I should have made a New Years resolution to visit and appreciate downtown more because I’m fulfilling that promise, resolution or no.
Following a mid-week Giselle (see last weeks post), I headed downtown again this week to attend a mid-week performance of Christopher Plummer’s one man show “A Word or Two”. I expected an enjoyable but somewhat stuffy evening of theatre with a capital T and British snobbery. Wrong! Christopher Plummer is Canadian! Shows you what I know. The evening was the opposite of stuffy! The man, in his 80’s, danced, sang, made baudy jokes, reminisced and recited works of poets, playwrights, novelists and songwriters. He was wonderfully entertaining and inspiring. The message of the show, which he wrote, was that there are wonderful books, classics, that are being forgotten in a world of tweets and You Tube. When I was in elementary school each week we had to memorize a poem and recite it, as a class, at the all school Friday auditorium. I can still remember some snippets of those poems. There’s no time for such frivolous activities in school these days. What a shame. On the other hand, I don’t regularly read poetry or enjoy it. My daughter, on the other hand, who wasn’t asked to memorize any of the “great” poems, loves poetry and is herself a poet (though she hates being labeled as such). So perhaps it’s not such a shame?
Then yesterday I traveled downtown again. There is a volunteer staffed organization called the LA Conservancy which is dedicated to the preservation of and education about the classic architecture in our city. The tour I took focused specifically on Art Deco but to distinguish it from other styles we also learned about Beaux Arts, Gothic and Post Modern achitecture – all represented in one way or another in the downtown area.
It was a beautiful morning for a docent led walk – temperatures in the high 60’s – sunny with blue skies. The tour took me into areas I hadn’t walk before which surprised me because I thought I was familiar with the downtown area. It was great to see signs of revitalization in areas that had, not too long ago, been written off and left to the homeless.
As an extra treat, while we waited for our tour to begin, we saw the contestants for this years “America’s Got Talent” emerge, fists pumping, from a nearby archway as the cameras rolled. There were girls in pink glittery outfits, musicians carrying cases of all shapes and sizes, teams of performers in matching spandex and lots of children dressed in ruffles. The stream of hopefuls went on and an and on! I may watch the show this season so I can root for them.
I finished up the afternoon by visiting the downtown library. It is a gorgeous building that offers so much more than just books! I visited the Teen Scape area where a panel of YA authors spoke to a mix of fans and wanna-be writers. As a wanna-be myself I love to hear tales of 137 rejections before that one all important “yes” or the successful writer who didn’t start writing until she was in her 50’s. There’s hope for me yet!
That being said, time to go spend a little time with my novel. It won’t write itself.