A day in Glendale


I really like Brand Boulevard, Glendale’s main drag, and spent half a day there Saturday.

I saw “The King and I” at the Alex Theater, the restored 1925 theater, which occasionally shows old movies (live theater, musicals, etc., fill the rest of the schedule). I’m unsure if I’d ever seen the whole thing before, but knew I’d seen bits and pieces of it on TV as a child. Not that you need me to tell you, but it’s a great movie with a surprising finale.

The same block is home to two excellent used bookstores, Bookfellows and Brand Books. At the latter, a browser in his 30s in the stacks seemed unfamiliar with the concept of used bookstores. He asked an employee, “Are these for sale or do you, like, rent them?”

My lunch was nothing special. Porto’s Bakery is excellent but it’s so crowded it’s hard to relax, and the sushi bar I’d intended on patronizing had closed down. In retrospect I should have gone to Thai in L.A., the movie’s Siam and modern-day Thailand being the same, but that thematic tie-in didn’t occur to me. Instead, I went to the new Panera outlet for its amazing strawberry-poppyseed salad.

After all this, I walked a few blocks south to the Americana at Brand, the cutesy shopping area created by the developer of the Grove by the Farmers Market in L.A. I enjoyed a slice of cheese pizza at Richie Palmer’s Pizzeria and a burger at Jewel City Diner, a small, circular diner with a bar looking out through plate-glass windows. Great for people-watching.

Americana is, like the Grove, too artificial for my tastes, but it’s okay. Have any of you checked it out?

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