Norton Simon Museum and New Year's Dog
Christmas can be a bittersweet holiday for me - the loss of close family members becomes too obvious. But, gotta say, Honey and I have really had a wonderful time. No moping allowed around a dog - especially Honey. She has seen me cry a couple of times and has shown absolutely none of that loving, comforting attitude I've heard other pets exhibit. She kind of looks away at first, a little embarrassed and uncomfortable is how I read it, then, with what I can only feel is her equivalent of toe-tapping, she'll sit and stare at me waiting for the whole thing to blow over. It really takes a lot out of the there-is-so-much-tragedy-in-life moment when you end up in a staring contest with a dog.
We did a lot of our favorite things. We did have to split up since hers were along the lines of running after dogs, rolling around, jumping in and out of a wading pool and lots of face licking and I was leaning more towards seeing a photography exhibit, strolling a street of small boutiques and bookstores and having a Ghirardelli hot fudge sundae. (Okay - she would've been up for the ice cream but I wasn't about to share.)
I dropped Honey off for a day of dog fun at Bow Wow Bungalow and went on to meet my friend Kiki in Pasadena - her hometown. There's so much to do there and I always have fun including going on tours of the amazing Greene and Greene houses, going to the Huntington Library and Descanso Gardens and, of course, the Norton Simon museum.
The Norton Simon is the perfect part-day sized museum. It's small but many world-class painters and sculptors are well represented. Also, the building is one of those it just feels good to be in and there are some very prettily landscaped outside areas to wander around in.
I hadn't been to a photography exhibit for a while and this one was interesting because it had work by the classic great photographers - Weston, Adams, Kertesz - along with quirkier, more recent ones. This exhibit also included a photograph I couldn't stop looking at because it was so beautiful: Magnolia Blossom by Imogen Cunningham.
Then, Kiki and I wandered around the permanent collection making many astute art comments like "was it the style to only expose the right breast when dressing up?" (sorry - that's the only one I can remember) when we came on a painting of someone's dog.
Aldrovandi Dog is described as a painting that "was likely hung fairly high in a large room or salon where the animal would appear to tower over the viewer."
How great is that? Even back in 1625, people had strong bonds with their pets and were boring people with their latest pictures of them.
It's been a whole year of traveling with Honey and, although she's done her best to bankrupt me, forced me to move - twice, cramped my work life with her rehab needs which lowered my tax bracket substantially and, finally, helped end an interesting relationship (okay, probably not a bad thing) --- gotta say, she's absolutely the best.
Honey and I wish everyone the best new year with many happy travels and even better non-travels.
pitbull, pit bull, dog