Culver City can seem a bit bland at first, but our walks have helped us discover some quiet hideaways and intriguing points of interest. It may seem odd to some, but our favorite places to walk are two cemeteries.
Right behind our complex is Hillside Memorial Park, a lovely Jewish cemetery. We have enjoy searching for the graves of famous people, and Hillside is including Milton Berle, Al Jolson, Dinah Shore, Michael Landon, Jack Benny, Aaron Spelling, David Janssen, and Moe Howard.
The largest of these monuments belongs to superstar Al Jolson. It consists of a towering, white stone canopy held aloft by six white stone columns, with a series of terraced, blue-tiled waterfalls cascading down the hillside. The inner dome of this canopy contains a large mosaic of Moses holding the Ten Commandments. Beneath the canopy is the marble sarcophagus of Jolson. To one side of the tomb is a three-foot bronze statue of Jolson down on one knee, in his famous “Jazz Singer.” (“Mammy!”) pose.
Our favorite part of this cemetery though is the huge stained glass window in the courtyard of a mausoleum. It’s two-stories of shimmering, multi-colored magnificence and devoid of religious symbolism. There is also a beautiful garden nearby, featuring a man-made stream, waterfalls, and fountains. Walking there on sunny mornings is the perfect, meditative preparation for facing the swirling madness of L.A. freeways.
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