Garlands and Gardens

Published: May 4th 2010
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The Renaissance Pleasure FaireThe Renaissance Pleasure FaireThe Renaissance Pleasure Faire

The Queen's entourage. The historical enactment society was out in force.
So after the cliff-hanger last ending, I can reveal that my friend's incredibly talented housemate adjusted, remade and sewed costumes for the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Yes, Faire. A frills and whistles recreation of Elizabethan England in LA. It was...something. Hillarious but also totally overwhelming. Overwhelming partly because of the huge numbers of people (and when you're wearing an extremely tight corset and layers of thick cloth in plus 20 degrees, your tolerance for crowds diminishes rapidly) and also because of all the stalls and performances.

I tried archery and managed to utterly miss every target - although I got closer to the target I wasn't aiming at. I now have an impressive set of bruises to nurse. There was one fun performance by Men In Tights, about how to pose like a manly man. It was hillarious. There was also a joust and a staged battle between the Saxons and the Celts. (yes, I know, but historical accuracy and consistency wasn't highly prized - I saw Don Juan-era Spaniads, Vikings and Danse Macabre mummers within 200 yards of each other).

We spent a happy morning pootling round the faire, then ate lunch in the lovely park area where the
And we went in costume.And we went in costume.And we went in costume.

Courtesy of my friend's talented housemate.
Faire was placed. Apparently the neighbourhood isn't the best, but the reservoir and park recreational area was really nice. Except the grass, but all grass in LA (as I am learning) is yellowing and scratchy. Ah well.

After lunch, we drove on to the Huntington Gardens, and strolled around the art gallery (small but interesting - especially since I am massively ignorant of American artists, apart from Hopper) and gardens. The rose garden smelled gorgeous, and I even saw a purple rose. The Chinese and Japanese gardens were also lovely, especially the bonsai. Of the two, I prefer the Japanese garden as it was more sheltered. The Chinese garden had a lot of rocks and buildings, and was a bit exposed in the hot sun. I should point out at this stage that we had changed out of our Renaissance dresses (it was a lovely feeling of release).

Then home via a Vietnamese restaurant - which I would highly recommend, as I would Vietnamese cuisine. Ironic that I go to LA to try it though.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


The JoustThe Joust
The Joust

All events were won by the mysterious masked Black Knight. Not that it was in any way rigged.
The Huntington GardensThe Huntington Gardens
The Huntington Gardens

The rose garden, the smell was delicious.
The Chinese GardenThe Chinese Garden
The Chinese Garden

The Pagoda houses a Chinese restaurant - so bizarre. All the areas came with philosphically deep inscriptions. At least we presumed they were meant to be deep despite the horrendous translations.
The bonai were coolThe bonai were cool
The bonai were cool

There were whole areas created.
The Japanese GardenThe Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden

This was prettily laid out in a sort of valley, with views down to the stream below. The orchids were huge and glossy - I don't know how they do it.
Japanese water featureJapanese water feature
Japanese water feature

With Koi Carp - the kids had little origami carp on sticks which they were waving like flags.
Finally some shadeFinally some shade
Finally some shade

So we sat down for a while.
A "robin"A "robin"
A "robin"

Cue huge argument on whether this was or was not far too big to be a robin, even a North American one. Our conclusion: everything's bigger in the USA.

4th May 2010

What beautiful photos Liz! Love the historical juxtapositions :-) xxx
5th May 2010

Amazing costumes! : D

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