Halloween in LA! (By Joan Huang, 10/31/21)

It’s autumn again, it’s cloudy right now in Los Angeles right now. The colorful maple leaf photos seen from the circle of friends are enviable. I love autumn, esptecially like the song Autumn Leaves sung by Frank Sinatra.

Public places in Los Angeles opened one after another: we also started to go to the Disney Concert Hall for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra concert. A week ago, Bill and I went the Disney Concert Hall for the first time for over a year and we saw so many young people sitting around us. I feel that going to concerts is the fashion of the 21st century, I think that the world-renowned 40-year-old music director Gustavo Dudamel conductor and the famous Modernistic architecture attracts the younger generation. I must say: “I am so fortunate to live in a deep blue and. trendsetting city!”

Disney is a buzzword in Los Angeles which is a polyglot city with holiday themes almost every day. Now there are many Disneyland around the world, However, in history, the first Disneyland opened in LA in 1955. Over the 3 decades of my marriage to Bill, we have accompanied our children to that historic fantasyland year after year. The theme of Halloween is naturally extremely popular among children.

It’s hard to believe that for a year and half, Bill, Gigi and I have been hunkered down at home.  During this quiet period, a peaceful life allows me to study and write: composing and writing blogs… Seven seasons (2 springs, 2 summers, 2 autumns and 1 winter) have passed, now it comes the last day of October – Halloween.  Every year in the past (except for last year, for “tricks and treats”, I would prepare candies to the neighborhood kids who dressed in fanciful costumes. 

Halloween falls in autumn, and it is a festival to be in honor of autumn. There were piles of fat pumpkins with round pedicles and bright golden yellows all over the places near our home.  The supermarket also sells colorful and unorthodox shaped heirloom pumpkins, which are really natural art treasures. Movie figures, grotesque masks and weird costumes in stores attract children, and, of course, piles of colorful candies everywhere.  

One of the most indispensable elements of Halloween is to carve pumpkin lanterns, and then put candles on them to make pumpkin lanterns.

Although it is the last day of October, our Southern California summer has just passed. The day was short, and I realized that autumn had arrived. The sky is clear and there are no clouds, the birds are beautiful in the morning, the colorful roses are competing again, and the flowering season in October is another peak. Taking Gigi out in the early morning is my happiest time, talking to my mother in the UK, listening to the news, looking for inspiration to new works, and viewing the front garden of the neighborhood. Gigi is a very friendly dog, through her, I have made a lot of my friendly neighbors. The variety of Halloween decorations is dazzling. Despite that the United States is currently in an era of extreme polarization, people still have the same fun, fear, and carnival about Halloween. We use Halloween to release our depression, to inspire our inspiration, and to celebrate this holiday in a safe and unique way!

Halloween in Altadena

This is our neighbor’s enthusiasm for “Halloween”, they created a kaleidoscopic landscape!

Every Halloween, at Disney Concert Hall always had organ concert (except for last year). For this Halloween, the famous silent film organist Clark Wilson will perform a haunting score for John S. Robertson’s 1920 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, starring John Barrymore. Film critic Leonard Maltin described Clark Wilson as a “master of silent film and showman of the first order” for his organ accompaniments of silent films.

Wearing a mask, washing my hands for 20 seconds, and keeping 6 feet socially have become my instinctive habit. Drink a “devil” cocktail and dance to the music.

Wow! These are beautiful Tangos!

I’ve decorated the dinner table for us two.

Halloween gives people wild and crazy imagination, I searched the dazzling information on the Internet, I decided that the menu for tonight:

1) Hot Dog Buns with “Finger Sausages”:

I found this photo in CNN, it caught my eyes immediately, Bill loves hot dogs.  It’s natural and needs some “carving work”.

2) Jicama Salad: Jicama is very popular vegetable in Southern California. It is crispy and crunchy and great to mix it with tri-colored sweet peppers, coriander, cucumber, orange, and lemon juice!

3) Red-hot Short Ribs of Beef

Cut the short ribs and add various condiments: onion, garlic, mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, orange paprika, and chili sauce. Bake them in the oven for 2 and 1/2 hours. The fragrance fills the kitchen and is mouth-watering.

4) Sunny Sweet Potato Mash

The orange sweet potato is the color of “Halloween”.  Simply add butter, lemon juice, brown sugar and ginger powder and bake it in the oven for 45 minutes.  After baking, crush it. very delicious!

5) Sauteed Vegetable Combo

At present, my vegetable garden has zoocchini and green peppers, I stir-fried with olive oil and garlic.  They are delicious!

6) Orange Sorbet:

I’m lazy, just bought the “Halloween” colored orange sorbet from the supermarket and the ready made “Halloween Fudges and Brownies”.  They are golden and brown colored. 

I am finishing my blog with Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, “In the Hall of the Mountain King”.

Published by Joan Huang

I'm a freelance composer living in bucolic Altadena, the suburb of Los Angeles. Besides music making, I love cooking, drinking wines with friends, gardening, hiking and traveling.

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