paper, coffee, process, a coffee trip to the getty museum
Up on a mountain, in the north of Los Angeles city lies The Getty Center, a museum known for its views, gardens and antiquities. It was my targeted destination on a weekday to visit its grounds, experience its coffee, take a garden tour and then an eventual trip to see the experimental photography exhibit, ‘Lights, Paper, Process, Reinventing Photography’ and to enjoy a cup of coffee on the terrace. While coffee shops can appear as a stand alone space within a neighborhood or commercial center – their existence in the space of the worlds most coveted museums is yet another expression of a communal space with the intention of exchanging and expressing ideas, including that of coffee and its compatriot, tea, itself.
Could there be any better way to take in art and then ponder on its effect on you and, greater views of life than having art and coffee coexist side-by-side or nearby? I think not.
So up a tram I went, and up some stairs I went, into the main area before leisurely strolling to a coffee cart on the terrace for a cappuccino. Yes, it was near ninety degrees, but I wanted the comfort of espresso, milk and foam. The menu was simple, black coffee and all espresso based drinks. When I ordered a cappuccino, my barista said, “hot or iced?” An iced cappuccino, I hadn’t even thought of the idea. While he assured me it could be done, I opted for a hot capp.
I watched as he pushed some buttons and noises begin to sound, like that of a program machine going into action. As it began to move, so did I and my mind, ‘What kind of beans were in use? What kind of milk? How long was he going to steam my milk, I wondered.’ When he brought out the bag for me to view, he jokingly said, “I’m going to have to start charging you .50 cents for all these questions.” He had to be joking right, at least I assumed he was.
Minutes later, with coffee in hand from Pasquini Espresso, I traversed the decomposed granite, and California pepper tree grove with my garden tour group tour the landscape architect’s – Richard Meier – vision for me. It eventually led me along a stream of water and a garden of society garlic. With a latte in hand, I looked into the sky and let the horizon take me into my daydreams. I walked the spirals of the space in my mind and then lifted myself into the height of the cactus gardens in view to the east.
What a beauty, to feel the warmth of the sun kindle the warmth that coffee and milk had already kindled within. Being surrounded by all this fauna, and smells that invaded my senses reminded me just how much that any and all of them could be the notes to a coffee that I’d taste one day. This is experience, this is culture and this is how I like to see life play together, play within me.
Where was the last place you had a coffee or tea date somewhere outside of the normal ‘coffee shop?’
If not a recent memory, head up to your local museum and if in L.A. might I suggest The Getty – it has a whole garden of cacti waiting for you to catch its shadows. Adventure says hop on a tram and have a capp in my honor. Go. Now. cde