Sunday, March 28, 2010

Springtime At The Huntington Library

One of my favorite places in Los Angeles is the Huntington Library in the suburb of San Marino. And one of the best times of the year to go is spring. So unfortunately we picked this weekend to go see the gardens of the Huntington which happened to be the hottest weekend of the year so far. The library grounds sit in a large topographic depression. Thus there is little breeze to cool the air. It is also extremely large, covering over 120 acres. You can walk around for hours in stifling temperatures to see all the different gardens spread out around the place. But as you can see by the pictures it was well worth the effort. The blossoming flowers are breathtaking this time of the year.

Huntington Library also has a large art gallery. Some of their most famous paintings include The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough and Pinkie by Sir Thomas Lawrence. However in my opinion the best part of their collection is their rare books department. I always get a kick out of taking visitors there, especially book lovers, as they come face to face with an original Gutenberg Bible or first editions of William Shakespeare's plays. Books that you've only read about are right there, close enough to touch. But of course you can't.

Perhaps the reason I love Huntington Library so much is because of something purely personal; I proposed to my wife there. If any of you have ever seen the move "The Wedding Planner" with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McCaughnehey, the scene where they are desecrating a stone statue was filmed at the Huntington. The stone bench by the statue where the two actors are sitting was where we sat when I proposed. Of course I didn't know it at the time but I recognized it when I saw the movie on cable later on. So from then on, if our friends ask us where we got engaged, we tell them to rent "The Wedding Planner" and fast forward to the scene where J. Lo is pulling off a piece of a statue's anatomy. That always gets a good laugh.

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