on this tree-filled green landscape. But tourists and art lovers alike should come and spend some time in this garden. The Hannah Carter Japanese Garden was inspired by the gardens in Kyoto and is located in the Bel Air neighborhood nearby UCLA. If you travel a little further east, you’ll find the Huntington Botanical Gardens is one of the LA area’s best; this is a must-see for tourists and residents alike.

Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Gardens www.botgard.ucla.edu/html
Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden www.travelinlocal.com
Hannah Carter Japanese Garden www.japanesegarden.ucla.edu
The Huntington Botanical Gardens www.huntington.org

Did we miss something? Share your favorite summer activities with us! Shoot us an email at [email protected]