One of my favorite things to do in the city, the Patio Sessions, has started up again. These are small free concerts held on Thursday evenings, in front of the Winspear Opera House in the Arts District. I’ve been to a few of these and written about them before.
The performer sets up at the corner of a large rectangular reflecting pool. The water flows slowly over a field of perfectly level and even black stone – at a depth of maybe a quarter of an inch. The spectators sit on grassy areas, paved sections, or concrete steps around this pool to watch and listen. High overhead, giant aluminum louvers provide some shade from the sun before it falls below. There’s a pop-up bar, food trucks, and a new coffee pavilion. With the surrounding buildings glowing in the setting sun (there are five Pritzker Prize winning architects represented here) it is an amazingly picturesque spot.
The only downside is that expanse of wafer-thin water is a magnet for little kids. Now, I like kids as much as the next guy, but they are noisy and distracting. The pack of rugrats cavorting on the reflecting pool diverts attention from the music. Plus I am bothered by their parents that wander around with that smug, “look at my spawn” half-smile of pride. This would all be cool – except that there is a concert going on.
But, I will admit, they are pretty cute.