Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Grove (Los Angeles) with a Chinese New Year Theme

The Grove on Valentine's Day 2015. Photo: the official Facebook page of The Grove .
The Grove and Farmers Market, 189 The Grove Drive (3rd St. at Fairfax Ave.), Los Angeles. Visited on 11 Feb 2015.

Built in 2002, The Grove is now a quintessential Los Angeles phenomenon, an artificial paradise and a shopping center that has been compared with Rodeo Drive, the Universal CityWalk and Disneyland.

The last time I visited, the most famous Farmers Market of Los Angeles was still intact (there are some 50 Farmers Markets in L.A., but this is the best-known) and it still seems to thrive, incorporated now into the extravagant shopping theme park.

The Grove is an entertainment tour dedicated to consumption, today with a beautifully designed Chinese New Year theme. The bright red illumation of the stylish dragon and sheep ornaments dazzle as darkness falls.

When I lived in L.A. the Universal CityWalk had recently opened, and it was amusing to realize that in this city you need a specially constructed space to actually to enjoy a walk on a city street. The same applies to The Grove.

Bookstores thrived in Los Angeles twenty years ago. One could spend a day in them on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica or in the Media City Center in Burbank. Now they are in death throes thanks to the black plague of culture called Amazon. I ask friends for advice on bookstores in L.A. now and get three:

1. Barnes & Noble - The Grove. For books in general. A fine grand full service bookstore, also with music and dvd / blu-ray departments. Three floors.

2. The Iliad Bookshop. 5400 Cahuenga Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601 (Corner of Cahuenga and Chandler Blvds.). Good for film books and out of print books.

3. Larry Edmunds Bookshop, 6644 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, 90028. In business over 70 years, (one of) the most legendary film bookshop(s) is still with us.

I was determined to visit all three, but distances are overwhelming. I need to return soon again.

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