Back to our regular programming . . .
After the Jeopardy! taping, we resumed our breakneck tour of Los Angeles. The next free morning took us back to the Hollywood Bowl for another free dress rehearsal. This morning we heard Michael Tilson Thomas conduct the L.A. Philharmonic and the L.A. Master Chorale in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, “Ode to Joy”. They were outstanding. MTT elicited so many nuances from the orchestra, it was like hearing the piece for the first time. The Chorale was phenomenal. Their voices were a wall of jubilant sound bursting forth to the very top of the Bowl. I have sung the Ninth before, so it was a thrill to hear it performed so well.
With the sounds of joy ringing in our ears, we drove off the mountain and down to Pink’s Hot Dogs for lunch. This is the Hollywood hot dog institution that’s been at the corner of La Brea and Melrose for 39 years. At lunch on a hot day in the middle of the week, the line was nearly 20 people long. We all had a good time choosing and creating our perfect dogs, but Wild Thing enjoyed his the most.
Thus fortified, we went in search of that sulfurous, odiferous place known as the La Brea Tar Pits (George C. Page Museum). The boys loved it! I thought it was pretty interesting, too. The lake pits have regularly belched methane and asphalt for some 30,000 years. It is at once bizarre and captivating. The boys particularly enjoyed the woolly mammoths — statues outside and reproductions inside — and a sabre-tooth tiger skeleton and hologram.
When we were finished being The Flintstones, we drove back into the 21st century Farmer’s Market, complete with valet parking. We found fresh limeade and lychees there and not much else; however, it was a good place to buy cheap souvenirs. We finished the day at a noodle shop in West L.A., Asahi Ramen (“noodle nirvana”), on Sawtelle. That street is a mecca for fabulous Asian food.
The following day was our last in Smog Angeles. We began with breakfast at another L.A. institution, Langer’s, a real Jewish delicatessen. The boys did not understand their father’s fascination with this place. WineGuy saw it to be a throwback to the classic 1960s deli experience, complete with knishes, corned beef hash, and egg creams. The boys viewed it as some diner in a seedy part of town, where there were no Jews to be found. [Sometimes I think WineGuy’s mindset is still set somewhere between “Leave It To Beaver” and “Sargent Pepper”.] The food was fair. The experience? Wistful. But, it was relatively close to Watts, Hebrew Union College, and the California Science Center. The latter was our destination. It, too, was disappointing. Those exhibits which worked were weak. It was jam-packed with hundreds of screaming kids, and we were not amused. Wild Thing and Moose most enjoyed BodyWorks, featuring “Tess,” the 50-foot woman (a body simulator). Wizard had a blast riding the High Wire Bicycle.
That’s the end of our Adventures in Smog Angeles. We did not see any movie or TV stars there other than Alex Trebek. We flew back to Miami, drove home, did many loads of laundry and packed for our next trip, Chicago.