If there’s one thing I know how to do it’s a Hollywood Bowl concert, and I say this with absolutely NO humility because, well, I didn’t always know how to do the bowl. I often found myself packing way too much food, paying more than should be legally allowed for parking and smashed in with the other common folks in the nose bleeds while trying to enjoy my Vino, charcuterie and summer sounds.
While I still sit on high with the commoners, I’ve found that there does exist more superior seats among the common ones, that you CAN pack a diverse and filling picnic without breaking the bank, and you really don’t need to stress worrying about parking at the bowl, in fact you don’t even have to drive at all! It’s taken a lot of guffaws, (one so bad I missed an entire Alicia Keys concert) to get to being the expert that I am, and well if I can save ONE person the stress I’ve endured, then it was all worth it (the bleeding heart that I am). Naw but for real ya’ll, I love going to the Hollywood Bowl, and this post is my ode to the Bowl, as well as a look inside my week with the sleekest, fastest SUV on the street right now (yeah I said it!).
I’ve become somewhat of a car enthusiast over the last couple of years, and by enthusiast I mean I love to test drive a new car that hasn’t debuted just yet to see how well it fits into my lifestyle. Meaning can I use the navigation easily (does it even HAVE navigation?), and can I inherently pick up on how to work the bells and whistles without opening the bible that is the manual and look like I actually know what I’m doing? While my standards are high, I’m not measuring the torque or valvetrain. But before we get into my opinion about the Mazda CX-3, let’s talk about my Hollywood Bowl tips & tricks.
Tip #1: Figure out how many people will be joining you at the bowl and coordinate a potluck! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the bowl with tons of food to share and someone else brought the same exact thing that I did. A little planning ahead of time with those that want to potluck will ensure that you’re not wasting food and you get more of a variety. On this last trip to the Bowl to see Solange, my Bestie and I planned our menu ahead of time and though it was only the two of us eating we cut down on costs by splitting things up. She brought chicken, I brought pasta salad, we shared both and just brought the snacks that we personally wanted to eat throughout the show. It really cut down not only on costs, but on the weight of my Bowl bag.
Tip #2: Did you know that the Hollywood Bowl has inconspicuous picnic area’s dispersed throughout the stadium? Yes, you see the obvious tables as you’re walking up to your seats, but there are also dining area’s behind concession stands and nestled along walkways that you can spread out and eat at. I find that this is SO much more comfortable to do than eating at your assigned seats. Especially if the concert you’re attending is a sold out show. Stretching out and being able to fully enjoy your meal at your assigned seat when the bowl is packed isn’t much fun. So, I suggest getting there a bit early and grabbing a spot to enjoy that meal you so lovingly and carefully packed.
Tip#3: So as I mentioned above, I once missed an entire Alicia Keys concert at the Bowl. My friends and I left home at what we thought was a decent time to get to the concert and park, only to find that all of the parking was full. We drove around for 2 hours (not exaggerating) looking for alternate parking and when we finally found it, we had to hike up Hollywood Blvd to get to the stadium, and if you are familiar with the area you know that’s not an easy trek. So this piece of advice comes from real experience…Take the Hollywood Bowl shuttle whenever possible! Shuttles pick up at surrounding cities in LA, and are super cheap (I’m talkin $8.00 round trip!). The buses let off right at the top of the venue, (so you don’t have to walk up the steep hill with all of your food) and pick up right at the bottom of the hill after the concert is over. You have about a half hour after the show is over to get to your assigned bus (I’ve even gotten there later and have never had a problem). This little tip is SO worth it because parking at the bowl is tandem so you’re paying the $20.00 fee, but you’re also having to wait for the car in front, back, and on the sides of you to leave, before you can. Plus if you’re drinking (and really who isn’t), it’s just much safer to take the shuttle.
Tip #4: If you’re planning to Uber, know that it gets really hard to grab a Uber after a show. Between the parking situation, the shuttles preparing to leave and the general traffic near the venue, it takes awhile for Uber to pick up. So either plan to wait around for a while after the concert is over, walk to a nearby hotel or restaurant until you can grab your Uber, or walk down the hill to Hollywood Blvd. for a faster pickup.
Tip #5: Bring a bottle! The Hollywood Bowl is one of the only concert venue’s in LA that allows you to bring in food and drink, so do yourself a favor and bring a bottle! For the vets who do the Bowl often, this may seem like a no brainer, but there is advice within this advice… Make sure that the show you’re attending is NOT a lease event. Lease events are when the artist leases out the venue so the usual rules don’t apply. Now there are some lease events that allow you to bring in booze, but there are some that do not. So make sure you know the difference before you pack your good wine.
Tip #6: If the show isn’t sold out and the stadium is pretty open don’t be super married to your seats. People move around quite a bit at the Bowl when a show isn’t sold out, so don’t get butt hurt if you find someone in your seats. If you absolutely want to sit in the seats you’ve paid for (and you have EVERY right to), then politely ask your seat fillers to move. Don’t yell or make a scene because it’s just Bowl culture to move around if there are tons of seats open, and people are more than happy to move if you want them to. But know that this may also be a great opportunity for you to find a better seat as well, so move a little closer and extend that same courtesy to someone else if they ask you to move.
Tip #7: Speaking of seating. Most people think that the only “good seats” at the Hollywood Bowl are in the boxes right up front, and while that may be true to a certain extent ( I wouldn’t know I’ve never had a box seat), there are good seats in the nose bleeds too, you just have to know how to pick’um. I favor seats with no row in front of me because it allows me to put my picnic basket on the floor and spread out more. I also look for seats on the edges of the row for that same reason. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a middle seat and having to constantly get up and let people walk past you as they bump you with their coolers and packed lunches. There are also cool seats that have huge aisles between rows so that makes for even more room to lay out your perfectly packed picnic!
Tip #8: Just because the show says it’s sold out, doesn’t really mean it is. If you are dead set on seeing your fav artist and aren’t willing to take no for an answer 9 times outta 10 there’s a scalper there that will sell you a ticket and the box office usually has extra’s as well. So take a chance and just head up there because ya never know what may lie ahead.
So my week in the Mazda CX-3 was pretty freakin rad! I loved that the car felt both sporty and practical. I found it super easy to park in even the smallest of spaces but also super safe on the road, and don’t get me started about the inside of this car! It was LUXURY all the way!!!
From the white leather to the black suede and the red piping on the console, this car felt opulent! The trunk and back seats were also pretty roomy without feeling too enormous.
I u sally like to do my pros and cons list to give you a better idea about how I felt driving the car so here it goes…
- Starting at $25,000 this car is incredibly economical
- At 34 MPG on the highway and 29 on city streets, gas goes a long way in the Mazda CX-3
- So I have two words for your SPORT MODE! This makes the car handles like a sports car!
- Smooth ride, I couldn’t feel a bump on the road
- INCREDIBLE Bose sound system!
- Easy to use sound system, I’m usually clueless to these things and even I could figure it out
- I love that the radio controls are on the center console. Because you’re not busy pushing buttons on a touch screen, your driving experience is a lot safer. In fact the touch screen locks when the car is in motion.
- Dual temperature control so that you’re not fighting over the air conditioner with other passengers
- Roomy interior and trunk
- Sleek body and interior
- I don’t say this passively but there were NO cons with this car! I absolutely LOVED driving it, and I have to say this because I think it’s relevant. I drive what could be considered a “luxury” vehicle, and this car felt as luxurious if not more than my car.
So guys, what do you think about the car? Got any Hollywood Bowl tips of your own? I’d love to know in the comments below!