Photos from inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall…Busted!

Our New Year’s Eve plans included an early evening concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I’ve only been to one other concert  at the hall, and that was a few years ago to hear a small jazz combo. I was excited to hear Broadway star Idina Menzel, anticipating a very lively and entertaining show. We arrived early enough to enjoy a glass of champagne, with enough time to walk around the beautiful grounds.

On a previous occasion I’d taken a few photos from inside the lobby which is open to visitors during the week. The public is encouraged to come in an enjoy the wonderful Philharmonic Bookstore or small restaurant just inside the lobby doors.

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Very sleek and modern. These photos were taken during the day, but in the evening the lighting is soft and warm, with the glass reflecting both indoor and outdoor light. Brightly lit Christmas trees were strategically placed and the lights of high-rise office buildings were visible from the lobby area–a very festive atmosphere!

Tickets were purchased in August and I couldn’t recall anything about the seating arrangements, so as we left the beautiful lobby and went to our seats I was pleased to discover we were balcony, front row center. In a relatively small setting these were perfect seats.  Within just a few minutes of settling in I didn’t think twice. I whipped out my iPhone and began to snap pictures.

After all, I have a blog and I like to pretend I’m a photojournalist. I’m usually a very strict play by the rules kind of gal!  If there’s a sign that says “no photography” then I don’t take photos. But for some reason I didn’t think at all…

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Interior of Disney Concert Hall

…and then a very polite young woman approached me and gently told me to put my phone away. But fortunately I already had my photos. Maybe you can see the curved wood ceiling, designed for its acoustic capabilities. You can see that from our seats which were facing the orchestra, there are still seats behind. There is almost a complete 360° seating arrangement, allowing for intimacy despite 2,265 seats.

The pipe organ occupies the central position between the blocks of seats behind the orchestra and other design features include the hardwood walls and ceilings made of Douglas Fir, the same wood often used to back cellos and other fine instruments.

It was a wonderful concert with the star of the show delivering on all points. But the venue is a star, too, and I would have enjoyed sharing even more photos. I was just getting started.

I learned my lesson, though.

What did I learn? Oh, that’s easy. I learned that sometimes you have to break the rules to get a few good photos to share with your friends. And that although it was a little embarrassing at the moment, I got over it! Maybe I’ll break a few more rules this year all in the service of the blog. Are you with me?

The Rose Parade on the 2nd? No, It just doesn’t feel right.

English: Image of a float in the 1922 Tourname...
Image via Wikipedia

Jay frequently refers to us as a couple of fireballs! Yep! That’s us.  Our big New Year’s Eve revelry included a late afternoon matinée.  War Horse is a quality movie and I highly recommend it. It wasn’t a particularly festive movie, however.  Jay also frequently compliments that I’m a cheap date. That’s also true.  We returned home from our afternoon movie to an evening of Pad Thai and Netflix.  It works for me!

And as I post, most of the world, including New York City and Chicago, has already rung in the New Year. Denver is about to cross-over and California still has more than an hour of 2011 left to count down. But here’s the thing.  It doesn’t FEEL like New Year’s Eve.  You see, we live a stones throw from the Rose Parade route, but the typical buzz of activity we always anticipate is noticeably subdued to downright non-existent. For the 18th time in Pasadena history the Rose Parade is pushed to Monday. More than 100 years ago, when horses pulled the floats, it was feared that churchgoers would be disturbed by tethered horses and the “Never on Sunday” rule was put permanently into place.

Despite the change in schedules, we still kept a few traditions of our own. On Friday we took Sophia and Karina to see some local float decorating, but we failed to factor in the delay and the project was barely underway.  Then today we drove down the parade route and with the exception of scaffolding and bleachers the streets were oddly absent the tents, portable grills and street campers holding spots for the parade.  Parade watchers aren’t even allowed to being gathering until sometime on the 1st.

Nope! It just doesn’t feel right.

No flowers yet! But lots of grass.

Volunteers were slowly gathering on Friday to apply flowers, seeds and grass to the Sierra Madre Float.  The progress was barely underway making it a rather abstract visual experience for the girls.  A picture would have to do!

It is hard to believe that by Monday morning’s parade the float will have 10,000 Chrysanthemums, 10,000 Carnations, 10,000 Roses as well as Iris, Gerbera Daisies, Germinis, Liatris, and Bells of Ireland. The Sierra Madre Rose Float Association dubbed the float a rolling flower box!

And then today’s view of the parade route was significantly lackluster.

Just an ordinary Pasadena day! I missed the waving out-of-town campers.  No, it couldn’t be New Year’s Eve!

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Sunday worshippers won’t have horses to contend with, but I wonder how they like the portable “facilities.”

Everything is ready and in place.  Now sometime tomorrow, the 1st, people will begin to congregate for January 2nd revelry.  It just doesn’t feel right!

But warmest wishes for a Happy New Year…even if I don’t celebrate much before Monday! Debra