The Hollywood Bowl


I missed the memo about The Hollywood Bowl.

(Ahh…low res cell phone pictures…It’s 21st century Impressionism…)

I’ve missed so many memos about Los Angeles…Since moving here a decade ago, I have been delighted, dismayed, dazzled, discouraged, and lots of verbs that start with “d”.  But let’s talk about the Hollywood Bowl.  It’s that iconic amphitheatre nestled in the Hollywood Hills.  My first memorable glimpse of it was in “Some Kind of Wonderful“:

(Poor Watts…she stares forlornly down at the stage, where Keith and Amanda enjoy their “perfect” date…)

Despite living in the L.A. area since 2001, I didn’t get to the Hollywood Bowl until 2010.  It was The Flight of the Conchords which finally induced me to go.  We got a babysitter, packed a picnic dinner and hopped on a shuttle bus which dropped us right at the venue.  It was a beautiful night and as the sun began to set, we enjoyed the most gorgeous view as the Hollywood Hills went from green, to gold, to pink, to blue, to black. 

We were surrounded by a glorious assortment of hipsters and bon vivants, so the people watching was nearly as fun as the concert itself.  There is something about sitting in the open air with thousands of drunken strangers that just puts you in a good mood.  We had an absolute blast. 

The obvious lesson from this lovely evening is this:  When you live in a big city full of cool stuff, get out there and enjoy some it, for Pete’s sake.  This stuff ain’t just for tourists.  I think this applies no matter where you live…just about everywhere, there are wonderful places to explore and experiences to have…you just have to overcome your inertia and go.

Another obvious and important lesson is that sometimes fun is spontaneous, but sometimes it takes a little effort.  In this instance, we had to:

1.  Buy tickets
2.  Arrange for a babysitter
3.  Tidy up the house
4.  Plan and prepare a picnic dinner for us
5.  Plan and prepare a  dinner for our little guy and his date
6.  Get ourselves dressed and out the door on time

Doesn’t sound like much, but somehow it is.  But here’s the thing…all that planning and preparation can be part of the fun.   As I scrubbed the toilet to ensure that the babysitter had reasonably sanitary facilities at her disposal, I was happily looking forward to the enjoyable evening ahead.  That bit  of anticipation can actually transform drudgery into foreplay to fun. 

So this weekend, get out there and do something cool, and be undaunted by the effort.  Memo received. 

© 2011 Jamie Walker Ball

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