Plenty to Do – Near and Farther Away
You all know how much I love our Crescenta Valley … the “Mayberry-type” atmosphere and the vibrant volunteer spirit are just two things that make living here such a privilege. But while there is much available to do in our fair foothills, sometimes you have to travel to experience even more.
For example, I had the opportunity to attend the opening of the Cal Phil summer series on Saturday night at Santa Anita Race Track. Few things are better than sitting under the stars, listening to Beethoven’s “7th Symphony,” then Beatlemania Now performing some of the greatest hits by the Fab Four. The infield was filled with tables for some of the guests, while others who came made themselves comfortable on the grassy areas. Every season, a half dome reminiscent of the Hollywood Bowl is installed on the infield, providing the orchestra and performers with a proper stage and fun backlighting. Concert-goers on Saturday night only had one thing on their lips as they left Santa Anita: When’s the next concert? It’s July 11 at Santa Anita (encore at Walt Disney Concert Hall on July 12) and features the show tunes of Rodgers and Hammerstein plus Schubert’s “Symphony No. 7 in b minor, Unfinished.”
Then on Sunday, my best friend Amy and I headed to Hollywood for the Tragical History Tour by Dearly Departed Tours. While Crescenta Valley has some sordid history, I don’t think it compares to the murder, suicide and mayhem found in the annals of Hollywood. Dearly Departed Tours has packaged these nasty tales into a three-hour tour. We boarded an air-conditioned van with other ghoul-lovers to visit the (too many) sites where the famous and infamous spent their last hours. We even had the chance to visit the resting place of many of Hollywood’s legends – Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. There we saw the gravestones of many famous folk including Jack Lemmon (whose marker reads, “Jack Lemmon in”), Merv Griffin (“I won’t be back after these messages”) and Rodney Dangerfield (“There goes the neighborhood”) as well as the crypt of Marilyn Monroe where the lip prints of many female visitors can be found on her marker. Amy and I had a blast and ended the day with dinner at Lawry’s in Beverly Hills (a place I had never been to and where Amy treated me to a belated birthday dinner).
But you don’t have to leave town all the time to have fun. Just this weekend you can stay close to home and attend the Fourth of July fireworks bonanza at La Crescenta Elementary School (tickets available here at the office until 5 p.m. on Friday). If you’ve never been, you won’t want to miss it – it’s truly a spectacular event. On Sunday, head down to the Montrose Shopping Park for the annual hot rod and classic car show. It’s free to attend and you won’t be disappointed – though you might want to bring ear plugs for when the cackle cars are fired up.
To learn more, read Mary O’Keefe’s cover story.