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I live and work in Los Angeles, a city known for sunshine, movie stars, blockbuster franchises, and reality TV. It’s also a hectic city with nearly 20 million people battling it out on the freeways and Hollywood clamoring for attention… more and more attention.

Sometimes I want to shut out the world and enjoy a bit of quiet. In this town that glorifies glamour, sometimes I want classic beauty.

Thankfully, in Pasadena, there’s a place that offers just that. Plus, it’s FREE every first Friday night of the month.

What is this FREE bastion of solitude and beauty, you ask?

The Norton Simon Museum

Leave the noise and struggle of modern life behind and escape into this jewel box of masterpieces:

To the left and you’ll find the Monets

A little further down are a flutter of Degas’ dancers

Turn a corner and find PicassosIMG_0785

Then a smattering of RembrandtsIMG_0787

And even a Raphael

And the coolest thing about the Norton Simon? The regular people wandering through on a Friday night, seeing themselves reflected back in those masterpieces:

In a city where we all seem to be battling for something all the time — battling for jobs, dreams, space on the roads, to be heard over the din — a visit to the Norton Simon will give you a moment to contemplate in the quiet.

And the masterpieces will inspire you to keep fighting the good fight.

If you are lucky enough to be in LA, go. But if not, remember, no matter where you live, art can offer an escape from all the NOISE of life. It lets you contemplate beauty, the human experience, and yourself.

And when you see YOURSELF reflected back in a masterpiece, you will see how BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE. And that should give you the courage to go back out there and create something beautiful of your own.


The Norton Simon Museum

411 W. Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91105-1825


Free for all visitors the first Friday of the month
from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m