LA LIFE: Superbloom, Violins, Aquarium, Cleaning Communities, Stress

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The beauty of Los Angeles in February is blooms and bees in the garden. That’s BEEautiful LA, Tomatoes. One place the superbloom has sprung bunches and bunches of blooms is at the South Coast Botanical Gardens. The truly inspiring, “Stories from Violins of Hope” is back by popular demand. The beloved Aquarium of the Pacific welcomes you back to their outdoor exhibits and their upcoming Virtual African American Festival. Women are making a big difference in our world with two organizations that are ridding communities of rubbish from those persistent litter bugs. And if you’re feeling stressed, check out this week’s Happy Hour Podcast.

Blooms Have Sprung

The South Coast Botanical Gardens planted hundreds of bulbs throughout to create a spring superbloom. Though a little early, those areas are coming to life and the result is breathtaking! You don’t want to miss seeing it in all its glory, Tomatoes. 

You might even need several visits as the superbloom is changing daily. Before you even enter the Garden, you’ll be greeted with the latest spring blooms inside the front garden along the entrance ramp. From cacti and aloes to tulips to paperwhites to daffodils, the blooms and their rich colors do not disappoint.  Ahead of your visit, you can check out What’s Blooming  so you’ll know exactly where to look, Tomatoes.


February 21.  Stories from The Violins of Hope

Seven actors bring to life the extraordinary story of violins played in ghettos, forests and concentration camps… and the passionate Israeli violin maker determined to restore them. The Braid is rebroadcasting their amazing January 31 premiere event, “Stories from the Violins of Hope”. If you missed the first event count yourself lucky, Tomatoes. 

This time around a live Q& A with the creative team is included. One of the authentic Violins of Hope from the collection is played during the show.  The Braid (formerly Jewish Women’s Theatre), the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony Chamber Players (LAJSCP), and Temple Isaiah’s first broadcast of “Stories from the Violins of Hope” on January 31st was in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This brilliant show, that has captivated hearts and souls, reminds us to never ever forget. “Especially at this time when we are living with so much loss and so much brokenness, there is a power in hope that things can be restored,” says the plays writer, Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum. These violins are certainly examples of that hope. The play is directed by Susan Morgenstern and produced by JWT Artistic Director Ronda Spinak. Do yourself a big favor Tomatoes and watch.

Now and Feb 27.  Aquarium of the Pacific

Yippee and Zippity Do Da! The Aquarium of the Pacific’s outdoor exhibits, (Shark Lagoon, the Penguin Habitat, the Seals and Sea Lion Habitat, Harbor Terrace and many others) just reopened so you can once again enjoy the wonders of ocean life. And, of course, strict safety protocols in place. Also, we can’t forget The Virtual African American Festival coming up Tomatoes.

The Aquarium of the Pacific’s Virtual African American Festival, February 27th, will be broadcasting live from the Aquarium. The festival celebrates the rich diversity of African American and African cultures with African and African-American music, dance, storytelling, and historical displays. The Aquarium will also present the Heritage Award to Felton Williams, Ph.D. for his outstanding service to the African-American community. The outdoor exhibits being open again and the African American Festival are true gifts of joy for all Angelenos, Tomatoes. 

Volunteers Cleaning Communities and Trail Mothers

I’m giving a big shout out to Volunteers Cleaning Communities (VCC) and Trail Mothers. Both organizations, founded by women, missions are to clean up our streets, freeway and trails with their dedicated volunteers.  This Tomato is in awe of what these organizations achieve.

Though they work locally in the West San Fernando Valley for now, both are relatively new organizations that want to fund their current efforts and expand as well to make a greater impact in stopping the spread of trash. They need help in a variety of ways and they deserve attention, so, please check them out. They will make you proud. Volunteers Cleaning Communities, founded by Jill Mather, is a community-based organization focused on helping to make the world a better, cleaner, more environmentally friendly, litter-free place.  Their cleaning events are listed on their website.  A cleaning event usually takes a couple of hours and they can provide a certain number of volunteers with pick-up sticks, bags, gloves, a few carts and vests. Masks are required, of course. Trail Mothers, founded by Kristen Hernandez, is a group of moms who hike with their children at local parks carrying with them trash bags and a pair of gloves. They banded together to help clean up and beautify local hiking trails. They’ve also gotten men to join in just like VCC. This article about Trail Mothers sums it all up perfectly, Tomatoes.

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