So, I took a day or so off from blogging to celebrate my birthday. Wifesy had “evening” plans for me that she refused to let on about. We spent the morning lounging in bed (something we rarely do) and then headed out for an omelet. My omelet was perfect and, as a result, I knew my birthday was going to be. We ran around for the next hour or so after breakfast as Wifesy gathered a few, “last minute things” for the evening. Around 5 or so, we left the “lodge” (or our apartment, depending on how you look at it) and headed down the oh-so-frequented Los Angeles highway.
I kept trying to figure out where we were going and since Los Angeles is so new to me, I couldn’t figure out a thing until we were almost right on top of our destination.
It was the Hollywood Bowl.
The Hollywood Bowl is a legendary Los Angeles venue. It’s an outdoor concert hall where “picnicking” has become a high art. Every seat at the bowl has a different level of picnicking ability. You can get waiter service or you can bring your own. Wifesy had splurged and bought us a private booth. You sit in comfy chairs that almost look like director chairs taken straight from a set. Once you take your seat, a valet sets up a fold up table in front of you.
Wifesy unpacked our dinner of roast chicken and spanish cheeses, cake, and a top-o’-the-line bottle of tequila.
The show was, “A Night of Salsa” and the lineup was tremendous. The opening band was led by salsa legend, Eddie Palmieri, and the second band was headed up by Salsa star, actor, and activist, Ruben Blades. Wifesy and I pretty much fell in love dancing and salsa is one of our faves, so it was the perfect gift.
As we sat and sipped on the agave, a foursome filed into the booth next to us. They were a gay, male couple and their lovely, female fag hags. We chatted them up and one of the men quickly told us that they had just sold one of their houses for a smaller number because the upkeep was becoming to much. The man added, “It was a great house. We were there 15 years, plus it was Harrison Ford’s old house.”
Wifesy told me later that the name dropping bothered her. “Did he really need to tell us it was Harrison Ford’s old house?” She asked. And I got it. Wifesy is authentic like that. The name dropping didn’t bother me too much in that regard. I did like the chat with our seat neighbors, regardless, because it was uniquely Los Angeles. If you don’t go out and chat with people like this at “events” – you’ll meet no one in LA since the rest of the time is spent in your car. So, they can name drop away. I don’t care. I’ve got my tequila and my girl and they can have Harrison Ford’s old house.
The one bummer about the bowl was the security, believe it or not. I mean this was salsa and some very good salsa. So, people were getting up to dance. There was a gentleman in front of us who danced with his pregnant wife and her friend. He was really good and the security kept telling him to sit down. That’s when we realized there were a lot of rich, white people at this salsa concert. Wifesy explained this was because people buy the booths for the “season” and so they can come any time there’s not a “block-out” concert on like Radiohead or the like.
I can not state enough, that there is NOTHING like the Hollywood Bowl in New York. We don’t have year round, outdoor, concert venues with cabaret, table, seating because the weather won’t allow for it. But, LA has it and it is feckin’ awesome.
That’s LA for you in a nutshell. Hollywood glam and awesomeness on one side and a sham river on the other. Sham river, Whaaattt? Hold on, let me explain.
The Los Angeles River
That’s what it’s called, “The Los Angeles River” and it makes me laugh because the damn river is not a river at all. It’s more like a puddle. An enormous concrete basin has been built around this thing that literally comes to a trickle the size of something your garden house could make, yet, it’s called, “The Los Angeles River,” as if it were something mighty.
I think this “river” is a metaphor for Los Angeles itself. There are wonderful things here, like the Hollywood Bowl, and then there are other things – people, rivers, all trying to puff themselves up – maybe by telling you they live in the same house Harrison Ford used to live in or by calling themselves a river when they barely measure up to a creek’s standard. People, here, they get some botox in their lips and an eye tuck to distract from the fact that they are 55 years old. The rivers, they do the same, I’m guessing. Maybe that’s why this enormous concrete basin was built around a trickle, to make it seem a bit more than it is. That’s the key to Los Angeles from nature to human, the motto is, “fake it until you make it.”
I’m guessing the river is simply waiting for a Hollywood production team to come over with a huge hose and turn the water on. Just like most of the people, here, are waiting for someone to turn on their careers.
But, if you can keep yourself authentic – stay who you are and see things clearly for what they are there – then you can have many amazing nights and a wonderful, odd, life. At least, that’s what I’m trying to do. So far, so good.
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