Here in Los Angeles, most agree that we experience year-round summer. The temps in the fall and winter months are often times nicer than we experience in spring and early summer, when June gloom rolls around. The summer of 2015 many would argue did not offered a kind welcome to July’s vacationing visitors with the rain (much needed) and the humidity . But whatever the thermometer says, the crowds still pack the theme parks, the surfers head into our waters and Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica are filled with shoppers. But it can be said there are a few activities that are unique to LA’s summer calendar, and I wanted to share with you three of my favorites.
The Hollywood Bowl, dating back to the 1920’s, offers both locals and visitors a chance to enjoy a concert at a world-class outdoor amphitheater that seats almost 18,000. Every summer I look at the calendar and try to pick at least one special event. In past years, Matt and I have taken the Park & Ride from our neighborhood to the bowl, letting someone else do the driving. This summer, I offered to drive a group in our new tour van to celebrate the 100th Birthday of Frank Sinatra. We shared a picnic before the show and just basked being under the stars, LA style. It sometimes gets chilly as it gets dark but no blankets were needed this time. I am hoping to see ET there over Labor Day weekend, as the Los Angeles Philharmonic performs John Williams’ entire score from Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming masterpiece about a boy and his alien friend, while my favorite film is shown on the Bowl’s big screen.
The Farmer’s Market up at Yamashiro Restaurant has taken place on Thursday evenings from May to September, but for some reason it wasn’t offered in 2015. I hope they bring it back. What I love is being able to park for a nominal charge at a Hollywood church on La Brea and then hopping on a shuttle bus up the hill to the event space. I’ve always said the view from Yamashiro is one of the best in town. And I love gazing at this 600-year-old Japanese pagoda that sits poolside. And with all the fun of a traditional Farmer’s Market, what could be better? A live band, fresh fruit and vegetable stalls, food trucks, and fun stuff for sale. The only available restroom is in the restaurant, so you get a bonus peek inside this beautiful piece of Hollywood history.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery offers summer movies under the stars every Saturday night from May thru September. Sometimes there is an additional Friday or Sunday showing, usually around a holiday weekend. Hollywood Forever opened in 1899 (under a different name) and is the final resting place to more of Hollywood’s founders and stars than anywhere else on earth. However, after almost being closed by the state, HFC has been kept open with love and new community interest. The movie selections are fun and varied enough to appeal to a wide range of movie goers. Armed with picnic baskets and blankets, viewers find seats on a wide expanse of Fairbanks Lawn (no headstones on this part of the property). Tickets are available online for $10-18 and if you’re lucky, you can also purchase a parking pass and drive right onto the property. I have seen at least three movies under the stars at HFC and recommend it as a unique Hollywood summer activity. If a movie in a historic cemetery isn’t your cup of tea, stop by during the day when you can visit with these beautiful peacocks.
By Trish Procetto