Friday, April 11, 2014

Hollywood, Miss Piggy and Sizzling Rice Soup!

My 8 year old nephew Benjamin was on spring break, so my sister brought him down to L.A., last week. They went to the zoo, while I was working, then we met up at the apartment before heading to Sushi in West Hollywood at Yoshi Sushi. First time I ever had seared barracuda sushi! And it was great! I highly recommend it.

Anyway, I took the next day off, so I could cruise around with them. Ben said he wanted to go back to Hollywood, and then visit Chinatown, so Penny got tickets to see the new Muppets' movie at the El Capitan Theater. 

El Capitan Theater

The El Capitan is a beautiful old movie palace, on Hollywood Blvd. It opened in 1926, by the same developer that opened the famous Chinese Theater, across the street, and the old Egyptian Theater, a couple of blocks east. It was refurbished and reopened in 1991, just before I moved to Los Angeles.

They do this "show" with the various curtains and scrims, that kind of cracks me up, for some reason.

The Theater and adjacent buildings are owned by Disney, so they open many of their films and have many of the premieres at the El Capitan. They also do a little live show before the movie. In fact, one of the Disney Nature films brought in a whole show with live animals. 

Before Monsters University, they had a couple of musical numbers, with the Monsters … and for Muppets Most Wanted they had Kermit and Miss Piggy "live" on stage. They did a few songs, including Rainbow Connection which, of course, reminded me of me of my childhood and even made me a little weepy!

Kermit and Miss Piggy at the El Capitan
(By the way, I had an awesome Miss Piggy puppet in the 70s)

Rainbow Connection, is on the AFI list of 100 best film songs and has been covered by everyone from Willie Nelson to Lea Salonga. Just saying.

El Capitan ceiling

Not sure if they do this in a lot of cities, other than L.A. and probably New York, but the nicer theaters here often have wardrobe on display, in their lobbies. When we used the bathroom on the lower level, Ben found a room filled with (mostly) Miss Piggy's costumes from the film. We were cracking up!

They had a few other items, from the movie, including this set piece of Miss Piggy's dressing table in "Berlin."

I think this is my favorite! Love the rhinestones on her fishnets! 

And the traditional end to a fashion show … a wedding gown!

Exiting through the gift shop (of course) … the character of "Animal."

Below, looking across Hollywood Blvd., to the El Capitan, from "Hollywood and Highland."

Hollywood and Highland are streets in Hollywood as well as the name of what is basically a mall. They were trying to design it based on a 1916 D.W. Griffith film set extravaganza, for his silent movie Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages. It's kind of strange, frankly, but if you park there, and get a tea at Starbucks, you can validate your parking and pay only 2 bucks.

We headed to Hop Woo for lunch, in Chinatown, after our little Hollywood movie excursion.

Chinatown Los Angeles

Hop Woo

The sizzling rice soup was great. We figured Ben would like the orange peel chicken, which he did, as well as the asparagus in garlic sauce and pot stickers. (We over-ordered a bit!) 

It was all pretty decadent, and yummy, though my favorite thing is still the steamed tilapia, that I had on a previous visit. I would recommend that if you want something tasty, that's a little more on the healthy side …

During the week it was pretty slow, and not quite the bustling place that I think Benjamin was expecting. It's always visually stimulating though, and who doesn't love a red lantern!

Slightly strange mannequins? Or is it just me?

In the photo below, is Via Café, where I usually eat when I'm in the neighborhood. It's actually Vietnamese, and has a great crab noodle soup and yummy garlic fish dish with mushrooms and asparagus. (I actually ate there last night!)

Not so busy on a Thursday afternoon ...

We were throwing another bridal shower, that weekend, for my cousin Jenny and put these coins (below) in some little satin coin purses we bought for game prizes. The three coins together, on a red string in your purse, are supposed to give you endless fortune. Figured that endless fortune would make a good little prize. ;)

After our mini tour of Chinatown, I dropped off another painting at my framers, across the street, and Penny and Ben headed back to Ojai. It was a great little visit and as always, very fun having them in my hood.

Oh, here is a little extra shot of me with a couple of Muppets, taken by my favorite 8 year old. It's my new profile pic on Facebook.

Who said that every wish
Could be heard and answered 
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that 
And someone believe it
And look what it's done so far

What's so amazing 
That keeps us stargazing 
And what do we think we might see
Someday we'll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers
The dreamers …
and meeeeeee!
~Kermit the Frog
by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher

Happy April!
Blessings and light!


donna baker said...

Lucinda, I just love this post; Rainbow Connection, China Town, the theaters. I can't imagine such theaters. The fanciest one I ever heard of serves dinner (Denver). A show within a show at the El Capitan. I'll have to remember that. And real Chinese food in China Town. I would love to go there. As long as they don't serve me chicken feet, I'll eat it. It would be hard not to buy a lot of stuff there. Thanks for the tour.

Rick Forrestal said...

The El Capitan is amazing.
GREAT shots.
What a fun day.
And I love that last shot . . .
should be your new profile pic.

(We should be doing travelogues.)

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Great piece of history you were able to immerse your neph in! Love the images you captured....and luch! Oh. My.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Who doesn't love a good Chinatown?! What a beautiful spot to spend the day...and no it's not just you but those mannequins are kinda strange! Your vintage style pictures really are evocative of Chinatown. That song makes me a bit weepy's so sentimental and sappy sweet! Thanks for the tour Lucinda!

Ruthie Redden said...

Lucinda, I looove that theatre, I would have found it hard to concentrate on the show! Such sumptuous design & colour. I love visiting the old city theatres over here fo thier opulance, it's like stepping back n time. Have to say I have a soft spot for Miss Piggy and laughed at her cute (and sumptuous) costumes. What a fab idea to have the wardrobe on display.