L.A. Doesn’t Picnic, But it Should. Here Are 3 Perfect Parks for Lunching
August 11, 2015 - Picnic Time
I was walking around a park circuitously downtown final week with a crony in from Texas. We strolled on dirty paths by scrubby chaparral, past perfumed virtuoso and dog shit and a severely underwhelming synthetic waterfall.
My crony grew adult in L.A., as did I, yet now she lives in Austin. We talked about Texas, about California, about grill and ramen and breakfast tacos and a underappreciated beauty of towering country, and afterwards we dull a corner. We came into a vast grassy clearing, a heart of park-ness, and surveyed a scene.
There were about a dozen people in a park, many of them jogging or walking dogs. There were a few kids sitting on a bench, and a integrate of families kicking soccer balls behind and forth. But there were no blankets laid out, no baskets and no coolers — no one was picnicking. we remarked on a fact, remarkable that we couldn’t remember a final time we or anyone we knew had legitimately picnicked, to that we got a laconic respond — “Oh, we cruise all a time in Austin. Like each weekend.” Of course, picnicking is a thing in San Francisco, in New York, in summer Chicago, yet Austin? Is picnicking a thing everywhere yet L.A.?
Perhaps it’s since everybody knows someone who has a yard, a rug or a porch. Maybe it’s since of a beaches. Or maybe it’s since we’re rapt with energy hiking, with conquering inlet and branch a abs into tiny towering ranges. It seems that a parks and healthy spaces of Los Angeles are underutilized as cruise destinations. Sure, there are kids’ birthday parties in Griffith Park and families barbecuing circuitously Dodger Stadium in Elysian Park, yet Los Angeles doesn’t unequivocally have a cruise culture, and we sorely miss renouned outward meet-up spots like, say, Dolores Park — there’s no common patch of shade, no grassy towering that fills adult like a array during a unison venue on comfortable afternoons, nowhere where we can reliably go and design to strike into people we know, to join them on a blanket, to eat a sandwich and sip stealthily on cans of inexpensive drink or box booze or hide a nip of that really rough foil-wrapped spirit she usually bought from a aged man with a flowers tucked behind his ears.
It would be too easy to plead a stereotypes, to censure a sprawl, to abuse a automobile enlightenment and petrify creep. But it’s too good a contrition to concede a good continue and a shrinking supply of beverage H2O and sittable weed to go to waste. LA has a satisfactory share of damn glorious parks, copiousness of pleasing spaces good out desperately for a sweeping underneath a tree, a prolonged afternoon that melts into a cold evening, sunglasses and boots sparse around a grass, good food and a Frisbee tighten during hand.
It’s time to take advantage of a beauty of a city, to lapse to a elementary fun of a idle afternoon outside. To that end, here are a few suggestions — pairings too, if we will— of parks with circuitously restaurants, to kindly palliate us into a cruise swing.
Temescal Gateway and Maison Giraud
A outing to a Pacific Palisades feels like an shun — it’s a cute, beachy town, worldly yet old-fashioned like a grown-up tools of Santa Barbara, and it is also home to a implausible French bakery Maison Giraud.
Walk to a behind of Maison Giraud to collect from their preference of superb pastries, from buttery croissants and rich, buttery pain au chocolat to honeyed and buttery (are we intuiting a theme?) oatmeal raisin cookies. The baguettes have a ideal membrane and light, stretch crumb, glorious on their possess yet even improved with some of Alain Giraud’s fruit preserves.
Then conduct a small ways down Sunset to Temescal Gateway Park, a web of trails dotted with tucked-away cruise tables and dim rags of sun-dappled grass. The atmosphere smells like chaparral and eucalyptus and salt, a clearly Californian combination. The shoal rivulet burbles usually adequate to emanate a still soundtrack as women in bluish yoga pants walk quietly past, and those buttery pastries warp in your mouth.
Vista Hermosa and The Park’s Finest
Unless you’ve recently searched for a place to take rendezvous photos, we competence not have listened of Vista Hermosa Park. But a small emerald retreat dim behind Bob Baker Marionette Theatre is one of a many pleasing open places anywhere circuitously downtown, and it facilities an forlorn perspective of a LA skyline.
There are copiousness of good restaurants right nearby, yet for a income The Park’s Finest is a best internal choice for cruise fare. Their fun, disorderly Filipino grill tastes usually right in a abundant shade and pairs ideally with a smells of cut weed and sage. If we come in a afternoon there will be students from circuitously Belmont logging around, creation out on a weed and unctuous not-so-subtle tokes behind spare trees, yet you’ll be so engrossed by coconut beef, bibingka cornbread and proposal ribs that you’ll frequency notice.
Farnsworth Park and Roma Market
For a certain form of not-so-unruly youth, Farnsworth Park is famous as a premier end for a bootleg subterraneous competition of after-hours iceblocking — vast hunks of ice purchased with lax change from a vending appurtenance behind Webster’s Pharmacy and afterwards hauled adult Lake in a case of someone’s mom’s borrowed car, pushed with fast chilling hands to a tip of a park and afterwards ridden behind down a slope in tandem like an Olympic luge, refreshing and cold and about a best accommodate lovable any internal teen could dream up.
By day, though, Farnsworth is some-more than usually a slope-in-waiting; it’s also an superb park in a possess right. Its position during a tip of Lake Street affords pleasing views of a shockingly tighten San Gabriel Mountains. The grass, for now, is in good shape, and there is plenty shade underneath several hulk trees. And it doesn’t harm that Roma Market is usually a integrate brief miles down a street.
On your approach to a park, compensate a revisit to Rosario during a deli counter, obstacle a sandwich — there is usually one, a purist’s dream of glorious Italian cold cuts, cheese and a dash of olive oil on a uninformed hurl — afterwards conduct on adult a hill. Time it good and we competence locate a late dusk unison or a summer ball diversion framed in intense twilight opposite a foothills, a break of a bread and a ping of a bat toll in your ears, and if we hang around until dim we competence be means to crippled a cold float down a towering from some noisy teens.