The Huntington. If you live around here you've probably been there—dragged through the galleries on a school trip as a kid or minding your manners in the tea room as an adult. If you're like me you go as often as you can to enjoy the gardens, galleries and exhibits. When blogger Katie of Katiefornia visited last week, our first stop was the Huntington. She and I both love to take photos, so I can promise you more to come.
We have Henry E. Huntington, Arabella Huntington and I suppose even Collis Huntington to thank for it all, as well as those who've come after them to manage the institution. It's only as far as San Marino, the community bordering Pasadena to the south. Yet the Huntington feels to me like a taste of Europe, Asia, the wide world. It's not the real thing, only a reproduction, but a day there feeds my wanderlust, if only briefly.
The Japanese Garden, pictured above, was used in a scene in Memoirs of a Geisha. You have to be as big as a movie studio to use the Huntington for your event. As perfect as it would be they don't hold weddings or private parties there. They'd be doing it all the time, wouldn't they? No, no, no. The Huntington is for the people.
Except the library. If you want to get an up-close look at a First Folio of Shakespeare or perhaps Benjamin Franklin's autograph autobiography, you must be a "qualified scholar." But there's always a library exhibit, so the unqualified scholars among us can occasionally view these treasures through glass. I've seen Galileo's handwriting only inches from my face. Not a reproduction. No, no, no. The real thing.