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Macarthur Park

September 29, 2006
Sept. 29, 1957: More than 100 musicians performed before a crowd of 6,000 as Los Angeles dedicated a new band shell at MacArthur Park. They played "music by Romberg, Schubert, Elgar, Verdi, Sousa and other composers," The Times reported. The "wood and plaster shell, 45 feet deep and 71 feet wide," was "set in a natural amphitheater" and cost $40,000, the newspaper said.
December 22, 2001
"MacArthur Park Crime Troubles Neighbors" (Dec. 17) brought back memories of a different time. I remember sailing my model boat (my best-ever Christmas present) on the lake as a 10-year-old boy in 1925. The park was quiet, peaceful and beautiful, with couples rowing quietly on the lake on weekend afternoons. I see myself putting my boat in the water, giving it a gentle push and watching the wind catch it and having it keel over as it started its trip across the lake, while I ran around to the other side to meet it at the end of its voyage.
May 12, 1996
Re "Artist, Official Launch Plan to Revitalize MacArthur Park," May 1: I, too, believed the stories of how dangerous the park was. That was, of course, before I strolled around the beautifully restored lake depicted in the photo. Imagine my surprise when I encountered a large number of Latino families, elderly Koreans and, believe it or not, white individuals such as myself, enjoying the lake. Unlike the reporter, I have never been approached by a drug dealer. In fact, the only time I have been accosted at the park it was by an evangelist seeking to convert me. This is not to say that I believe the park is perfectly safe, far from it. I have never ventured into the north side of the park, which has many shadowy corners from oversized trees.
April 4, 1993
A coalition of neighborhood groups will sponsor a forum for the leading candidates for mayor Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Park Plaza Hotel, 637 S. Parkview St. The candidates expected to attend are City Council members Michael Woo, Nate Holden and Joel Wachs, businessman Richard Riordan, attorney Stan Sanders, businessman Nick Patsaouras and Assemblyman Richard Katz, said organizer Paul Gamberg.
May 4, 2007
Re "Chief vows full inquiry into violence," May 3 What I saw at MacArthur Park was a poorly led police force taking the bait from a small group of agitators on the fringe of a peaceful crowd, one gathered at twilight in a public park with their children, flags, hot dogs and pride. By throwing a few objects at dozens of police standing on the park's edge, then running back into the park, a few fringe agitators hoped to be met by violent police action. The agitators won. Nearly every night there is a crime in MacArthur Park far worse than a few sticks or bottles being thrown.
August 17, 1989 | JAN BRESLAUER
Something is afoot in MacArthur Park this lazy August afternoon--and it's got nothing to do with drugs or gangs. "One . . . two," a doe-eyed young woman commands from the band-shell stage, as a retinue of aspiring ballerinas in tutus jete to boom-box Tchaikovsky. Three boys skid their bikes to a standstill, leaning forward on the handlebars to watch. Nearby, rows of wooden benches fill with sundry onlookers.
The $8-million road back for MacArthur Park Lake seems like it ought to be paved with gold. It turns out the new lake is paved with asphalt, however. Workers who drained the Los Angeles landmark 2 1/2 years ago so the new Metro Rail subway could be burrowed underneath were filling it back up Saturday and cautiously checking the new blacktop bottom for leaks.
September 30, 1990 | SHAUNA SNOW
THE SCENE Two installations produced as part of the Foundation for Art Resources' Outside Art Works series will be erected today in MacArthur Park. Steve Hurd's "No Picnic" will recreate Manet's masterpiece, "Dejeuner sur l'Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass)," on the underside of a picnic table behind the park's bandstand.
July 8, 2010 | By Esmeralda Bermudez, Los Angeles Times
Javier Prado marks his turf with a plastic folding chair. Ramon Alvarez guards a concrete bench. Efren Castellanos, the one they call La Hormiga ("the Ant"), brazenly goes wherever he pleases. He should, he argues. He's been here the longest. "Just let them try and tell me something," he says. "I've earned my spot." The Polaroid photographers of MacArthur Park are old-timers, the last of a dying breed. They've been sparring under the palm trees now for nearly 40 years.
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