The Getty Villa
Off the beaten path, but well worth the trek, lies the Getty Villa. Set on the cliffs overlooking Malibu, this museum is as artistic inside as it is out. Modeled after a first-century Roman country abode, it's the perfect architectural setting for an impressive array of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities.
17985 Pacific Coast Highway (near West Sunset Boulevard); 310-440-7300.
This seminal West Coast home for contemporary art has been injected with life — and a healthy dose of controversy — since downtown NYC denizen Jeffrey Deitch took office as Museum Director in 2010. Just last month, four of the museum's artist-trustees, Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Catherine Opie, and Barbara Kruger, vacated their posts on the board. And it happened as MOCA's summer program (including performances by the likes of IO Echo) moved forward amidst debates over whether the museum remains committed to serious exhibitions. Now's the time to go and assess the state of modern art for yourself, and make sure not to miss the appropriately explosive work of Cai Guo-Qiang in his show Sky Ladder.
250 South Grand Avenue (near East Temple Street); 213-626-6222.
Annenberg Space for Photography
As you may have noticed, Lala's continually upping the ante when it comes to cultural cache, and we all took a giant leap forward with the opening of the Annenberg Space for Photography in 2009. If three years later you still haven't found the time to go, get yourself there stat! The banners advertising Who Shot Rock & Roll are all over town, so don't try to front like you forgot. Trust us, you'll be glad you made it.
2000 Avenue of the Stars (at Constellation Boulevard); 213-403-3000.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
This Frank Gehry-designed metallic gem sends our civic pride through the roof. An undulating stainless-steel exterior gives way to an acoustically spectacular woodsy interior replete with a grand organ (also Gehry's design) that serves as the perfect backdrop for performances by the L.A. Philharmonic and a constantly growing list of the world's greatest artists. Take an architectural tour now, and come back in September for the Phil's fall season (and, you have until October 14th to see Rodarte's costumes for the Don Giovanni opera).
Walt Disney Hall, 111 South Grand Avenue (near West First Street); 323-850-2000.
Photos: Via Annenberg Space For Photography; The Getty Villa; Walt Disney Concert Hall
The Getty Villa