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L.A. DIARY | So SoCal

Tulle and Tuxedo

July 21, 1996|Mary McNamara

It is an unlikely place for celebration. A quarter acre, perhaps a little more, of grass and iceplant, the William Mulholland Memorial park dangles off the eastern end of Los Feliz like an untucked shirttail. Standing at its northeast corner is a little like standing at that spot in Harper's Ferry where you can "look along the Potomac and see three states." In this case, the Potomac is the I-5, fittingly enough since it follows the Los Angeles River between Los Feliz (Virginia), Atwater Village (Maryland) and Griffith Park (West Virginia).

But location is not the point. Neither is the view. The point is, as Mulholland would be the first to note, the water. Which is in the fountain. Which stands at the center of this odd little wedge of green and draws flocks most exotically plumed and vividly hued. During the Saturdays of our endless spring and summer, the splendidly arrayed parties of local weddings and quinceaneras join the more regular denizens--the novice rollerbladers and training wheelers, the young women with big dogs and old men nodding on sun-warm benches. Although currently surrounded by the battlements of renovation, the fountain is a ceremonial landmark, the background in thousands of photo albums balanced in familial shrines throughout the city. It is the site of enough pomp and circumstance, enough tulle and tuxedo, for a month of Saturdays.

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