Forest Lawn is the “mother” of all cemeteries in the Southland. They operate several locations around town – but none is as large or prominent as Forest Lawn in Glendale. Acres of graves and green are surrounded by residential and urban sprawl. A visit here is an oasis among the city. This is not just any cemetery and one can spend several hours touring the grounds and attractions. Beautiful statues, churches and even a museum with contemporary rotating exhibits are part of any visit here. The current exhibit was on the art of Movie Posters. An upcoming exhibit will be about motorcycles. The Hall of the Crucifixion- Resurrection features some of the largest religious paintings in all of the Western Hemisphere.
My Great Great Grandfather is buried here – a visit always includes a search for his headstone. Some visitors come to see graves of famous actors – several prominent ones include Clark Gable, George Burns, L. Frank Baum and Humphrey Bogart. While it might seem a bit odd to be married at a cemetery – Forest Lawn also offers sites for weddings. Ronald Reagan was married here. Newly wed or newly dead, as they say…
Then it was over to the Calvary Mortuary in East Los Angeles to visit my Great Grandfathers grave. A bit of grass and other debris had covered the headstone which I soon cleaned up. I presented a gift of four palm fruits and placed them on the headstone.
Over the course of several days we visited a number of Farmer’s markets. With year round desirable climate, Southern California is an ideal region to grow a large diversity of fruits and vegetables without fear of freezing temperatures. There are so many farmers markets in Los Angeles one can stay busy every day of the week. First up was the Hollywood Farmers Market – it is squeezed into several streets not far from Hollywood Blvd – organics among the at times urban chaos that this part of town creates so well. Besides plenty of fresh fruits and veggies highlights included the individuals giving free hugs and a lady hunched over her typewriter – typing poetry for passing visitors.
Cherimoyas are in season – I consider myself a “fruit hoarder” at times and this fruit is among my favorite. We purchased bags and bags of these all picked that morning. Once they ripen have the consistency of creamy custard and a flavor between Banana, pineapple and vanilla. A perfect Cherimoya has great acidity with a balance of sweetness and flavor. Asian markets carry these – but often they are imported, have been bounced around so much they don’t ripen well and are sickly sweet at times. These have no balance compared to these freshly picked California grown ones. The furthest north I have seen a Cherimoya tree growing in the state of California with ripe fruit is in Marin County (Novato). This fruit does well in Central California near the coast and or in the foothills near the ocean – San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara County.