Destination . . . Chorale Bel Canto
By Linda de Vries, Singer and Chair of the Board
Love Classical Choral Music? Think Chorale Bel Canto.
Seldom or never listen to Classical Choral Music? Think again.
On October 26, think the City of Whittier.
Think Whittier is too far to drive for just a concert? Think again.
“Destination . . . Chorale Bel Canto” posts several times in advance of each of our concerts, offering you ideas for a different day trip to the city in which we’re singing, with a Chorale Bel Canto concert at the center of your experience. These trips appeal to a wide variety of interests, and share fascinating, sometimes intricate, connections between the city and the music.
On October 26 Chorale Bel Canto is in Whittier, singing Love Songs Through the Ages.
Think—outdoor exercise and mid-century retro! All you runners, joggers, cyclists, walkers—and your kids!—enjoy a day in Whittier, with a special treat available this year on this date.
Morning. You can enjoy a morning on Whittier’s beautiful multi-award winning Greenway Trail, a 4.5-mile recreational bikeway and pedestrian path begun in 1997 and dedicated on January 31, 2009. The trail, developed on abandoned Union Pacific Railroad property, begins on the City’s eastern boundary at Mills and Lambert and travels through Whittier, linking schools, homes, parks, shopping areas, and transit stops, ending at Pioneer Boulevard on the western edge of the city.
Five “stations” highlight different aspects of Whittier’s history, growth and development. Kinetic copper and stainless steel Wind Sculptures by New Mexican artist Lyman Whitaker punctuate the trail in three locations—Oak, Sycamore, and Palm Stations, along with four outdoor exercise installations designed to be used by anyone ages 14 through seniors—Oak, Laurel, Citrus, and Palm Stations.
Oak Station, on Lambert Road, west of Mills Avenue, describes Whittier’s founding as a Quaker colony and traces the town’s growth from a small agricultural community to a suburban city that is now 55% Hispanic, highlighting key historic figures such as the poet John Greenleaf Whittier and Pio de Jesus Pico, the last Governor of Alta California.
Laurel Station, on Lambert Road west of Calmada Avenue, boasts a demonstration garden with plants native to Southern California’s coastal desert climate and provides information on water conservation in landscaping.
Sycamore Station, on Whittier Boulevard near Five Points, recognizes the native California sycamore tree and traces the history of transportation in Whittier, from wagons to railroads to automobiles, including a focus on the mid-century teen activity of “cruising Whittier Boulevard” on weekend nights. Back home, indulge in retro R&B on You Tube by listening to “Let’s Take a Trip Down Whittier Boulevard,” by Thee Midniters, one of the first East LA Chicano crossover bands.
Citrus Station, south of Penn Street, in is the heart of Whittier’s original industrial area, and focuses on early agriculture and industry, including fruit packing, with a display of Whittier’s own citrus crate labels. The former Sunkist packinghouse is now the home of nearby King Richard’s Antiques Mall. The Catalina swimwear factory was located on Penn Street at Pickering Avenue for several decades.
Walnut Station, on Whittier Boulevard at Pacific Place, is still in the planning stages. It will describe Whittier's once thriving nut industry and honor the city’s most beloved tree—a Paradox Hybrid Walnut Tree planted in 1907.
Palm Station, located at Palm Park, is the fifth and final station, and features Whittier’s varied architectural history—which will ultimately be represented by a series of birdhouses representing housing styles in miniature. Palm Station also features a seating area under a vine-draped pergola that was constructed by the Whittier Conservancy, using wooden columns saved from the former Fred C. Nelles School site and the former Theisen Building from Uptown Whittier
Special Treat On This Day This Year!
The Greenway Trail is a project of the non-profit Whittier Community Foundation. This year the Foundation co-sponsors with the Whittier Lions Club “The fourth annual “Fit for Life” Spooktacular 5K run/Walk and “Children’s Creepy Crawly” Half-Mile Dash.
This event will be held Saturday, October 26, starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Whittier Community Center, 7630 Washington Avenue. This year the funds will provide amenities for Whittier’s upcoming Dog Park and support the Lions Club “Sight of Kids,” a program that provides free eye exams and glasses for underprivileged Whittier children.
The event features a Halloween theme, as you run through the quaint Uptown business district and picturesque historic residential area. You are welcome to wear family-appropriate costumes to add to the fun.
For registration and the fee information contact Greg Alaniz, Community Services Supervisor, at 562-567-9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lunch. After your morning’s exercise, you might want to lunch at one of Whittier’s retro restaurants:
Rocky Cola Cafe, 6757 Greenleaf Ave., 562-907-3377
Ruby’s Diner, 10109 Whittwood Drive, in the Whittwood Mall, 562-947-7829
Rubi’s Grill and Frosty Freeze, 11401 Washington Blvd., 562-699-1470Jack’s Whittier Restaurant and Coffee Shop, 13221 E. Whittier Blvd., 562-693-8713 Norm’s, 14810 Whittier Blvd., 562-907-2760 Rick’s, 7254 Greenleaf Ave., 562-698-4464 Or, if you wish to continue your out-of-doors experience, you might picnic in one of Whittier’s beautiful parks. Perhaps Penn Park at 13950 Penn Street, or Palm Park at 5703 Palm Avenue. Afternoon. At 4:00 p.m. join the crowd at the Whittier College Memorial Chapel at the corner of Philadelphia St. and Painter Ave., just east of the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts to hear Chorale Bel Canto sing Love Songs Through the Ages. The music captures true love, unrequited love, illicit love, courtly love, and humorous love, expressed by composers from five centuries, from madrigals by George Gershwin and the Beatles—Monteverdi to McCartney!
Dinner. Maintain that romantic feeling and continue “to feel the love tonight” by dining at a retro fine dining restaurant in nearby Pico Rivera, either Clearman’s Steak ‘n’ Stein at 9545 Whittier Blvd., 562-699-8825, or Dal Rae, at 9023 Washington Blvd., 562-945-2444.