Most weekends are reserved for taking care of the odds and ends that I normally don’t have time to catch up to during the week. By Friday, my hamper is about to explode from the mountains of laundry that have piled up and my refrigerator is something quite sad to stare into. Trips to Trader Joe’s and my washing machine typically are always on the agenda.
However, the past few weekends, I’ve had the opportunity (or perhaps for a more procrastinate word “excuse”) to see my home in a whole new way. My dear friend Jenny invited me to not only tour The Palace Theater (one of the oldest vaudeville theaters in downtown L.A.), but to also watch a screening of “Sunset Boulevard” on the theater’s 100th birthday! Being a member of the L.A. Conservancy, Jenny is the go-to-girl for any interesting facts about downtown and its history, so when she asked if I wanted to go, I replied with an eager “Yes!”.
This is a picture that my friend Jacqueline took of the inside of the theater, and it really highlight the gems hidden within the Palace. From marble stairs to ornate wood-carved ceilings, the Palace is a theater like no other.
This next picture is one that I really like because the glass window I’m standing in front of, is actually part of the ladies’ powder room upstairs and overlooks the entrance to the theater. Jenny informed me that the purpose for this large window was to serve as a lookout for the ladies to watch for their dates, since it was improper for a lady at the time to attend the theater without a chaperone. Oh, how the times have changed.
A few weeks later, Jenny also invited me to take a tour of some of L.A.’s neon signs. This tour was interesting because of two reasons: #1. who ever really takes the time to look at neon signs in L.A. (aside from the ones that say “Don’t Walk” and “No Parking”) and #2. the tour takes place on a double-decker bus (which practically screams,”Hello! I’m a tourist! Wave at me!”). But knowing Jenny, and the fact that she is a popular Yelper, I knew that I was in good hands and put aside any of my double-decker qualms.
The tour started in China Town and toured downtown Los Angeles, Los Feliz, Silverlake, West Hollywood, and even parts of Mid-City West. Here are some pics that Jenny took.
Yes, it was chilly! Yes,our tour guide was rather obnoxious with his megaphone blaring behind us. And yes, I almost lost an eye with overgrown tree branches sweeping across the tops of the bus (remember, we were on top!), but I must say, I REALLY had a great time! I even learned that neon signs are a form of art, due to the fact that one must be skilled in glass work to create them! I felt like I rediscovered my city and fell in love all over again. You wouldn’t think that being on the top-level of a bus would make such a huge difference, but it truly did! From the second story, I was able to get a closer look at some of L.A.’s finest neon theater signs, architecture, and even see parts of my neighborhood in a whole new light (no pun intended, seriously).
I feel like both adventures took me out of my element and routine (I rarely venture downtown) and opened my eyes to a city I thought I knew. The tour showed me different facets of Los Angeles that I would have never come to appreciate had it not been brought to my attention. No, we didn’t see the hottest clubs or the newest and trendiest eateries, but what we did see, were the things that dreams are made of. Visions and dreams of the past, fulfilled in architecture and signs, with the hopes that they would stand to be appreciated today. Shivering and huddling close on the top of a double-decker bus, Jenny and I both took a step back to fall in love with Los Angeles all over again.