Saturday, March 1, 2008

Kidspace and The Getty Museum

On Wednesday, Simone said, "I miss Tanner and Kendall." Tanner lives in Idaho and we haven't seen her in many months. Kendall lives in Los Angeles but we haven't seen her in over a year so I was surprised to hear these names come up. Amazing what is ticking inside Simone's 3 year old noggin! We decided we'd make them each a little movie and let them know how we were feeling. Here is the video for Tanner. Further down in this post ..."live from the blue room at The Getty," is the video for Kendall.

After a day of walking downtown LA, meandering through the dense Farmers Market with the stroller, visiting the Library's full scale puppet theater, running through the Frank Gehry Concert Hall and then finally... playing at the 9th street park, Simone made an announcement. "I need people to play with that are kids," she said. So on Thursday, we started the day at Kidspace in Pasadena. What a marvelously creative place! We found great kids there. Simone raced up Kal Banuska's 40 foot Raindrop tower (pictured above) and Tom Luckey's Wisteria Climber half a dozen times. Naomi cracked up as the earthquake demo shook the ground beneath her. The museum has a slew of presentations throughout the day and one we particularly liked demanded a bit of audience participation. I've included a video of Simone performing the mother mosquito in "Bugs that Suck Blood."
We finally said goodbye to our new found friends and somehow I got both girls out of Kidspace. (It was a struggle to depart, as the place is fascinating and we didn't come close to exploring all of it. ) As I was exiting the parking lot, I turned around to see how the girls were doing and discovered that both had fallen asleep. Hmm. Might as well head to The Getty and see if perhaps I can cover some of the sculpture garden during their afternoon naps. (Double click on the pictures to zoom in.)

The Getty was for me, what Kidspace was for Simone and Naomi. It was heaven. What grand spaces. What marvelous works. I get wound up by great art. Love the feeling of connection to one another, across centuries, across cultures, the realization that we are here on earth for a lifetime of wondering, struggling, problem solving, playing, caring, aching, creating...
Simone awoke from her nap in in the middle of Bill Viola's "Emergence" video and just as the skinny naked man rises from the fountain. "What happened to him?" she asked me? "Why are the women crying?" "The film doesn't tell us." I said. "Well the women look very sad and the man doesn't have any clothes on," she said. We headed to what the Getty calls, The Family Room. It is a small building with six interactive exhibits and plenty of space for baby Naomi to wander through on her own without breaking anything from the 1700's. In the photo below, we are tying ourselves up with the pretend ropes. These are black foam tubes that you can arrange into various holes in the wall to strap you into a spot. We tied ourselves up and then burst free triumphantly with foam zooming everywhere. Simone was still pretty groggy from her nap.

Naomi loved rolling around in the blue room. This is a bedroom done in cerulean brocade with soft silk walls and pillow rolls.
(Double click on the picture to see more detail.)