Saturday, November 11, 2006

Tamale Fest 2006

We decided to hit the Tamale Festival at MacArthur Park today. Being only a couple of miles from home we also decided to walk there. We headed over to Benton, crossing over the Hollywood Freeway and alternately admired and scoffed at the state of the some of the once beautiful homes and buildings along the way. Once we hit the wide tree lined boulevard of Rampart, with it's sidewalks that comfortably fit two (or more) across, it was a lovely walk and easy to imagine it's glory days. I use to rent and apartment at Nob Hill Towers on OceanView Avenue at the top of the hill at Carondolet. I had a corner apartment, a bank of windows that wrapped around the unit, high ceilings and a view of the park.That's it to the right of the fountain through the palm trees.As we approached the Park Plaza Hotel and were taking photos of it the guard opens the front door and is talking to Will. The next thing I know he's motioning me over and we're inside the lobby with its beautiful ornate chandelier hanging from a painted ceiling facing a grand staircase. I'm shooting away and then the guard leads us into the ball room to the left. I hear him say something to Will about a tour of the ballrooms. There are four. Two on the lobby level and two on the second floor. We wind through huge spaces with towering ceilings and every surface is gleaming. All light fixtures are switched on and shining bright.
It's amazing, and Omar let's us snap away and wander the rooms and halls peaking around corners and into secret compartments behind the paneling.From there we skirt the park, cross Wilshire and head over to 7th Street for the Tamale Festival. We try four tamale vendors and I liked Corn Maiden's the best. They had a really good spicy red sauce. After walking around the park for a bit we then headed back in to the festival for some funnel cake and Dolce de Leche coffee from the coffee bar at Mama's Hot Tamales . Back home before 4:00 it was a nice 5 mile walk and a perfectly wonderful afternoon.

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