The main problem with having to car in CA, especially the LA area, is that it is really hard to get anywhere. You can’t really go to Hollywood and you can’t answer the questions your friends from high school ask about "living in LA". I’ve given a few things for you to do while you are in Pasadena and I hope that you will check some of them out in your four years here. The last two main places I would like to talk about in this blog are the Gamble House and the Norton Simon Museum, two places you can check out easily on the ARTS bus or a long walk. Both are beyond Old Pas, but if you take the bus all the way to the end of Old Town, the walk is really short.
The Gamble HouseYou may be thinking, what do I care about some random person’s house. That is what I thought my sophomore year when my friends asked me if I wanted to go visit it with them. Most people may know it more as Doc’s House from the film Back to The Future. Yup! There are a bunch of houses that were designed in by the Greenes in Pasadena, and this is the most famous. If you are interested in architecture, it is a good place to go. When I visited, we mostly just walked around the outside and browsed the wayyy to expensive gift shop without buying anything. They do tours, but it is only Thurs. through Sun. I can’t remember if we missed the tour, or were just unwilling to pay. Honestly, for us it was just the novelty of seeing "Doc’s House" and for the amount they were charging, you could probably get into a pretty decent museum for a day. For us, it was enough to just wander around the outside of the house. It was a nice day and we just sat around the house and wandered the backyard. Here are some pictures.
For more information on the Gamble House, you can visit their website here
The Norton Simon MuseumI would be lying if I said I actually spent a lot of time here. To be honest, the only time I went is when I accompanied a friend on a visit when she had to look at some paintings and write about them for her art history class (Yes, they have them at Caltech, even though they are few and far between). However, that does not mean the place is not worth your time if you are interested in art. When I was there it looked small, but from their website it appears to be a very large collection with works from many different periods. The building is also very nice looking with a lot of open space inside, so even though it is a small place, it feels like a very nice museum. The best part is: its FREE with your student ID. I regret not spending a day here looking at the collection in my four years at Caltech, which means you should take advantage of this awesome opportunity that is so close to Caltech
According to their website:"The
Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most
remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year
period, 20th-century industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an
astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th
century and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art
spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the
United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also
occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections.
Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on
view in the galleries and gardens. Three temporary exhibition galleries
feature rotating installations of artworks not on permanent display.
The Museum’s online collections database presents a portion of the
objects in the permanent collection, and is continually being updated."
For more information on the Norton Simon Museum, you can visit their website here