Friday, December 16, 2005

December's Garden

Raised bed with lovage, cuban oregano, parsely and cabbage.

A canopy of avocados

Delightful yellow flowers

We've succeeded in propagating arugula as a weed!

Somebody seems to be enjoying our cabbage

Zucchetta - in December!!!

The hardy Russian (kale)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Ven! Chelly, Ven!

During the early days in our apartment, my husband & I used to get up early on a Saturday or Sunday morning in the winter time and drive up to the Griffith Park Observatory. On the way we would stop to pick up some yummy pastries and coffee at either le Belle Epoque or a little cafe one block to the south (La Conversacion, I think?). Dashing back to the car, we would race up the the Observatory and find a perfect bench with a view of either Downtown LA or of the Hollywood Hills and the sign and sit down and enjoy our breakfast picnic. What facsinated me most about that area was the vast number people from far away places that were there too, touring around LA on one of the many massive tour buses that were parked nearby. Every group we walked by was speaking a different language, many I had never heard before.

As we sat there one morning gazing at the mansions on the hillside, a small family walked by led by two small girls, maybe around 6 or 7 years old. It seemed clear that one of the little girls was visiting from out of town and her little friend wanted to make sure she didn't miss a thing. As they were about to pass us, the little girl stopped, ran towards the fence and called out to her friend, "Ven, Chelly Ven! Miran las letras que dicen HOLLYWOOD! Ven, Chelly, Ven!" It was the cutest thing in the Whole. Wide. World. Especially cute for the way she extended each syllable of hol-ly-wooooooood. My husband & I could not stop laughing and saying, "miran las letras que dice Hollywood" over and over again.

Fairly soon we should be able to resume early mornings at the Observatory, when construction is finally completed and we have a brand new shiny (ADA compliant) place to see the stars (that are hidden behind so much light pollution). It'll be grand. Ven!

Life in the shadows

As I was driving down Hollywood Blvd yesterday morning on the way to the Sunday farmer's market, my husband commented on how bright and sparkly the HOLLYWOOD sign looked in the early morning sunlight. It's true. It does look impressive, offering hope and inspirations to all the underfed starlets that arrive year after year in my hometown. Earlier in the week, I had read that our new mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, had put the finishing touches of paint on the sign, thereby enhancing civic pride. HEY - that my husband & I even noticed shows the paint job worked its magic on us! So as we drove on I was pondering my life in this iconic town, renowned for its celebrities, movies, entertainment whozie-whats-its and yet, I feel as though I live in an alternate reality. I said to my husband, with an air of melodrama, "*sigh*, life in the shadow of the Hollywood sign". (giggle giggle)

Today, it feels appropriate to name this blog in honor of that sentiment. Life here is so much more than meets the eye, so much more than "the Biz". After 9 years, we have carved out a uniquely special existence in the heart of Los Angeles. Our lives have nothing to do with HOLLYWOOD and all its business, with the exception of a few special friends. Our lives revolve around teaching, gardening, music, dance, politics, cooking, traveling and discovering the enchantments that lie in the shadows of the HOLLYWOOD sign.