A walking guide to the Hollywood Bowl

This year the Hollywood Bowl celebrates its 100th anniversary. While you may know and love the iconic landmark for concerts under the stars, the $1 LA Phil ticket (on sale again this season) and BYOB’s wine and liquor policy, you might not realize this is also a great public park that you can enjoy during the day.

Owned and operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, this 88-acre property features pathways to art, musical history, native flora and fauna, and stunning views of the city. beautiful city. Are you ready to experience the Bowl in a whole new way? Put on your walking shoes and follow this guide to the gems throughout the grounds that people often miss when going to the shows.

first. Admire “Muse”.

Art decoration "Muse of Music, Dance, Drama" sculpture in the blue sky

The sculpture “Muse of Music, Dance, Drama” stands at the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Even if you’ve never attended a concert at the Bowl (or if it’s been a while), you’ve almost certainly driven along 101 and seen the “Muse of Music, Dance, Drama,” epic, Art. Deco-style sculptures stand at the entrance to the site.

200 feet long, 22 feet high and carved from 300 tons of granite, the work was designed by sculptor George Maitland Stanley, who brought Hollywood another celebrity: the golden Oscar. The 1,180-ton concrete sculpture and fountain on which it stands was unveiled in 1940 as part of the Depression-era Public Art Works Project and cost $100,000.

2. Meet some creatures.

View of the Hollywood Bowl shell from the seats.

Amphitheatre and “cover” at the Hollywood Bowl.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

People sometimes forget that the Bowl is in the autumn. Dozens of species live in and around the amphitheater in nature – on a recent walk I saw red-tailed hawks hovering overhead, yellow butterflies flapping their wings and lizards basking in the sun.

Paul Geller, the Bowl’s longtime executive producer, once told me that during a concert, a family of six raccoons hung from the arch of a seashell (perhaps, they were music lovers). Another time, in the middle of a performance, a fox walked up to the stage and sat behind a pianist. Before the show starts, you can see bats flying around or hear coyotes chirping. And at the end of an evening, it’s not uncommon for deer to emerge from the trees and grab the leftover popcorn.

3. See (and smell) an original pepper plant.

A large pepper tree at the entrance to a building.

The original pepper tree is located near the entrance of the Hollywood Bowl Museum.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Here’s a fun fact: Peppertree Road, which takes you from Highland Avenue to the entrance of the venue, is named for the trees that lined the walkway in the early days of the Bowl. Only one of those original pepper trees remains, and it’s located near the door of the Hollywood Bowl Museum, which, by the way, is totally worth a visit if you’re interested in the Bowl’s rich history. (Did you know that the Bowl started as a natural canyon amphitheater called Daisy Dell?)

4. Let’s search for treasure.

A green hilltop covers the picnic table

Picnic number 7, which overlooks Cahuenga Pass, is one of many picnic areas surrounding the Hollywood Bowl.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

If the main gate is open, head up to picnic area 7, located at the top of a winding hill but worth the climb for views of Hollywood and beyond. Concert or not, binoculars are essential, as from here you can look for the unusual twinkling of Cahuenga Pass.

According to the story, buried somewhere nearby was a fortune of diamonds, pearls, gold and silver. It was stashed in 1864 by Diego Moreno, a shepherd who witnessed Mexican agents concealing loot after fleeing San Francisco, where they had planned to buy weapons to aid war against France. Moreno dug the packages up and ran, but shaken by the nightmare, he buried them in the pass on his way back to Mexico. Then he died, the first of several deaths related to the “curse” of the Cahuenga Pass.

5. Get cozy in the seat.

A person holds an umbrella as he sits at the empty seats of the Hollywood Bowl.

One requested a row of seats at the Hollywood Bowl.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

During this year’s season, which runs from June to late September, locals and famous tourists can catch morning rehears of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, sometimes even featuring conductor Gustavo Dudamel holding the conductor’s baton. (For the latest information, email information@laphil.org or call (323) 850-2000. Seating is limited to the extra benches in Section D.)

Walking 168 steps to the back of the amphitheater is a must. In 2011, The Times reported that British actor and comedian Eddie Izzard, a sharp marathon runner, ran to the top in less than five minutes as security agents tracked him down. He jokingly dropped to his knees as he returned to the stage and advised the crowd not to follow his lead.

The Bowl has just under 17,500 seats, many of them offering great views of the Hollywood sign on Mount Lee. The U3’s Q3 and 9th row seats are the only two-seater chaise longues – popular choices for couples.

6. Check out some rare plant species.

Trees, picnic tables and benches at Toyon Terrace.

Toyon Terrace is one of many picnic areas around the Hollywood Bowl.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Despite an escalator and a series of angled concrete steps leading to it, tiny Toyon Terrace is not one of the Bowl’s official picnic areas, which makes it quite a potential gem. hidden.

Located on the north side of the stage, it has only a few tables, but has an interesting historical marker under a small, shaggy-looking tree. It notes that Heteromeles arbutifolia, or California toyon holly, is native to these hillsides, and “Hollywood has been named for this tree.” (However, the story that Hollywood is named after the shrub has been disputed.)

There are native and non-native plants around the Bowl, but this area in particular is home to Plummer’s lily mariposa, a rare species of plant. There are also Southern California black walnuts, native trees found in the Los Angeles Basin and surrounding hills.

7. Stopped for a picnic in the park.

Picnic tables and fences at Highland Camrose Park.

Highland Camrose Park is located inside the Hollywood Bowl.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

After taking the stairs around the picnic areas, relax your feet in the street at Highland Camrose Park. Part of the Bowl, it’s a quiet, walled area with palm trees and plenty of tables. Now the offices of the Sheriff’s Department and LA Phil, the park’s historic Craftsman bungalows were once part of a residential village home to movie stars and singers.

8. Marvel at the crust from every angle.

Hollywood Bowl shell from the seat.

The Hollywood Bowl shell has become a cultural icon.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

From almost anywhere in the park, you can see the Bowl’s shell, a longstanding cultural icon. Since 1926 there have been five versions of it, the first three lasting only a year, each created by engineers and architects trying to find the best shape to reach the audience. . The 1929 incarnation ended on the Los Angeles County seal, and was “temporary” for 75 years, until it was completely replaced in 2004. A Times story reported that while some houses conservation fights against the current shell, musicians were delighted when it made it. launch. LA Phil trumpeter Boyde Hood said: “When I played the first note, I thought, ‘Boy, that’s great. ”

https://www.latimes.com/travel/story/2022-05-27/hollywood-bowl-park-walk A walking guide to the Hollywood Bowl

Russell Falcon

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