Where am I now?

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Where am I now? 33.748995, -84.387982 Atlanta, GA, United States (Directions)

Huntington: Pretty in Pasadena

Huntington Railroad Fortune

One of the enduring pleasures of visiting art museums is to imagine yourself as the owner of the priceless work of art in front of you. The truly democratic aspect of public museums is that every patron becomes an artwork’s owner for one ephemeral moment.

Nowhere is this illusion better preserved than at the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery in San Marino, an affluent Los Angeles suburb just south of Pasadena. Huntington, a superbly wealthy railroad and real estate magnate, owned twelve hundred acres of land here.

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Santa Barbara

June Gloom in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a ninety minute drive north of Los Angeles up US-101. Fog takes on a certain personality along the Californian coast. It creeps in from the ocean, clinging like a wet blanket to the freeway and the neighboring Santa Ynez Mountains. It subsumes all daylight, lending the desert scenery a foreign chill. This feeling is known as June Gloom here, a misnomer if there ever was one. It seems to happen year-round and certainly whenever I’m in town.

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Los Angeles

First Stop: Los Angeles

Edward Hopper didn’t like Los Angeles. He didn’t like the perennial traffic, as much an issue in his day as it is today. Despite the rush hour traffic, I feel a sense of release as I crawl towards Santa Barbara from LAX on the I-405. It’s a sun-drenched Friday evening. I’m driving a rented Chrysler PT Cruiser, my companion for the next twelve weeks as I cross America. My final destination is the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which is showing the largest retrospective of Edward Hopper’s pictures to date.

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