Sunday, May 6, 2012
still-sound 66. Americana
A few weeks ago I had to visit my dentist in Glendale. The check-up took less time than I anticipated so I found myself with two extra hours before I was expected in Burbank for my hair trim. So I stopped by the Americana shopping plaza. There was a purpose to my visit - Rob's birthday was looming and I wasn't adequately prepared in the gift department.
The Americana is funny. So is its predecessor, The Grove on Beverly and Fairfax. Both shopping centers are a mix of olde town Main Street, suburban mall, Disneyland and Las Vegas. There are San Franciscan style street trolleys that originate at the food court and terminate at Abercrombie and Fitch. Visitors from Osaka, Moscow and Milwaukee wait in long lines to alight the trolleys. Frank Sinatra classics and the signature Abercrombie teen-sex fougere fragrance are pumped in the air. The atmosphere is outdoors but is controlled with an indoor precision. Both plazas have become go-to tourist destinations rivalling the Watts towers, Griffiths Observatory and Grauman's theater. Surpassing most likely.
On my way from Kiehl's to Barnes & Noble I observed the yellow-golden neoclassical statue glistening in the Southern Californian sunlight. It emerges from the dancing waters of the central fountain. I tread over impossibly green grass to get a better vantage point.