July 27, 2005
The Los Angeles Arboretum is located in Arcadia, just next door to Pasadena. It's a beautiful arboretum with wonderful paths, ponds, gardens, and greenhouses. Six Saturday nights each summer, the California Philarmonic sets up in the half shell and performs anything from Tchaikovsky to Broadway under the stars.
Prior to the start of the concert, folks arrive and scout out the best place to stake their claim with their blanket on the lush lawn. Hampers come out and fabulous picnics are set. I love walking around and seeing all the elaborate picnics people have made. It's a bit competitive.
If you did not bring a picnic, don't fear. Some of the best carters and restaurants in the area have set up shop, and you can order box lunches, desserts, wines - anything you can imagine. We, however, enjoy the prep day, finding the perfect wine, getting fried chicken from our favorite place, and going to the Italian market to make the perfect salad. The day planning is as fun as going!
The cost for a place on the lawn is $20, but if you want a table or chair upfront, the costs ranges from $25 to $90. Now, honestly, I don't understand why anyone pays more to sit on a chair or at a table. The real luxury is to throw out your blanket on this lush lawn, lie on your back, and watch the stars. I personally would pay more for the lawn! However, they have plenty of folks who buy the tables and chairs - but I don't get it! You do sit a little closer, but, like my daughter stated, "I don't have to see music to hear it."
After the picnic time, folks fill up their wine glasses and lie back for some magical music. The night we went, it was all about Tchaikovsky, and the conductor spoke to us and told us what to listen for in the pieces. It was a mini music-appreciation lesson, and I left with a better understanding of the Russian composer.
If you live in LA or are a visitor, I can't think of better way to spend an evening than under the stars in this stunning arboretum enjoying fine music and food.
From journal Pasadena - More than Just the Rose Bowl