Bowl-ing for Love
A first date at the Hollywood Bowl launches a lifetime of love and anniversary visits.
- Written byDiane Haithman
This year marks my 20th wedding anniversary with my husband, Alan Feldstein—and his 60th birthday (yes, I have his permission to reveal this fact). The Internet says that a traditional gift for the 20th anniversary is china, and the modern gift is platinum. (I’m liking the platinum thing better.) The traditional gift for a guy’s 60th birthday is probably a red BMW convertible—but then it’s inappropriate to have a midlife crisis at 60 unless you really think you’ll live to be 120.
Although my mother-in-law always remembers our wedding anniversary (thanks, Jan!), we have a tendency to confuse the date, 8-27-95, with the lock code for our luggage and all those other sign-ons and passwords we tote around in our brains in this digital age. We remember the ones that end in five or zero, but the rest are a blur. However, we do have another anniversary we never forget: our Hollywood Bowl anniversary, August 18.
In 1992 I interviewed Alan for a story for the Los Angeles Times. He was at the time a freshly divorced single dad. We went out once after our interview, but due to the complications (reporters should avoid dating sources, and no one should date freshly-divorced single dads), it took a year to get around to anything we could call a real date.
As it happens, the following summer, Alan had two tickets to see Tony Bennett at the Bowl—but again, complications. He had recently taken a 39-foot fall in Moreno Valley while rock climbing, shattering his left ankle. He was in an air cast up to his thigh. So the deal was that I would drive and Alan would make a picnic.
I do remember the meal: broiled chicken breasts, cookies I couldn’t eat because they had nuts (an allergy I would have preferred not be mentioned until date #3) and a fabulous concoction we still call Pasta Feldstein. Although he was on crutches, Alan carried the picnic in a backpack. It worked out well, although I’m guessing if he’d known he’d be in an air cast, Alan would have bought seats that weren’t up quite so high.
Since then he and I have tried to make it to the Bowl every year on August 18 no matter what’s playing. Travel and work schedules have sometimes gotten in the way—and there were a few years when we got confused and thought we saw Bennett on the 17th instead of the 18th—but we’ve seen some great concerts including the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (1999), guitarist Arturo Sandoval (2001) and Diana Krall (2007).
The random pleasure of picking a concert by date, not by artist, also got us into the habit of saying: “Hey, let’s go to the Bowl” on summer nights and taking what comes. I highly recommend it. This year’s Bowl Anniversary concert was the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey while the 1968 classic was shown on the big screen—the perfect reminder of what a long, strange trip it’s been.
Tuning Fork has a great beer selection that might make it easy for patrons to overlook the food. While this gastropub by Joseph Kuras and Martin Heynen excels at burgers and wings, Chef Jay Bedassie has more hits in his repertoire—including jerk chicken. Jay grew up in Montserrat, a “tiny speck on the map” in the Caribbean near Saint Kitts […]